Experts allay fears of recession and global economic slowdown at an awareness camp held at VIIT

The Indian start-up space has gained momentum over the years. Opening up of mindset and increase in support structure have contributed to it, according to Shakir Ali, founder and CEO of The eMerchant.

Addressing students of Vignan Institute of Information Technology at an entrepreneurship awareness camp (EAC) on Friday, he highlighted the importance of developing entrepreneurship skills, the challenges in the journey of entrepreneurship, and the need for being focussed.

“Take calculated risks, formulate a viable product, develop a growth strategy, and believe in yourself,” he told the students.

Revealing some interesting statistics, Mr. Ali said 30 per cent of students enrolled in top entrepreneurship programmes started a business.

Twenty-three per cent of students who started their businesses were still going strong, and about 66 per cent of job growth came from small businesses.

The entrepreneurship camp was part of an Entrepreneurship Awareness Drive (EAD) organised by the entrepreneurship cell of IIT- Kharagpur, which was a non-profit student organisation established with the aim of fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among college students in India.

P.V.R. Shashank, co-director of Conduira, said the key factors of entrepreneurship were perseverance and the ability to sell an idea.

“How many of you successfully convinced a reluctant friend to come for a movie? For me, that is an element of entrepreneurship,” he said.

“Entrepreneurship is not a lonely journey, but a collective exercise to execute a vision effectively.”

“Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs wouldn’t have been able to make it big if they did not have a set of people who supported their vision,” Mr. Shashank added.

President of Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh K. Ramadevi said there were three ways to identify an entrepreneurial vision.

“Product-driven approach, where the product is first created and the market is identified later, market-driven approach, where the market determines the need for a product, and the third is a combination of both the factors. The third is the most practical approach in starting a venture,” she said.

Allaying fears of recession and global economic slowdown, the experts told the students that most start-ups come up during this time. In times of crisis, innovations happen, they said.

IIT-Kharagpur’s Entrepreneurship Awareness Drive consists of a series of guest lectures and workshops in 20 cities spread over a period of 20 days in October.

Each city plays host to an entrepreneurship awareness camp, where eminent entrepreneurs and industry leaders counsel students about the pros and cons of entrepreneurship as a career and how it differs from the usual run-of-the-mill job culture that has existed till now.

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