NEW DELHI: Indian science and technology (S&T) students studying in elite engineering institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) prefer fat paychecks at multinationals to turning entrepreneurs and owning their own companies.
A study by the Department of Science and Technology has found that only 12 per cent of students have a high intention towards starting their own businesses. This is in sharp contrast to the trend abroad.
In the US, about 46 per cent of technical graduates turn entrepreneurs, while 43 per cent of Norwegian and 38 per cent of Singapore graduates start their own companies.
The study, Proactive Entrepreneurial Characteristics of Science and Technology Students: An Empirical Study in Indian Context authored by Rajib Roy and Niladri Das of the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, was published in the journal Current Science dated November 10.
The authors were tasked to study the pattern among technical graduates in India by the Department of Science and Technology.
The study found “low interest to pursue an entrepreneurial career” among Indian science graduates. Noting that “entrepreneurial interest among students at IITs and NITs ranks way below their western counterparts”, the study advocated the need for “entrepreneurship courses especially designed to target S&T students”.
“The course contents need to attempt in accelerating the risk-taking propensity among students. Entrepreneurship is all about taking calculated risks. Hence, students can be trained with the upside prospects of venturing, by using native businessmen as role models and also through in-depth review of their success stories,” the study recommended.
Study more to lose your entrepreneurial qualities
“The more degrees you earn, the less entrepreneurial you become, i.e. UG students are more entrepreneurial than PG students, and post-graduate students are more entrepreneurial than PhD students,” the study found
Explaining the reasoning behind IIT students going for multinational compaines rather than going into entrepreneurship, the study by the the Department of Science and Technology found that IIT students do not have the risk-taking propensity.
However, the study agreed that that the Central government’s recent policy measures like Atal Innovation Mission is exclusively devised to make a significant change in the direction of technopreneurship.
It suggested for policy makers to emphasise on issues like socioeconomic factors (education, governance and institutional capacity and infrastructure), which contribute to entrepreneurial awareness formation, attenuate perceived risk of failure and eliminate red-tape bureaucracy and opportunity cost of entrepreneurship.