Deferred Placements by IITs to help Students Choose Entrepreneurship over a Career

With the graduating students finding their new love and passion in entrepreneurship, many IITs across the nation have decided to offer ‘deferred placements’ to students who would rather prefer to float a new business than sit for a job interview now. As the name suggests, deferred placements enable the students to defer their placements by a year or two to start their own ventures. If their venture fails, they can come back and seek campus placement.

13 students from the Class of 2015 at IIT-Bombay have applied for deferred placements this year to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Out of these, eight are planning for-profit ventures and five are going for social ventures. IIT Bombay is likely to choose 10 from among the 13. The institute had tried with deferred placements last year when only one student applied as opposed to this year when it has found more takers.

IIT-Madras is also rolling out deferred placements for the first time this year on seeing the students’ demands. IIT-Kanpur has also been considering the same. Manish Arora, General Secretary (placement cell) at IIT Guwahati expects at least 7-8 students to opt for deferred placements this year as opposed to 2-4 last year.

Deferred placements are quite popular at top IIMs and are gaining traction in IITs too now. Such initiatives encourage the young graduates to take risks and help spur the appetite for entrepreneurship.

Students are excited about entrepreneurship even though the job market is picking up once again. Companies such as Goldman Sachs, e-Bay and Amazon are offering salaries that are 20% to 40% higher than last year.

“The number of students interested in pursuing entrepreneurial activities post their graduation has gone up enormously and by opting for deferred placement, there is an assurance of a Plan B to the students which acts as their safety net in case they fail to succeed in the venture ,” says the placement manager at IIT- Bombay, Mohak Mehta.

A student of IIT Bombay, Abhijit Patil needed the deferred placement option to convince his parents to let him give entrepreneurship a shot. He along with his two friends runs a 3D printing and scanning business. They have been conducting workshops and providing 3D printing services to IIT-B professors and students for the past few months and have already broken even on their initial investment of about Rs 4 lakh.

“Entrepreneurship after engineering college isn’t the most common route. I hail from a small town and both my parents are teachers. Knowing that I had the option to come back for placements gave me as well as my parents the courage,” says Patil.

According to the academy affairs secretary at IIT Madras, Vishranth Suresh, “Nearly 15-20 students at are interested in start-ups at our institute. Earlier we have had 7-8 students whose ventures didn’t take off as expected and they had approached us to sit for placements later. While we didn’t have a policy in place then, we want one now.”

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