Entrepreneurship in India: A multi-threaded perspective

Entrepreneurship in India:  A multi-threaded perspective


The motivation of this course is that the current narrative on entrepreneurship in India gives the impression that entrepreneurship in India is centred mainly around information and communication technologies and their applications like ecommerce and online services.  This leads to other misconceptions about entrepreneurship in India.  That all enterprises have to be hyper growth start-ups and that institutional VC funding are a pre-requisite to entrepreneurial success are just two such misconceptions. 

The evidence on the ground is that there are two other threads to entrepreneurial activity in India.  First, a large number of enterprises are still established in the traditional manufacturing and services sectors in India.  Second, entrepreneurship is rapidly emerging as a means to addressing a number of social issues as well as filling key gaps in social infrastructure such as affordable healthcare, affordable hygiene, affordable healthcare either to supplement or complement the role played by the state in socially important sectors.

Course Objective and Design

This course has been conceived to provide a rounded and more balanced introduction to entrepreneurship in India.  The course has been put together keeping an international audience in mind that does not have a high degree of familiarity with the institutional context in which businesses operate in India.  At the same time it is not intended to be an introduction to the business environment in India, such as a “Doing Business in India” course. 

The course is made up of a combination of lectures to be delivered by IIMB faculty, practitioners  / entrepreneurs and field visits.  The lectures and field visits are aligned with the overall motivation of the course:  Providing a rounded perspective / introduction to entrepreneurship in Bangalore / India.  Please see the tentative course outline that reflects the intended course design. For IIMB module, classes will be held live on Zoom between 8-11AM IST. Attendance is compulsory for these sessions.


Students in this course will be evaluated and graded on the basis of reflection papers that they will be required to be submitted at the end of the week.  Students will have opportunity during the week to build up their reflection paper.  The content and suggested coverage of the reflection paper will be firmed up in due course.

Intended Audience

The course is primarily targeted at international students who have had some prior exposure to India either in their home institutions or through a Doing Business in India course.  However, that is not being stipulated as a pre-requisite.  International students are more likely to benefit from this course than students who have had their early education (undergraduate or post-graduate education) in India.

Programme Directors

Professor Suresh Bhagavatula and Professor G.Sabarinathan.

Course Outline

Day One:  The Broad View

  • Ice Breaker at NSRCEL and walk around NSRCEL
  • Doing Business in India – IIMB Faculty 
  • Evolution of Entrepreneurship in Bangalore – Professor Kumar / Professor Suresh Bhagavatula
  • Ecosystem, Institutions and Policy Impacting Entrepreneurship – Professor Srivardhini Jha
  • Presentation by a successful entrepreneur in a traditional business – Invited speaker

Day Two:  Two Flavours of Entrepreneurship

  • Reflections on Day One proceedings
  • Technology Entrepreneurship in Bangalore:  Panel Discussion
  • Afternoon:  Company visit – Traditional manufacturing or service operations business ( Like Qwess/ Team Lease/ JustDial/ Strides Arcolabs/ Himalaya/)

Day Three:  Going beyond the standard narrative

  • Family Businesses in India – Professor K Kumar
  • Social Entrepreneurship in India – A Catalyst’s View – Tata or Omidiyar or Dell Foundation
  • Women Entrepreneurship – A First Person Account (by a successful woman entrepreneur – Chumbak or Zivame)
  • Nature Walk or Own Time

Day Four:  Making it Happen

  • Accelerators, Incubators and What Have you:  Panel discussion
  • Funding Startups and Scaling up – Investor’s Perspective:  One Angel, One Series A and one late stage funder
  • Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences – Challenges and Prospects:  Srikumar of 4Cs or Dhananjay Dendukuri of Achira or Suri of Connexios or Anand Anandkumar of Bugworks or Founder of Pandorum
  • Reflections:  Drafting the thoughts for the paper

Day Five: Getting to the source

  • Visit to CCAMP (BioTech Incubator) or IIHS (for understanding Cities) or GE’s state of the art John Welch Centre to understand where the next wave of entrepreneurship should ideally emanate
  • Group Presentations – 15 minutes ppt + 10 min Q&A + 5 min changeover ( 6 groups x 30 minutes each)
  • Closing Dinner:  Invitees include those speakers who are willing to make it and faculty who might be interested

For IIMB module, classes will be held live on Zoom between 8-11AM IST. Attendance is compulsory for these sessions.