Author(s):S Raghu Raman (Professor IFMR GSB , Krea University) and V Anantha Nageswaran (Member, PM’s economic advisory council and ex-Dean IFMR GSB)
Studies show that bringing in simple practices related to target setting, establishing incentives and monitoring performance can bring about substantial improvements in productivity, sales growth and reduction in product defects of MSMEs. Training entrepreneurs obviously appears to be the most time-tested and feasible intervention to bring about such a change. But are these training initiatives possible? What impact would it have on the entrepreneurs? What challenges would private entities face in conducting such training programs? To answer these questions, a training initiative in Tamil Nadu by Poornatha was examined. The program titled ‘Journey in Joy’ (JnJ) offered business skills training for 27 entrepreneurs in the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu. For this study, data was collected from a survey of all the participants, in-depth interviews conducted with the founder, trainers and 10 participants of the program. Also, data was collected from secondary sources including program content booklets, worksheets and exercises, written and video feedback of participants and business plans that the entrepreneurs had developed as a part of the program. Results from this study point out to a significant shift across entrepreneur mindsets, capabilities and enterprise performance. In short, the program has successfully demonstrated that a customized, impactful and low-cost training program for entrepreneurs is feasible.
Key Words: Entrepreneurship, training effectiveness, MSMEs, entrepreneur mindset