It’s not just the vast green fields that beckon students finishing a course in rural management. Alumni of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, or IRMA are not surprised when amazing job offers come their way. One could be at a global farm produce supplier in Jakarta, another one with a cola
Making a difference: Neelima Khetan, an alumni from IRMA, has come a long way — from working at a Gandhi ashram in a tribal area to heading the corporate social responsibility section of Coca-Cola
major in India or an offer to run a mining and metal company in Africa. The range of career options for IRMAns is wider than you might have thought.
The farm connect
S Sivakumar is credited with creating the ITC eChaupal, which connects it with more than four million farmers via the internet for procurement of agricultural and aquaculture products. Farmers, bypassing middlemen, can use the internet to check vital information like crop prices in India and abroad as well as weather information.
Making a difference where it matters the most counts the most for Sivakumar.
“The difference one can make to the disadvantaged sections of society gives one enormous satisfaction. There is scope for tremendous innovation, as we have demonstrated with pioneering business models such as ITC eChoupal,” he says.
Sivakumar joined IRMA because he liked the “fusion idea” of rural management. “Until then it was ‘rural development’ or ‘business management’,” says Secunderabad-based Sivakumar, now chief executive - agri businesses, ITC Limited, a diversified conglomerate.
“The specially developed ‘rural oriented’ case studies for teaching in class, and the field work stint where we lived in villages for several weeks, helped create tremendous appreciation of rural realities,” he adds.
However, the curriculum could do with some change. Sivakumar says while in their student days, the training focused mainly on cooperatives “as the only form of organisation that could empower rural producers. The students could gain a lot if courses are designed to build ‘institutional innovation’ capability to conceive other forms of organisations suiting different contexts.”
That could equip students for new avenues in this “sunrise” and allied sectors. “There will be both entrepreneurial and managerial opportunities in an evolving space like ‘rural services’,” says Sivakumar.
IRMA: Salaries and jobs
Annual salaries offered during campus placement at IRMA last year
* Average salary: Rs. 8.07 lakh
* Maximum salary: Rs. 14.80 lakh
* Minimum salary: Rs. 3.84 lakh
Employers which recruited from IRMA last year:
* Bihar Government | Jeevika Project, Patna
* Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), Anand
* Kancor Ingredients Limited, Cochin
* Yes Bank, Agri Rural and Social Banking (ARSB), Mumbai
* IDBI Bank Ltd | Agri Business Group, Mumbai
* AISECT | e-Governance, Bhopal
* Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Limited, Noida
* Gujarat State Fertiliser Corporation Limited (GSFC), Vadodara
* Reliance Foundation, Mission BIJ, Mumbai
* Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Govt. of AP, Hyderabad
* Srei - Sahaj e-Village Limited, Kolkata
* Atyati Technologies, Bengaluru
* Digital Green, New Delhi