IIT Bombay’s Deferred Placement Policy (DPP) has started from the 2014-15 batch. It allows 12 graduating students to pursue their own startups. And they are loving it!
Anurag Meena, a 22-year-old physics engineering student, has the rare distinction of having cleared the entrance exam for Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) as well as the All Indian Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT). He picked physics but his interest in medical sciences did not waver. He is combining his love for technology and medicine and is developing non-invasive methods of drug delivery.
“These healthcare products were a part of a project that I started during my third year. I did not want to leave it just as a thesis in documents. I wanted to convert it into a product. At this point, I feel I don’t have much to lose and I can give it a complete shot,” he said.
Meena is one of the 12 students from the IIT Bombay batch of 2014-15 who opted out of placements to pursue their own business ideas.
Meena and the others have turned down placement packages ranging in crores. This year, a Rs. 2-crore package by Facebook was the highest-offered placement. Other MNCs like Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Samsung Korea offered packages of Rs. 1+ crore and over 1,000 students from IIT Bombay secured jobs in the first phase of on-campus placements itself.
These budding entrepreneurs have a fallback option in IIT Bombay’s new programme called the Deferred Placement Policy (DPP). DPP allows the students to return to campus for interviews in the next two years if their business idea doesn’t work out.
Keshav Kumar, another engineer from the mechanical stream, has developed an e-commerce website for industrial, development and research equipment. “For four years, we have been working on projects for college related to robotics or mechanics. I realized that there was a huge gap in the market for equipment and often we had to drop our project ideas due to lack of products. This led to the idea of Omnikart.com. We are standardizing the entire process and making a network for all vendors,” he explained.
Abhijit Patil worked for a year at TVS motors for a year before he realized that a 9 to 5 job was not his cup of tea. He wanted to make better use of his knowledge of technology and started Dimension NXG, a 3D printing and scanning company with two other friends. “3D technology has been in use for more than a decade now. But, in India, it is a relatively new technology. Our first aim was to spread awareness about it through seminars and workshops,” he said.
“We are now working on two products – MiniME and ProSurgi. Through 3D scanning and printing, we create miniatures of people. Our target is special events like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions that people would like to capture. PriSurgi is another patent where we will take X-rays from doctors and convert them into 3D models. This will allow doctors to visualize the human organs before they open the patients’ bodies to operate on them,” he added.
Apart from a back-up option, DPP is also helping these students by providing constant feedback about their entrepreneurial ventures.
Under the DPP, interested students are required to submit business proposals about their startup which are then scrutinized by a panel comprising of professors, entrepreneurs and angel investors. On the basis of innovation and prospective revenue generation, only 12 students are short-listed.
The panel will also mentor these students and help them validate the progress of the startup. After two years, if the panel thinks that a particular venture will not work out due to various reasons like changing market dynamics among others, the students can apply again for the placement process.