Nowadays, the startup dream is dreamt by many youngsters but not everyone ends up with their dream job.
I happen to know a youngster, who passed out in 2015 from a prominent southern private engineering college. Let’s call this youngster Pranav. He has been active in college fests, organising activities for “societies” and getting “tech-apps” made from his juniors. Highly connected with students, professors and evangelists from other colleges in the area, he had a dream to commence with his own start-up and even had firmed-up his ideas on technology and domain to venture into.
While on campus placements, he rejected four such offers, including from big Indian IT companies and consulting MNCs. He knew, for sure, the challenges he was likely to face while starting up. The usual ones are finding a team with same zeal and passion as he had, funding it, getting the product ready, competing with others, sustaining the various ups-and-downs of a startup and then making it big to succeed. He graduated and was ready for all of these challenges.
He was ready but his family was not. He had discussed these options with his parents before rejecting his campus placement offers, but his parents were under pressure from “society”. A few relatives were skeptical of his choice in life and were not seeing the vision and life he was seeing for himself. Anyone Pranav or his parents discussed the idea with, brought the rejection of the startup idea in favour of a more established option of higher studies (post-graduation) or taking up a job.
Pranav isn’t alone. There are numerous graduates, hailing from the middle-class, who are facing challenges even before starting their own venture. The society in India is yet to reconcile to what’s-the-big-deal-with-failure mentality. Is it a big blow if someone fails in an experiment? What about the learning from such a failure?
I did a simple calculation of the options that are available for a to-be engineering graduate, soon after college. Please allow me to exclude the outliers from IIT and IIM.