The National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), one of the most sought after B Schools in India, shows us why it consistently features within the top ten rankings year after year. Even though this institute boasts of one of the best placement records, NITIE guides its students to become job generators and not mere job seekers. Through a unique exercise in entrepreneurship, aptly called "Hamara Dhandha", all first year students of the management course are encouraged to launch their own start up firms.
This year, by 6th October, NITIE saw 57 student enterprises being registered. The enthusiasm and sheer joy evident on the faces of all these students, as they signed the legal documents at the Dhandha Office, was a breathtaking sight. Who knows, the next Narayana Murthy could be amidst this crowd. Micky Sanghani, first year student and proud owner of “BSK Associates” – a retailing firm, says “I never thought I’d be owning a company at such a young age, I am absolutely thrilled about it”. Manas Srivastav, his classmate and founder of “White Rabbit Publications”, adds, “This is a wonderful opportunity for students like us to experience and learn entrepreneurship.”
Most of the students at NITIE, thanks to their strong technical fundamentals, seem to be going the web site way. A large majority of the new companies are online portals, which are easy to setup and maintain as opposed to traditional brick and mortar businesses. On the other side of the spectrum there are apparel designing firms and event management groups too.
Hamara Dhandha is the brainchild of Dr T Prasad, faculty at NITIE, who conceptualized this in 2007 as part of the curriculum. The business plans are carefully scrutinized by the professors and they offer full support to the students in terms of practical ideas and industry contacts. Here, the concept of entrepreneurship is cultivated in the students as a way to understand business through self development. This is echoed in Dr Prasad's words “All students should be self reliant; the money spent for tuition and living expenses at NITIE should be recovered via Hamara Dhandha.”
Some of the companies are already dreaming big. Mamagiri, a venture specializing on online soft skills training, has already made sales over Rs 1 lakh. When asked about their formula for success, Anantha Sankar, one of the founding members, confidently replies “When you have the right plan and vision backed by dedication and good ground work, nothing can stop your walk to success”. Amit Paranjpe, another of its founder, chips in with a smile “Our dream is make every graduate in the country speak like we do.”
NITIE always has been a pathbreaker in action learning pedagogy. Hamara Dhandha is another manifestation of this very fact. By taking business education to another dimension, the objective of this exercise is to open students to the range of options that lie outside a pure academic life. This is perhaps most relevant in the present economic scenario, where job creators are needed much more than job seekers.