Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Feb 20, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Sun shines for agri-MANAGErs
HYDERABAD, Feb. 19
THERE may be job cuts in the IT sector and the best B-school graduates might be getting less offers and that too with vastly reduced pay packets, but the story appears different for qualified candidates in the agri-business sector.
The demand for techno-managers in the agri-business sector is growing with the transformation of Indian agriculture into a commercial and market driven process following liberalisation and globalisation of the economy.
This trend is evident from the fact that every student who has graduated from the agri-business school of the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) here since 1998 has been employed either by a national or a multi-national agri-business company and that too at an initial average salary of over Rs 2.6 lakh per annum.
The companies which recruited MANAGE's students of Post-Graduate Programme in Agri-Business Management (PGPABM) include Advanta, Bayer, BASF, Britannia, Cyanamid, Dabur, DCM-Shriram Chemicals, EID Parry, ITC group, Indofil Chemicals, J K Seeds, Marico, NFCL, Rallis India, SPIC-PHI Seeds, Searle, Shriram Bioseeds, Zeneca-ICI and Zuari Industries.
Besides, several companies including AgrEvo, De-nocil, Indo-Gulf, Monsanto, Clause International, MAHYCO, Novartis, Pepsi Foods, Sunseeds, Wockhardt, Mahindra and Mahindra and Food World have come forward to provide summer placement opportunities for the students.
According to the Director General of MANAGE, Mr A. K. Goel, more and more business organisations are visiting the institute's campus every year for recruitment. The major sectors for which placement demands have been coming forth include agro-chemicals, seeds, agro-processing, fertilisers, oilseeds and food sectors.
The recruitment time for the 30 students graduating from the institute has shrunk from a month in 1998 to a couple of days even in the comparatively difficult year for jobs - in 2001, Mr Goel said. MANAGE started the PGPABM in 1996 for the purpose of producing quality techno-managers in the agri-business sector.
The two-year course is open only to agricultural graduates and is fully contextualised to focus on agri-business. It imparts training in critical areas such as e-commerce, ERP, participatory extension management, micro- finance and rural finance.
The Principal Co-ordinator of PGPABM, Dr Vikram Singh, says the courses offered will provide a progressive learning sequence step by step from concepts, tools and techniques to their application in the agri-business context. Some of the courses relate to agri-inputs marketing, agri-export marketing, agricultural economics, financial management and policy issues.
A detailed feasibility study undertaken by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) before launching the programme had indicated high demand potential for such managerial manpower. Encouraged by the success of its endeavour, MANAGE has now opened a sub-centre in Jaipur with an intake of 30 students.
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