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Can One Become an Entrepreneur With Just an Undergraduate Degree? The number of institutions offering a good undergraduate degree in India are virtually non-existent

By Dr. Tarun Pasricha

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It's a widely held belief that a postgraduate degree in Management is essential if one has to become a successful entrepreneur. That is why entrepreneurship courses are an essential component of the MBA curriculum in business schools today.

What is less known, however, is that some new, innovative undergraduate courses have recently made their advent which have started giving the MBA courses a run for their money. In particular, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) course is emerging as the passport to success in a managerial or entrepreneurial career. So after finishing 12 years of schooling, it takes just 4 more years of undergraduate study with a global business school and you are well on your way to becoming an entrepreneur. Good bye post grad, hello career!

BBA the four year course

The 4-year undergraduate BBA course also covers the entire curriculum of a typical 2-year full time MBA and more! There is an opportunity to do live projects with organizations across the globe through internships and an in-house Entrepreneurship Cell encourages students to venture into start-ups. In many cases, promising proposals are even awarded financial grants from the schools as seed money for their ventures!

It always helps an entrepreneur to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to run a successful business. Previously, such inputs were only provided by post graduate courses in Management – now the new global BBA does precisely that so that you can start your entrepreneurial venture in your early 20s. No wonder the successful start-ups you see today are founded by youngsters without a formal postgraduate degree in management.

Global collages

Some of the global institutions offering an undergraduate BBA degree have multiple campuses across the globe – in the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia, for example – and the global learning and exposure they provide ensures placement in leading organizations around the world. Here is a snapshot of the curriculum of 4-year global BBA course run by leading academic institutions: 1st year: Foundation courses in Management, Marketing, Business Communication, Economics and World Cultures. 2nd year: Advanced courses In Research Methods, Finance, Organization Behavior, Operations, Finance & Accounting and the Decisions Sciences. 3rd and 4th years: Elective courses in your area of chosen specialization. And yes, Entrepreneurship is often an area of specialization offered!

Modern method of teaching

While pursuing the academic curriculum, live projects are part of the curriculum in every international campus. So not only do students learn the "theory" of business but also its "practice". And this gives them the necessary insights to start up a new business not only in India but in virtually every part of the globe. Add to this the numerous internship opportunities available in the different countries during academic breaks, and you have a formula for turning out an entrepreneur just 4 short years after leaving school!


Of course one has to choose the undergraduate school wisely. Unfortunately, the number of institutions offering a good undergraduate degree in India are virtually non-existent. Our undergraduate education system is exclusively a state domain and we all know what happens when the government is in charge. The quality of faculty, the pedagogy, the resources and infrastructure available to a state-funded college is so inadequate that doing an undergraduate program is literally a waste of the student's time.

Fortunately, all is not lost - the recent entry of a few private institutions in India offers hope to students aspiring for a high quality undergraduate education. Not only do these institutions employ world class faculty and an internationally recognized curriculum, they also provide global learning by rotating students across their campus located in different parts of the world.

So my advice to all youngsters is to pursue an international BBA degree and at the end of it, you will have the confidence to not only start a new venture but make it a resounding success!.

Dr. Tarun Pasricha

Associate Professor of Marketing and Deputy. Director of Undergraduate Programs at S P Jain School of Global Management

Dr. Tarun Pasricha is a “Second Career Academic”.

He has 25 years of corporate experience in major multinationals in India including ITC, Pepsi, Scholl, and Boots Healthcare. In terms of industry expertise, his experience encompasses FMCG, Tobacco,
Food &  Beverages, Footwear, OTC & Rx Pharmaceuticals.
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