Start-ups hold job hopes for students

Young engineering graduates can look forward to exciting jobs in 2014 in the start-up domain, not only in the highly established IT and ITES sector. Just one number shows what employment in start-ups means - Bangalore is home to nearly 2 lakh employees in start-ups directly and indirectly, according to an assessment by start-up mentors at Microsoft.

Mukund Mohan, CEO-in-Residence, Microsoft India told Deccan Herald that 2012-2013 had seen a rise in investment in start-ups by about 30-40 per cent and a rise in the number of start-ups by 15-20 per cent in Bangalore. “In the number of start-ups in a city, Bangalore is way beyond Mumbai and Delhi. The ecosystem and technology depth is far higher in Bangalore, while Delhi is good at business ventures.

Mumbai sees more of media companies compared to Bangalore and Delhi. If the rise in start-ups and investment continues, we could see vast employment for young graduates even if start-ups hire 5 to 10 people.” What makes start-ups a serious employment prospect is the high number of people employed directly and indirectly by just one start-up, Flipkart, in Bangalore - around 7,000.

Flipkart’s example can spur online ventures like Myntra and SnapDeal to hire hundreds of people. This new year also looks good because of the number of hackathons being organised in the country - from two in 2011 to about 50-60 a year in 2013. The programmes have seen hundreds of youngsters coming up with new ideas before stepping into employment. Every year, around 50,000 to 60,000 engineering students graduate out of colleges.

 Apart from IT and ITES companies that hire in thousands, the other option for students is to join start-up companies in the domains of technology. Then there are also start-ups in e-commerce, consumer internet, analytics and big data. 

The closest competitor to Bangalore in the range of startups is Pune, which is also catching up with Delhi. Pune has strong science institutions, a vast pool of engineers, a highly educated populace and is close to Mumbai. The ecosystem in Pune is similar to Bangalore’s and is expected to see a broad-based start-up industry in the coming days. While on the one hand new start-ups are coming up, on the other, start-ups are getting acquired by bigger companies and in many cases being merged with them.

 Robust start-ups with robust business models will survive, while those who can’t scale up fast are most likely to suffer. But students are looking forward to the start-up drive set in motion by industry bodies, the most popular one being the 10,000 start-ups programme by Nasscom. Of course Bangalore students need not work only in the city. Delhi being the capital for e-commerce start-ups, would be an ideal location for those who want to be part of a business initiative and Mumbai would be good for those seeking careers in media establishments.

Students can also be optimistic as start-ups don’t get talented people. According to start-up professionals, availability of talent is a big challenge for start-ups, which means if students train themselves well and develop skills that would be ideal for start-up careers, the sky is the limit for work. Many professionals who have settled down in established companies have been for some time now looking to set up their own start-ups , to be more creative, to give expression to their talent and to have a sense of adventure that start-ups signify. The money will not come in so easily, but there are enough financiers in the country interested in start-ups.

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