Budding techies of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Patna are picking up tricks of business planning, ad making and financial accounting alongside their regular lessons on fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, power generation and transmission.
Almost two months after the entrepreneurship course was launched at IIT-Patna, third-year students find it interesting and different from the regular engineering concepts they learn. The elective course is only for those students who aim to start their own businesses like Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, HCL Technologies founder Ajai Chowdhry and others.
Udaya Shankar, a third-year electrical engineering student, said: “The course is different from engineering, as students are taught and guided to become entrepreneurs.”
Of the 120 third-year students, half have opted for the entrepreneurship course. “The classes are generally held on Saturday or Sunday. Guest faculty teach us,” Udaya said.
The course was launched at the initiative of HCL Technologies founder-director and IIT-Patna chairman Ajai Chowdhry on the lines of the course run at IIT-Hyderabad.
On Thursday, Chowdhry took an entrepreneurship class in which he narrated why he left his job in the mid-1980s to start a business and the obstacles he faced in running the company, which is worth $6 billion now.
Vidhyadhar K., another electrical engineering student, said: “The guest faculty tell us about new business trends such as electronics, in which youths from the state can make progress. With digitisation of cable, there is a huge potential for starting small industries such as manufacturing set-top boxes, cellphone and other electronic gadgets.” He added: “The classes are interesting. The teachers ask us to think creatively about how and where to invest money.”
The course involves learning from the experiences of many entrepreneurs. Vidhyadhar said: “Many of the guest faculty are entrepreneurs and they share their life’s experiences and the obstacles they faced in starting their firms.”
Sources said the basic idea behind starting the course was to engage fresh talent and support students in setting up incubation centres, imparting training in internship programmes and others.
Apart from Chowdhry, the other guest faculty are Sanjay Mishra, associate professor of marketing at the University of Kansas (US), and some teachers from IIM-Calcutta. Based on the convenience of guest faculty, IIT-Patna organises lectures, which range from 10 to 12 hours a week. The students would not get a separate certificate after doing the course, but they would gain six credits after completing it.