E-cells in India: Have They Churned Any Successful Start-ups?

E-cells in an educational institution are promoting the ‘culture of self-employment and self-reliance’ by building successful start-ups.

India has the second-largest start-up ecosystem in the world. The government initiatives like ‘Start-up India’ and Make in India’ are primarily responsible for boosting this ecosystem in the country and platforms like E-cells in India are the building blocks of start-ups.

E-Cells: Meaning & Purpose

E-cells stands for ‘Entrepreneurship cells’ dedicated to promote and ignite the entrepreneurship spirit in students while they are still in their experimental age. E-cells promote the culture of entrepreneurship at an early age and encourage the students to begin with their own enterprise, nurture a passion for self-employment and be self-reliant. The objective of E-cells is to create awareness, develop products and business based on knowledge, develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem and mind-set among students and youth who take the lead in creating innovative hi-tech ventures and becoming job creators.

E-cells are non-profit organisations run by college students to create, build innovative solutions to the problems existing in society. The education institutions provide multiple platforms to groom the potential entrepreneurs by guiding them and making them aware of the government schemes to build the required skills through E-cells.


E-cells in India are the building blocks of start-ups

E-cells in India

Some of the known e-cells in India: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the majority of their colleges like IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Calcutta, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur. Apart from these, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode, NIT Tamil Nadu, Birla Institute of Technology (BITS) Pilani and the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) are known for providing the desired platform in their colleges. They are either funded by the administration, Alumni or investors.

Start-ups emerged from E-cell

E-cells give an opportunity to any budding entrepreneur to ideate and turn that idea into a successful venture. They organise events like business plan competition, product development and help to improve on the ideas.

There are various start-ups that have emerged because of these opportunities provided by the E-cells and some are now generating revenue and are successful organisations. Some of them have joined the Unicorn Club too. The list is huge but let’s look at a few of them below:

BITS Pilani – Swiggy, Zivame, Big Basket, RedBus, Cleartax, Groww, GreyOrange and Postman

IIT Delhi – FlipKart, Snapdeal, Zomato, upGrad, ReNew Power Ventures and Grofers

IIT Bombay – Ola Cabs and The Cricket Digest

IIT Kanpur – Myntra, cure.fit, InMobi, Glance and Policybazaar

The list keeps on growing every year. For instance, IIT Delhi incubated start-up, Nanosafe Solutions launched an antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal water storage container named ‘AqCure’ in 2020. Moreover, the start-ups being churned from the support of E-cells are not limited to one sector.

What’s in it for me?

With the presence of a conducive environment, proper nurturing, passionate ideas, timely funding, the right feedback on the business model and product development, the budding entrepreneurs can work on and grow their business idea into a successful venture.  

Set up of entrepreneurship cells in the educational institute would boost the self-employment concept and self-reliance among the students. The sense of achievement of creating, starting up something of their own and then being successful at it means a higher level of satisfaction, freedom and happiness.

Start-up culture has got a push and support from the Indian government and so the educational institutions are also gearing up to establish the start-ups from their internal entrepreneurship platforms, E-cells to continue and promote the culture of creating jobs.

Roopali Kotwal
Roopali Kotwal
Roopali is a former author with Dutch Uncles, a subject matter expert with over a decade of experience. She writes on Human Resource Management and Business Operations.


  1. Really informative, and having entrepreneurial mindset is so very important for the self growth and innovation. The by-product definitely it economic growth of the country.


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