In a move that is seen as the first in India, the Kerala
state government is tying up with schools and colleges
to instil entrepreneurial skills among students even before
they step out of classrooms.
Institute of Entrepreneurial Development (KIED), in association
with Kitco, an industrial technology consultancy, is in
the process of setting up entrepreneurship development
clubs in educational institutions across the state.
target is to have clubs in at least 100 institutions this
year," says V Sivaraman, principal of the year-old
KIED. In Ernakulam district, some of the institutions
where these clubs have been established include the Rajagiri,
Darul Uloom Vocational School, SRV School, and St Peter's
School, Kolenchery. "These clubs will attempt at
tuning the mindset of the students to become job generators,
a shift from the present trend of seeking employment,"
levels in Kerala are high, with few job generating avenues
here. At the same time, the government jobs are no longer
attractive enough, and the security in private firms is
low. At such a time, the most viable alternative is to
get self-employed and perhaps, even create jobs for others,"
club will hold regular activities such as organising interactive
sessions with successful entrepreneurs, holding debates
and seminars and organising visits to industrial units,"
says Shaniba P H, coordinator of the project at the Darul
Nobin Thomas, coordinator on the Rajagiri campus: "Each
club is given a financial assistance of Rs 12,000 by KIED
to start out. Our job is to develop skills in students
that will help them to start out in life once they leave
college. We have also had talks with the Kerala Management
Association and TiE for helping with resources."
level in Kerala, according to the 2002-03 Economic Survey,
is pegged at 20.97 per cent, perhaps the highest in the
country. This is nearly 5 per cent higher than the 1993-94
figure of 15.51 per cent. With poor openings here, the
state also sees an annual exodus of trained professionals.
It was keeping in mind this crucial problem that KIED
came into existence a year ago. "The clubs were the
first project we thought of, and it took time to fine-tune
the idea into a workable project," Sivaraman says.
endeavour will only begin to bear fruit a decade later,
say the resource people. "You have to plan for the
future, start early. This is why schools too have been
the West, the tide has already turned and entrepreneurs
are looked upon with much more respect than high-profile
employees," says Sivaraman, noting that the trend
has started here too.
refers to the case of two IIM graduates, Kishen Kumar
and L Krishnaswamy, who turned down plum job offers with
multinationals and have, instead, plunged into a venture
of branding banana chips. "While several universities
offer courses in entrepreneurial skills, Kerala is the
only state to have launched a state-wide project of this