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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

In His Core Lies the Good Old IITian

Zoya Anna Thomas
Monday, October 5, 2009
Zoya Anna Thomas
When he helped found the IITs in 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister didn’t realize that he was giving his best gift to the nation. In India, most students, staff, and alumni look at campus incubators as the perfect launch pad for their business ideas. Easy access, infrastructure, and most importantly, mentoring are the advantages that attract most students to campus incubators. And leading the list of campus incubators are those of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

IIT is of course, as everyone knows, in a class of its own. This technology institute churns out more entrepreneurs than any other institute in India. Check any successful Indian company, and chances are there will be an IITian among its top executives. Talk about experienced entrepreneurs and successful organizations, and several IITian names crop up. Vinod Khosla (IIT-Delhi) the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and one of the most powerful men in Silicon Valley would be the best example.

So what is that extra zing that makes IITians different? What additional value do they add to build their companies differently and make them successful? The sprawling campuses, the world-class infrastructure, the best professors, or maybe the very talented and resourceful students themselves are the drive behind this. Speak to any IITian entrepreneur, and he will concur. However, a majority of them say that it is the confidence that IIT education gives, which makes them stand in good stead.

“There is one thing that you would come across as a characteristic in every IITian and that is immense confidence, which springs from a deep sense of self-belief. The very fact that every individual who clears the prestigious IIT-JEE examination knows what competition is and has toiled and has gone and grown through the tough times instils such confidence in him that he considers everything possible,” says Vamsi Krishna (IIT-Bombay), founder and Director at Lakshya.

It is this confidence that propels many IITians towards entrepreneurship. After coming into the IIT, they interact with different people, all from various backgrounds and from different parts of the country. Four years are spent with intellectual people who have mutual respect, because everyone knows that the people, who they are sitting with, also deserve being there.

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