India's e-commerce boom lures Wharton MBAs back home

For decades Indians have gone abroad for their MBAs to gain international work experience or to use their qualification as a ticket to emigrate to their dream destination.

But things are changing now. With Asian economies becoming stronger, MNCs expanding operations here and Indians turning to entrepreneurship, many are returning after getting those much-sought-after certificates.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Indian students studying abroad are making the most of the entrepreneurship platform that most global business schools provide. They not only create opportunities to interact with investors but also provide funding support in the form of seed capital and expose students to experienced entrepreneurs. This is why 15 of the 70-80 Indians of Wharton's 2012 MBA batch have already turned entrepreneurs.

Reuters

Moreover, even though India's growth has slowed, the economy is still growing at six percent plus, while in the West it is zero or two percent.

With visa norms getting stricter by the day and job opportunities dwindling in the US as the government there insist on providing jobs to natives, it is a no-brainer to return, especially since consumer goods and computer services, financial services and consulting sectors are all expanding here. Moreover, now MNCs and Indian companies ready to compensate at par with salaries abroad.

But the biggest factor luring Indians back is the growth of start-ups in India. Indian entrepreneurs are churning out winning ideas, which in turn are attracting millions of dollars in funding. In fact, the e-commerce boom accounted for the maximum chunk of private equity and venture capital deals in 2011, and the sector has grown 800 percent since 2008, a study by global advisory firm Zinnov showed.

Rising angel investing and growing internet usage have helped spawn hundreds of new start-ups developing technology, building online retail portals or education and healthcare ventures.

This boom is also evident from the fact that over five offers were made by small companies and start-ups at IIM Ahmedabad this year.

Snapdeal made over 20 offers across IIMs and 75 at IITs, e-tailer of books and electronics Flipkart hired 120 graduates from IITs and 23 from IIMs and other top B-schools. The prospect of bigger responsibilities and faster growth are driving graduates to look for opportunities in the e-commerce space, data from TeamLease Services showed.

Venture Capital firms have invested $363 million across 100 deals in India during the six months ending June 2012, data by Venture Intelligence showed. Top growth investments included , Russian VC firm ru-Net Holdings investing $9 million in Sequoia Capital-backed online apparel brand Freecultr and $8 million in online shoe retailer BeStylish. Other online services firms that raised funding during Q2'12 included online taxi aggregator Olacabs and ethnic wear e-tailer Cbazaar.com.

Now, even the Indian government wants to capitalise on this boom and has set aside Rs 10,000 crore for startups interested in creation of apps for mobile phones, tablets and other electronic hardware.