From Startup to College

Startup Career – What would you do if you want to start your own business – a start-up company? You would finish a degree in college, usually; an Engineering degree for your parent’s wishes and then begin your venture to pursue your dream. What if I say that a lot of startup founders are now going back to college?

Yes, this is the increasing trend in India where a lot of startup founders who had varied success in their startups are now going back to B-Schools for a proper MBA education. These startup founders have different results about their start-ups. Some had closed down, but some are successful ventures that are still up and running.

The founders from startup companies have started their business once they are out of their undergraduate or postgraduate college. From building design to bring it to market, they have seen everything first hand. That is when they realised that they lack the skills that can only be obtained by an enriching experience in an MBA classroom training from a recognised University. Most of them have joined Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) to do their postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM)

This is not a new trend. International universities like Harvard and Cornell have seen the rapid increase in enrollment of entrepreneurs in their MBA courses for a while now. This trend has now started to show up in India as well. B-Schools across the country have seen a steep increase in the number of entrepreneurs joining the MBA and PGDM programs over the past two years.

Founders of startup companies have great visions and missions, and they will be able to design the prototype and make the final product to the market. The technology and creative brains can easily handle them. But when they want to pitch their product to a venture capitalist or an angel investor for funding, they lack the X-factor that is required in such instances. That is where the additional management degree would help them.

B-Schools are also more than happy to take entrepreneurs to their courses. Traditionally the B-School admissions have looked to make the classroom a more diverse one with a lot of different ideas flowing in. Unlike the technical education management education, this is more about discussing different ideas and coming to a consensus. With their rich knowledge of the industry, these entrepreneurs give the training an entirely different set of skills.

In B-School admissions interview plays an important role. Anyone who had cleared CAT or any similar admission test would know how difficult it is to crack the interview. But it is not that tough for the entrepreneurs. They have already seen the highs and lows of the business world. So they know what to do when.

With their rich knowledge of the business world and how to do business, entrepreneurs provide a value-add to the existing management courses while in turn they also learn what they are missing to make their business big. It is a win-win for all.

Image source: Heidi Sandstrom.

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