Most of these students hope to start ventures of their own in the future.

Twenty-three-year-old Manish Gupta is looking forward to a “different” summer internship next year. The first-year management student of Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), New Delhi will join a little-known mobile app company, Voicetap, as a business developer-cum-strategist, instead of the usual corporate jobs chasing top B-school students like him. So what made him take this leap of faith?

“I didn’t want to get lost in the huge group of intakes at a regular corporate but instead get to do a meaningful role in a young upcoming company because of the immense amount of opportunity on offer there,” Manish said.

He is among the few others opting to take the road less travelled this placement season, which would see a new breed of recruiters rubbing shoulders with top corporate giants.

Not only second rung but premier institutes such as IITs and IIMs have invited both obscure as well as established start-ups such as Flipkart, Makemytrip, Babyoye.com, Myntra, HealthKart, FlyByKnight and Meritnation.com, among many others on “Day One” itself.

Besides, fashion institutes such as NIFT and NID see huge opportunity in getting their students placed in these firms. Apart from evaluating their domain experience and skill, these firms look for softer skills such as adaptability and flexibility to work across job profiles, KRAs (Key Result Areas), multi-tasking and a strong will to be part of a start-up.

These firms not only provide a better learning platform but also pay a decent salary ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, depending on the job profiles including marketing, analytics and product management. Though still a long way from the usual corporate packages of Rs 15-33 lakhs, youngsters are going for it, in view of the entrepreneurial profile, more responsibilities and cross-functional learning platform offered by a start-up.

“The experience a fresher will get in a start-up is phenomenal as they delve into different business areas,” says Arunima Singh Deo, founder of Babyoye.com.

Prashant Tandon of a healthcare start-up, Healthkart, has so far not been to any of the top institutes but has been able to grab a few good talents in the B-grade colleges. The firm is looking forward to the next hiring season and has been approached by a few top schools.

According to Tandon, for many students the pay-packet is not the first priority but the aim to grow faster. Many of these students join start-ups with a purpose to start a venture of their own.

“We are gradually witnessing a shift towards entrepreneurship becoming a viable and serious alternate career path. The increase in self-confidence, ambition, and decrease in their fear of failure is a deadly combination that augurs well for the whole start-up ecosystem going forward,” added Padmaja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network.

FMS’s Placement Secretary, Dhruv Mittal said, “Typically start-ups comprise about 5 per cent of our placements while our engagement with them through live projects, speaker programmes is about 15 to 20 per cent. Though some do take up their offers depending on their risk appetite, by and large, MBA students still prefer to start their careers with tried-and-tested corporates offering them certainty of structure, dedicated management training as well good salary packages.”

manisha.jha@thehindu.co.in

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 2, 2012)
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