The country today needs skilled workers especially in the fields of engineering, research, accountancy, law, and other subjects. However, what is needed most are, perhaps, leaders and visionaries with insights to establish the businesses of tomorrow. Considering the vast size and population of the country, it has a shortage of well-run, well-managed companies. Such companies are necessary because they add value to the economy and create jobs and wealth. The country is in need of such companies today as a job crisis may lie just over the horizon. This crisis is also hinted by many leading thinkers and other credible reports published stating that most engineers and graduates in the country are unemployed.
The job market across the country is tentative and most graduates have poor job prospects, hence there is a dire need to make many youngsters self-employable. Unless proactive steps in this direction are taken quickly, what many in the country have been proclaiming as India’s demographic dividend will turn into a demographic disaster when millions of graduates in the coming years are unable to find employment. What is needed in the country is a new generation of entrepreneurs who understand business and how to create wealth; something which often does not demand a rigorous education. The next generation of business leaders must have confidence, good interpersonal skills and the right education and training.
Unlike learning other subjects, learning entrepreneurship is slightly more challenging because those who are willing to learn how to be entrepreneurs must already have some of the right mix of qualities. Enterprise education, however, allows those with the right qualities to learn how to excel as business owners. There is a dire need for new businesses in the country as the world is being transformed by digital technologies. The need of the hour is to create entrepreneurs who can leverage the newest technologies and business methods to create viable and profitable businesses. Enterprise education helps create such entrepreneurs by helping them learn the skills needed to excel in business, allows them to see running their own business as a viable career option, and allows many who are searching for jobs to think beyond just being an employee to becoming a business owner and potential employer.
Nearly every school and college in the country awards grades to students. Such grades determine the kind of institute of higher learning a student will attend as well as the kind of job a student will eventually perform. However, enterprise education does away with a simple pass or fail grade and incorporates real life into the learning process. By incorporating real life into the learning process, enterprise education allows students to learn from their successes and failures, which is how people actually learn.
Learning in such a manner instils in students qualities they will need to be leaders and successful entrepreneurs. Those who undergo enterprise education grow more self-confident, self-reliant and focused towards success. Once students have these abilities, they are better poised to succeed in a globalised world and are better able to lead and understand how to take advantage of new technologies. Perhaps, the most exciting facet of enterprise education is that it can allow almost anyone to acquire the ability to be a successful entrepreneur.
Enterprise education prepares people to be at the helm of their own enterprise. To run an enterprise, a person should have qualities such as the ability to identify real-world problems and to use strategic thinking to solve such problems. Running a business also demands a business owner have the ability to think critically and creatively to overcome barriers. A business owner should also understand the advantages of innovating and realise
that innovation is a key to success in business.
In addition to skills, enterprise education also teaches students how they can take measured risks and can take the right decision despite having incomplete information in certain situations. Students who undergo enterprise education also learn how to take responsibility of others on themselves as well as to be accountable for their actions and outcomes.
Also, enterprise education teaches how people can work together to achieve a common goal and how someone can work independently to achieve their goal as well. Finally, someone who undergoes enterprise education also learns how to collaborate with external organisations, bodies and groups. Every business leader must have excellent interpersonal skills and enterprise education allows leaders to hone such skills so that they can bring people and groups together towards the fulfilment of a set goal.
The qualities mentioned are essential for the success of future leaders, and because enterprise education can help people develop such qualities it is a new dimension of teaching and will play a major role in helping skilled candidates become capable entrepreneurs.
(The author is COO, All India Technical and Management Council)