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Agri-business management is turning out to be the blue ocean option among MBA courses

Writing about management studies always excites me as it constantly evolves with innovations coming up all the time. The spectrum of the courses continuously expands and contracts driven by industry needs.

In the era of globalisation, the skill development requirements are also not just local but strongly influenced by global trends as well. When I was a student at Leeds University in the U.K., I always wondered if the traditional and age-old teaching system in our country truly helps the students at the time of job hunting.

One question that I often get asked — in the context of clouds over the economic horizons and MBA supposedly losing its sheen -- is which course to take up, which area will have high potential and demand. Let me try to answer that…

India has largely been and still is an agrarian economy. Agriculture is the major source of employment for approximately 58% of the total population. Currently, India is the sixth-largest market for food and grocery market. However, the sector also suffers from multiple challenges.

Realising the importance of the sector and the rural economy to the nation's overall development and economic well-being, a plethora of reforms have been undertaken by the current and previous governments. Also, the last few years we have seen hundreds of start-ups attempting to leverage technology and related innovations to bring efficiency to the agriculture sector and address farmers’ issues. Besides, a growing number of large business groups are also entering the sector, not to mention global agro groups either looking to enter India or scaling up their presence here. All of this will lead to growth in job opportunities in this space. Just for clarity, when one says agri-business, it goes beyond agriculture to include food, animal husbandry, farming machinery, and so on.

Niche advantage

Surprisingly, the sector has never received the attention of the management fraternity; only a handful of them only offer full-time, comprehensive courses in this area, across India. In a way, this is good for a student because if he/she takes up a course in this area, he/she is one of the few versus the thousands he is likely to compete with if he had taken the more popular courses.

Growing demand, less competition — the ingredients are right for agri-business management to be on the plate of choice for every aspirant across India. Just a word of caution though: Please do your homework thoroughly and only choose institutes that have the right credentials, offer a comprehensive and in-depth course, have real industry experts piloting the course curriculum and delivery, and so on. The cherry on the top will be if the course curriculum has been designed by any industry expert. Being a part of the industry, the experts can provide valuable inputs which are imperative to handle the industry’s short-comings.

And, beyond career, agri-business also allows you to make a difference in an area core to the Indian economy and one that will somewhere, in some manner improve the lives of millions of farmers who are the heart and soul of our country. Who says one cannot have it all?

The writer is Chairman, ASM Group of Institutions.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:25:04 AM |

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