EVOLUTION OF IT ENTREPRENEURS
Indiaâ€™s IT entrepreneurs are a product of our education system. Indeed, the education system in the â€˜60s and â€˜70s reflected the socialist nature of the state. Those were the days when we produced graduates who knew how to design computer, but most could not program a PC.
All that changed in the â€˜80s, thanks to the spread of computer education across the country. Then in the â€˜90s, the concept of MCA (Masters in Computer Application) probably non-existent before suddenly caught on. In fact, it became the most sought after subject.
Many private engineering colleges mushroomed all over the country to cash in on the boom. Some of them were started for the wrong reasons, but they ended up serving a good cause. They met the demand of the IT industry, which was recruiting by the dozen then.
The engineering institutes of India have been the cornerstone of IT success. But one cannot always afford to rest on laurels. India produced close to 3.30 lac engineering graduates in 2005. Currently the IT industry alone requires 1.5 to 2 lac graduates every year. The demand is barely managed to meet the requirements.
Indian IT companies have made headway in the current global market scenario. It is important to maintain the lead as IT software source. There has always been a gap between whatâ€™s being taught in the universities and what the industry wants across the world. But many countries have found a way to deal with it. In the US, for example, the gap has been met by forging industry academia partnerships.
India needs to follow this model and already companies like Wipro are following the industry academia partnership. In fact, a beginning has already been made with many software companies tying up with universities for the purpose of research.
The education sector in India has many opportunities which have not been fully tapped. Considering India is a favored investment destination and many of Indian companies including smaller ones are also making a mark overseas there is a need to have a good set of global managers who can work effortlessly in an international environment.
The good thing is many management institutes have already taken the lead and changed their curriculum to cater to the needs of the global Indian work force.
B-schools have an edge over engineering colleges in this regard because MBAs are in great demand even in the IT industry. There is a great demand for management graduates in project management. Indian IT companies while they strengthen their presence overseas there is also a requirement of large number of marketing and sales professionals.
Even for school children a computer is a childâ€™s best teacher provided it has the right software in it. It is the next best thing to a human. Computers can play an important role in a childâ€™s development. It helps to set an own pace of development.
About two decades ago students had a set of core books and extensively used reference books. Computers have changed all that. Today, everything is available on the internet. Even libraries are now in the process of digitizing their books.
All this drives home one point: itâ€™s necessary to be aware of evolution. If people do not learn to evolve they get selected for extinction. Promoting quality education in every sphere is very essential. If you want to empower people, give them the tools. Thereâ€™s enough entrepreneurship in the country to take care of the rest.