Entrepreneurs are synonymous with risk takers. They have a high level of confidence, and most often defy societal norm; in other words they think out of the box, have to face tremendous criticism for their beliefs and ideas but remain passionate, determined and head-strong individuals. On the other hand, a B-School graduate is usually conditioned to be risk averse and conform to norms. For an entrepreneur, creation, innovation, thinking and adapting to changes are crucial whereas a B-school graduate is trained to analyse information and take calculated risks.
B-Schools teach students to manage time, people and work under pressure. These three lessons give budding entrepreneurs a way to structure their thoughts and practical experience that can help them anticipate and deal with similar issues in their businesses in the future. The training and conditioning by the B-School can aid aspiring entrepreneurs to give concrete shape to their ideas.
Also, B-School students have to analyse various business case studies on different aspects of business functions as a part of their curriculum. These case studies have immense learning for an aspiring entrepreneur and can help him to refine his ideas, analyse business models and create his own plan.
B-Schools which have incubation centres facilitate students aspiring to be entrepreneurs to generate business ideas, get funding for their ideas and pilot test it. It also almost removes the risk factor of starting their own enterprise.B-Schools facilitate networking which is another important part of taking the business forward. Esteemed B-Schools have a network of alumni and willing to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. Mentorship plays an important role in an entrepreneur’s initial days as the person can learn from the experiences and failures of the mentor.
Technically, the goal of a B-School is teaching students the ways in which to manage a business. It is not a platform or facilitator of ideas for starting a business. Aspiring entrepreneurs can feel smothered in a B-School environment where the vision is making the students effective managers. In such cases, the scope for entrepreneurship reduces considerably as employment opportunities with big businesses with hefty salary packages are the trend. Analyzing and making rational decisions is stressed upon in such B-schools and ideas that do not fit the mould are swiftly rejected, usually by peers. A steadfast entrepreneur who by this time has created a map to achieve the goal of starting a business will not succumb in such situations but will absorb all the lessons. This distinguishes a job seeker from a job creator.
In my opinion, B-School education is not a pre-requisite to start a business. It is only additional learning and experience for budding entrepreneurs. B-Schools in India have had their fair share of entrepreneurs such as TaxiForSure Founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G both of whom are IIM Ahmedabad alumni. But there are also successful entrepreneurs in India who started their business without pursuing an MBA degree such as Sachin Bansal, founder of Flipkart and IIT Delhi alumnus. Another example is of OYO Rooms Founder, Ritesh Agarwal who started his business at the age of 17. He had enrolled in the Indian School of Business and Finance post completing 12th. He dropped out of college to focus on his business and won the Thiel Fellowship. The fellowship is given by Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal to people under the age of 22 provided they have skipped or stopped going to college during the two years of the program. Thiel Fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship from the Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists.
B-School education does not in the strictest sense aid entrepreneurship, it aids an individual to understand business management and not business creation. But an aspiring entrepreneur’s willingness to observe, absorb, learn and implement helps him tackle different kinds of situations in a B-school thus allowing him to make the most of the opportunities that comes his way.
This post is authored by Nikhita Salian– First Student Blogger on Creatively Unsettled.
“I am Mumbaikar who is currently pursuing my MBA in Systems from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education, inclined towards socially relevant activities that create a positive difference. A computer engineer by choice who loves reading fiction, writing articles and coding. Mahatma Gandhi’s famous words: Be the change you want to see in the world’ resonates with me.”
Blog cover Image courtesy SECAB Association