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Business Scions Back in Schools to Build Their Own Niche Besides contributing to family businesses, these heirs are over enthusiastic to set up their own enterprise

By Komal Nathani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Harsh Dave, alumnus of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, was clear in his head before opting an entrepreneurship programme over a regular MBA course. Besides providing the know-how for expanding his family business, the curriculum also taught him to experiment with his own ideas and start something of his own with new and innovative problem-solving techniques.

"I now know to handle my family business and can any day open my own enterprise, there is no restriction at all," Dave told Entrepreneur India.

Niyati Shah, another EDII student, said the present-generation entrepreneurs are blessed with abundance of resources to lead a business successfully. "Be it advanced technological tools or an array of entrepreneurial courses offered by various business schools, now is the time for businessmen to make the most of these," he added.

Shah, Vice-president of eco-friendly packaging firm SUPACK, has a vision to create her own enterprise in the next five years.

Till five years ago, almost all business family scions followed the set trend of enrolling on entrepreneurial courses with a common objective of promoting the ventures of their fathers and grandfathers.

But today business heirs are walking a step ahead with the motive of building their own legacies after taking up the reins of their family businesses.

Whether it's Akash Ambani, Chief Strategist of Reliance Jio and son of Mukesh Ambani or Keshav Reddy, who at 24 has been entrusted with a key role at infrastructure conglomerate GVK Power and Infrastructure, third generation entrepreneurs are using their skills and knowledge in an incredibly lucrative way. Reddy has launched his apparel brand called "The Indian'.

Entrepreneur India had a discussion with Dr Sunil Shukla, Director of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), on the perceived change in the thought processes of the leaders of tomorrow.

Building Their Own Niche

Shukla said in 1998 EDII started its three-month and six-month programmes in family-business entrepreneurship, but today the institute runs a two-year full-time course apparently prompted by a rise in general interest towards entrepreneurship.

"There is a drastic change in the trend from the time we started. Today, there is a significant demand for entrepreneurial courses as we see more and more pupils keen on learning the entrepreneurial know-how, under parental influence, too," he added.

He said perspective of students enrolling in family business programmes are changing fast.

Besides contributing to family businesses with their knowledge and skills, present-generation scions are ever enthusiastic to set up their own enterprise.

Their main objective of studying in entrepreneurial schools is to gain exposure and give their families' established businesses a right dimension.

"We provide a choice to students, who are into family-business course. And the choice is between preparing a five-year perspective plan for the business or preparing a DPR report on the vision of creating a new enterprise. 90% students opt to prepare a DPR report as they're keen to open their new enterprises," stressed Shukla.

PGDM Courses in Entrepreneurship on High Demand

Ahmedabad-based EDII was set up in 1983 to promote entrepreneurship in India by educating, training and facilitating young individuals, who have an entrepreneurial streak in them. The institute started out with the short-duration training programmes and gradually launched capacity-building courses to support entrepreneurship across India.

Shukla stressed that family-business programmes and PGDM courses in entrepreneurship are on high demand in the market.

A number of institutes offer family business entrepreneurship courses in India, but EDII was the first one to start it, added Shukla. What really differentiates EDII from other colleges is the courses offered by the former are based on solid knowledge and indigenous case studies.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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