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Friday, March 26, 2010

MIT students prefer Indian startups for internships

Bangalore: With several foreign students turning to India to gain experience of the cool technologies offered by Indian start-ups, four MBA students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Sloan School of Management) are all set to start their internship at the online entertainment portal 'Buzzintown', reports Peerzada Abrar from the Economic Times.

They were selected under the Academy's innovative internship programme called 'India Lab' - an initiative of MIT Sloan School of Management. Christy Trang DK LE, an MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management, is doing her internship in Buzzintown to understand India consumer behaviour, which she can use in the entertainment sector in the U.S. This programme combines traditional classroom learning with intensive real-world experience. Student teams work on a three-month, mini-consulting project.

Also, Dhama Apparel Innovations, a startup incubated at the National Design Business Incubator (NDBI) is not only attracting students from foreign universities, but also the premier Indian Institute of Management (IIMs). "We got 200 resumes for industry interface projects and internships," says Prasenjit Kundu, design manager at Dhama. "There is an increasing trend among foreign students to intern in Indian startups as they get exposure to interesting technologies, which is not possible in a big company," says Kundu.

"India is the flavour of the season. Now a lot of students and employees from foreign countries want to add their experience in emerging markets, which is helping them get a better visibility in the job market", says A Suryanarayanan, chief operating officer, NSRCEL, at IIM-Bangalore.

Many foreign students are willing to work for small and mid-sized companies even small ad agencies, NGOs or even online entertainment portals. "India is already the next growth engine and hence, an experience at Indian startups is something which a lot of foreign students are now looking for," says Pranay Gupta, joint CEO, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM-Ahmedabad. "It's just like how a lot of Indian students wanted to do their internships in the U.S. till a few years ago", he says.

"There is more entrepreneurial culture while interning in a startup and you not only get more opportunities but responsibilities as well which create a greater impact. This may not be possible in a big company", says Jai Ashvin Kapadia, an MBA student from the U.S. doing his internship at an Indian start up.

Gridbots, a young company which specialises in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine vision, is also attracting a lot of interns from foreign universities like Duke University. Gridbots, incubated at CIIE, helps interns get a feel of robotic science. They are taught how to develop smart machine vision solutions, incorporate advanced machine vision technology which can detect faces and other objects in the pictures automatically.

Terry Chun-Hong Yee, an MBA student doing his internship at an Indian startup, says more and more students are joining startups as the economy is becoming stable. "I am more interested in online gaming sector", says Terry Chun-Hong Yee.

NextGen, a clean technology startup incubated at NSRCEL and which has bagged customers such as Infosys, Intel, MindTree, ICICI has now started its operations in Hong Kong and formed partnerships in Singapore and Portugal, has also got internship requests from many foreign students, said Abhishek Humbad, Chief Executive at NextGen.

Also, foreign students are also interning at companies such as ADEA, Bangalore, Ras Maestros, Mumbai, SPX Wireless Communication, New Delhi and Srinivasan Services Trust, Chennai.

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