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Goa seeks to promote entrepreneurship spirit among students

A move is under way in Goa, a state where the service industry accounts for half of its income and provides 40 percent employment, to evangelise college students and convert them from 'job seekers to job givers'. A joint initiative by the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Goa Principal's Forum (GPF) and NGO I Create India, it aims at promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship and will reach out to 18 colleges and 9,000 students spread across the state.

"We have tied up with the Goa Principal's Forum and I Create India. The former will provide us with the necessary students while the latter, an entrepreneurship promotion initiative will provide the know-how for this outreach programme," GCCI President Manguirish Pai Raikar told IANS.

"The I Create India programme completely simplifies the language of business. It has no jargon, and is taught in the local language, so that academically weak students and even drop-outs can understand the concepts of fixed costs, stock inventory, reading balance-sheets, putting together business plans and the like," Raikar said.

According to Raikar, Ulhas Kamat, the CEO of the entrepreneur development initiative and an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumnus of Goan origin, was keen on harnessing and locally moulding young business talent.

Anil Dinge, Principal of the PES college in Ponda and Convener of the GPF, said that the primary objective of the initiative was to change students' mindset from that of job seekers to one of job givers.

"We are trying to instill a seed of self-employment in the students. There are 18 colleges in the association. From these, we have at least 500 students involved in the programme from each college," Dinge said.

With Goa's economy driven by the mining and tourism sectors, the service industry in Goa is one of the biggest contributors to the state's coffers. According to research conducted by Geetanjali Urankar of the GVM College of Commerce and Economics, Goa's economy is 'service-led'.

"Goa, one of the smallest states of India, has witnessed a tremendous growth in its service sector, which has contributed over 50 percent to the state's income and over 40 percent to the state's employment over the last decade, making it a service-led economy," she states in her research paper.

According to Dinge, it was just such kind of over-reliance on the service industry which needed to be checked.

"We need to create and develop people locally who can give jobs and not just become job-takers. That balance needs to be struck," Dinge said.