“Let’s start a startup” is what the Modi Government is stressing upon with its Digital India campaign and through many of its other new projects and conclaves.
In one word “start-up” is the new word in vogue amongst all; the students, the aspiring entrepreneurs, and academicians all alike.
B-schools have joined the bandwagon to nurture fresh promising talents and we get to know all about it by interviewing Anshul Goel, a first-year MBA student at one of the premier B-schools of India, NMIMS. Anshul, interestingly, has been running his own e-commerce based startup for over a year now, and through this tete-a-tete, we explore what role NMIMS School of Business Management, Mumbai, has played in his startup journey.
You are already into a professional career-oriented study: MBA, but do you really consider getting a job after this course, or do you have other plans?
The dilemma of getting or not getting a job is largely connected to two major factors in a country like India – financial stability and past experiences. Having a startup of my own before coming to NMIMS motivates me to tread the unconventional path and search for a team to go ahead with my startup after course completion. MBA also provides essential fundamental knowledge in a capsule of two years that bolsters your confidence & decision-making ability.
You want to create a start-up, how do you think your degree will help you in that?
The little exposure I had to the startup world taught me that network and quick decision-making play a big role in determining how things shape up. I feel the two years of MBA would give me enough time to gauge the batch and explore key competencies in people that can be productively assimilated in a team. In short, a team of not-so-extraordinary people that can work together to achieve extraordinary targets would be my take-away from the MBA.
Great, how are you nurturing your unique idea of a start-up along with your course?
Nurturing a sapling requires the will to first plant the seed. Similarly for a startup, the most important factor to nurture your startup alongside a course like MBA requires a great deal of determination and vigor to establish the empire of the future. The first few months of MBA are very hectic and I think one should focus more on the degree during these months as they lay the foundation for the two years. So, honestly, I haven’t gotten enough time to focus on my startup, but I intend to start establishing a branch office in Mumbai as well and look towards building operations here too.
While managerial skills could be crucial for developing risk-taking mentality, constant innovations form the tenets of a successful enterprise. How equipped are you for that?
I don’t really think constant innovation is a key factor. Thinking out of the box may be necessary but people fail to understand that it is crucial for anyone to first understand a problem that exists in the society and work towards bridging the gap. I see many students trying to be very innovative with their startup idea but if you look at it, successful startups are the ones that ones that actually add value to the customers and help them. Innovation comes a little later when execution of the idea is comes into play.
How does a grand University like NMIMS provide opportunities for business networking?
I am a part of the E-Cell at NMIMS, where one of the new initiatives, called Chancellor’s Challenge, is a platform for business networking in not only NMIMS, but also in all SVKM colleges. The objective is to build an entrepreneurial community on campus. This initiative brings together entrepreneurs from various schools of thought and diverse fields – law, commerce and economics – to get together and kick-start their own initiatives. Startups like Zoomcar that are born out of such programs speak volumes about it.
What about the integration of a module on start-up with your curriculum? Do you think NMIMS gives an advantage to those who would want to make it big by themselves?
Of course NMIMS helps build entrepreneurship talent at all levels. People may interpret entrepreneurship to having a startup. But according to me, entrepreneurship is all about “Thinking Global and Acting Local”. I feel NMIMS helps in a great way to empower its students to walk the talk, think rationally and act accordingly. It helps students explore greater challenges, and it is committees,such as the E-Cell,work sincerely to inculcate business acumen in the masses. I feel the entire course is an enabler and as the trends change, NMIMS does take appropriate measures to change it’s curriculum and bring in new skills, such as the digital marketing course by Google.
Wish you all the best for your future!