Special Correspondent

Plans to introduce executive MBA programme

TPCC will integrate knowledge management

KOLKATA: In a bid to boost tea productivity, the Tea Board of India, along with the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM) has decided to set up a Tea Planters’ Productivity Council (TPCC), Tea Board Chairman Basudeb Banerjee said.

He said there was a lot of disparity in the management practices and the productivity levels among tea estates even within the same region and TPCC would work through district and zonal councils which would work like quality circles, providing a platform for disseminating information on best management practices. “The aim is to place Indian tea on the top through best global quality and productivity management.” There would be 12 TPCC districts (8 in the north and 4 in the south) which will integrate knowledge management and the members of the TPCC would have regular district-level meetings to discuss the modalities for improving all-round productivity.

Officials of IIPM (which is promoted by the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry) said that there were plans to introduce an executive MBA programme focussing on tea. This would be a one-year programme. The IIPM already runs MBA programme for commodity management and has a good placement record.

Mr. Banerjee said that while Rs. 1.25 crore had been earmarked for the TPCC out of the Board’s XI Plan budget of Rs. 50 crore for human resource development, the Tea Board was also sponsoring a scheme for training tea garden workers through the National Productivity Council. He said economic slowdown had not affected tea consumption and exports too were expected to be on course in 2008-09.