The Booming MBA Specialization: Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise

In 2014, 3,100 new companies (startups) were born in India. With this, it is believed, India became the 3rd most popular destination globally for starting new companies following USA (41,500) & UK (4,000).
However, according to a report on, over 80% of startups in India
don’t make it to their 4th year. While there are various reasons for this, the 2 most common factors are: lack of funding/going bankrupt and recruitment of an
inappropriate team. However, that doesn’t stop the India Start-up Report from projecting that in 2020, India would be home to 2000 startups in Technology or Digital Products
alone, compared to 805 in 2014.

So what would
be the career path for a candidate who wants to be an entrepreneur? An ideal graph
would be 4-6 years of work experience, either in a large corporate or a mid-size
company, followed by an MBA degree. Of course many override this by having less
work experience and/or no specialized skill development, perhaps even venturing
into their family business straight after graduation. The traditional,
risk-averse, cash-flow intensive family businesses had stringent policies to survive, and
they did. Ironically, these could increasingly also become the reasons new-age
entrepreneurships don’t see the light of the next decade in India.

An MBA could
be the milestone that hones entrepreneurship skills while delving into
successes and failures of businesses not just globally, but specifically in the
Indian context. For example, INSEAD organizes a field trip to India for all
their MBA candidates who choose Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise as their
electives. Here candidates intricately partake with family business heads about
the traditions, dynamics, and growth of their businesses over the years.

Wharton teaches entrepreneurship in great detail from the onset, the psychology of children
growing up in the environment of family businesses, intra-family relationships
and the impacts on the economy in the profit and non-profit context. With a
variety of sub-modules from Change, Innovation & Entrepreneurship to
Building Human Assets in Entrepreneurial Ventures, Wharton covers extensive
Indian family business examples to help candidates discover the unique setup of
entrepreneurship that has changed phenomenally over time, yet remained an important
part of the Indian economy.

Similarly, Harvard,
UNC Kenan-Flagler, Kellog, University of Notre Dame and ISB, amongst others, offer
MBAs in Entrepreneurship and Family Business Enterprise that revolve around
integrating professionalism into these startups or unorganized businesses, analyzing
the social and economic policies affecting them, as well as managing succession
and resolving conflicts. All these curriculums are rich in case
studies from the Indian and global context, along with incorporating candidates’
perspectives from their various backgrounds and experiences.

Many candidates
who have family backing pursue this specialization to further grow their
business and merge it with contemporary applications. Others simply want to initiate
something of their own, then sell it to bigger ventures or successfully carry
it on until they see fit. Either way, choosing the route of an MBA in
Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise post a few years of work experience will
give you not just the know-how of running your own business and incorporating
traditional and alternative principles that run this sector, but also the leadership
skills to strategize, implement and execute successfully for, well, as long
as you wish to!