With more PGP students willing to try the start-up route, entrepreneurship is finding favour with more graduates at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) under the three-year old “Young IIMAvericks programme” and the “IIMavericks Internship programme” which was flagged off last year.
All PGP students looking to kickstart their entrepreneurial careers are eligible to apply for the Mavericks programme in their last year of studies, even as IIMA offers them a placement holiday. While each entrepreneur gets a financial support of Rs 7.2 lakh in two years through grants given by IIMA alumni and corporates, this year the institute is also set to contribute to two IIMAvericks scholarships to the tune of Rs 14.4 lakh.
“So far, 22 of our alumni have supported the IIMAvericks programme. Some have supported one, others have supported two and some have supported over multiple years. Starting this year, IIMA has also contributed towards two scholarships from the scholarship and financial aid funds available for supporting entrepreneurship,” said Amit Karna, chairperson of CIIE.
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As per CIIE officials, the applications for the Young IIMAvericks programme went up from 12 in 2013, 21 in 2014, 31 in 2015 to 24 this year. Interestingly six out of the eight students selected as IIMAvericks in 2013 are still pursuing entrepreneurship, while seven out of eight IIMAvericks from 2014 are still pursuing their business ventures. Similarly, 12 out of 14 IIMA students who formed start-ups in 2015 under the ‘Young IIMAvericks programme’ are in business even as nine IIMA students began their entrepreneurial journey this April.
The numbers are even more enouraging under the year-old “IIMAvericks Internship programme”. Around 15 interns opted to work with the CIIE on their business ideas in 2015, while 20 interns began working on their business ventures this April. CIIE provide the interns with mentoring support and a stipend of Rs 15,000 per month (for two months) to work on their business ideas.
“The IIMAvericks internships were initiated to decrease the ‘opportunity risk’ for the students during the IIMA placement season as there is a big opportunity cost involved for them to defer placements and pursue their business ideas. This internship gives them a one-year edge where they can see how a start-up functions and witness things from a ground level and take informed decision before taking a placement holiday…For the internship programme, we approach alumni through different reunions happening on campus and through different chapter meetings, where (IIMA) alumni come together. We are also trying to do outreach activities among final year students, to increase application numbers from among students,” said Hina Nainani, senior project specialist at CIIE.