Title: The role of technical institutions in developing a techno-entrepreneurial workforce for sustainable development of SMEs in India

Authors: V.P. Wani, T.K. Garg, S.K. Sharma

Addresses: National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra-136119, India. Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra-136119, India. Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra-136119, India

Abstract: Developing countries such as India are in a state of transition. They are striving to be outward looking global economies rather than inward looking local economies, which will be possible only if small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged. A wider population base capable of entrepreneurial behaviour needs to be developed. Entrepreneurs are the economic visionaries fuelling economic growth; they are the leaders who will pioneer new products and jobs and create new exports. Today, almost all students prefer wage-employment as a career option. This has been aggravated by our education system, which promotes wage-employment for students rather than self-employment. An engineer, through technical entrepreneurship, can bring a technical revolution that can meet the challenges of the emerging scenario of globalisation and liberalisation with key elements of competition rather than protection. Simultaneously, the increasing unemployment problems of engineering students have forced the Indian policy makers to explore new avenues in the small-scale sector and inculcate students towards self-employment/entrepreneurship in their early careers. For the success of the entrepreneurship development programme, there should be more concentration on vision development of an individual entrepreneur than on a project. As shown in the survey conducted by the author to assess the entrepreneurial characteristics and capabilities of engineering students, the entrepreneurial characteristic is observed to be higher than that of their entrepreneurial capability. Indian industry has so far preferred international collaborations rather than academic or domestic R&D organisations in search of technology. It is essential for the industrial sector to develop indigenous technological capabilities in collaboration with the academic institutions. To develop and transfer technology for SMES in India, effective interaction of academic institutions with this sector will be the first step in this direction.

Keywords: techno-entrepreneur; sustainable development; small-scale sector; entrepreneur; wage-employment; self-employment; globalisation; liberalisation; educational system; entrepreneurial capability; SMEs; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2003.003510

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2003 Vol.1 No.1, pp.71 - 88

Published online: 12 Sep 2003 *

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