Business

Tech Startups Are 'Changing' IIT Placements

A seat in one of India’s premier technology institutes virtually assured a student of a job for life. His career was made http://www.rediff.com/business/report/missed-ola-housingcom-deals-cost-iit-bombay-rs-450-cr/20150102.htmthe moment he walked in through the portals of the institute. The five or so years spent there was simply a period of waiting for the better things in life. He had it made! A job at an MNC or abroad at a six figure salary and a beautiful wife awaited him. This was the case before and this is the case now. What has changed now is the mindset and attitude of the student.

The student is no longer content with the traditional chart plotted for him at the IITs. He is looking for something more challenging and more relevant both to himself and to the society. Many students are turning down plum offers from big companies to pursue their own dreams. Many are ready to strike it out on their own. A good idea always finds suitable angel investors and mentors. The IITs themselves are encouraging entrepreneurship in many ways. They have incubation cells that guide and promote entrepreneurs and provide infrastructural and other support facilities.

Many tech startups are also attracting talent from the IITs. Given a suitable challenging environment, many students are willing to waive attractive job offers to join a relatively new and brilliant idea to take it to its fruition. Many are just looking for an intellectually challenging job that may not necessarily be well defined, but where their skills and capabilities are relevant, respected and utilised to the maximum. If these roles or their results are socially relevant, that is an added prerequisite. The opportunity to work for a startup is not measured in terms of rupees or greenbacks, but by the job satisfaction that they derive.

Many students have companies up and running even before they leave college. With funding not a constraint for a good idea, they are ready to promote their own ventures. And the IITs are supposed to be the cradle of good ideas and innovation. With a pool of talent that they have access to, their startups are serious contenders for placements at the IITs. From the most famous Indian startup, Infosys in 1981, technology has provided a good starting point for most of these startups. Many of these enterprises use technology to concretise an idea and make it commercially viable.

The percentage of students joining startups has increased in the recent academic year. Many have opted for deferred placements to give themselves time to try out something before they can make a choice. The IIT Madras, in particular, has a strong startup culture mainly on account of the Centre for Innovation that is set up here. Students can walk in with an idea and walk out with a product, no matter how audacious the idea maybe. Technology is certainly levelling the playing field between established biggies and wannabe tech czars by deepening in recent times and churning online marketplaces, software product development, and e-commerce. Moreover, flexibility of working hours, roles with greater scope and responsibility and opportunities for rapid professional growth are some of the advantages why youngsters are preferring startups to IIT placements.

Arun Sardesai (have 85 posts in total)

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