The aspiration of becoming one's own boss has caught up with the students of Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM). Henceforth, placements are likely to depict a refreshingly different scenario, with the students launching their Entrepreneurship Cell. Students were in perfect agreement with the chief guest for the inaugural event B.V. Ramanan, former chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry, Tiruchi Zone, and managing director, Livia Polymers Private Limited, that the tough got going when the going got tough.

All agreed that the country was in greater need of employers than employees to add value to the society.

Providing insights into the requisites for a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Ramanan advocated four to five years of exposure as employee, preferably in a mid-sized company, so that the candidate would be able to gain valuable knowledge in purchase, finance, marketing, management and other vital areas for running their own enterprises with confidence.

Going global

There were indeed challenges, but the opportunities were huge. Customers were now very clear about their requirement and the competition had to be faced at the global level.

Only the best could survive. But huge opportunities existed in the forms of global technology, global marketing, phenomenal growth in buying power, easier access to capital, and better support from financial institutions, he said.

The question was whether the student community was prepared for the challenge.

A prospective entrepreneur, said Mr. Ramanan, should accord due importance for personal development, by assimilating all requisite skill sets, work extremely hard, be very disciplined as an organisational leader, and most of all develop the right communication skills. They must develop the capability to talk their way through, with knowledge of the latest developments gained from daily reading of newspapers and magazines.

New entrepreneurs need to be cautious and should not fall into the trap of unproductive expenditure when money started flowing in. Those who surmounted the global financial crisis were the ones who had maintained a comfortable level of buffer money, Mr. Ramanan pointed out.

“Where does the initiative for entrepreneurship begin? Vision exercise is the starting point.

The initiative starts with the right perception, a credible business plan, and a belief in success.

Packaging of ideas is very important to impress bankers and customers. Ignite dreams and match them with hard work,” said Mr. Ramanan.

Power of words, fire of passion and networking were the main qualities of a good entrepreneur, BIM Director N. Bala Bhaskar said.

“Knowledge-sharing, conducting business plan contests, tying up with organisations supporting entrepreneurship, organising annual conventions of entrepreneurs and creation of an incubation cell to support aspiring student entrepreneurs rank foremost among the objectives and goals of BIM E-Cell,” said Jai Prabu, a second-year student.