MBA is the done thing these days — MBA in HR, MBA in marketing, MBA in finance, MBA in operations. But for those who want to do an MBA, but still stay off the beaten track, there is agribusiness management – a course that is in demand in almost all economies.
The IIM-A is one of the few management schools in the world, which offer a Post Graduate Programme in Agribusiness Management (PGP-ABM) to prepare managers, business leaders and entrepreneurs in the food and agribusiness sector. The PGP-ABM is a full-time, two-year residential programme that is specially designed for students who want to pursue a management career in agriculture, food, agri-business, rural and allied sectors of the economy.
The programme equips a student with adequate knowledge, skill and attitude required to start up an agricultural enterprise. It motivates the entrepreneurial spirit and nurtures their capabilities to become leaders in this field. The curriculum includes everything from production and marketing of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery and equipment, livestock feed, irrigation, and credit to production, procurement, processing, and marketing of output such as agriculture (includes crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, agro forestry, horticulture, dairying) marketing, agro processing, and food processing.
It also includes providing services to agriculture such as export and import, rural banking, financing agri projects, insurance, logistics, water management, research and development and rural energy.
The eligibility criteria differs from institute to institute (for the IIM-A, of course, the criteria is the CAT) but for most, graduation in subjects like agriculture, food technology, agricultural engineering, dairy technology, animal husbandry, horticultural fisheries and forestry from any recognised university is required.
Other institutes that offer this course are Institute of Agri-Business Management in Noida, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry in Himachal Pradesh, XLRI in Jamshedpur and the Institute of Agribusiness Management in Bikaner, among others.
The agribusiness sector has witnessed tremendous growth in recent times, especially the food retailing and micro finance sectors. This trend has launched a new era of career opportunities for candidates with a management degree in agribusiness.
The various positions available in this sector are plantation managers, estate managers with tea/coffee/rubber estates, commodity traders, commodity buyers, procurement managers, warehouse managers, quality managers with food retail firms, agricultural insurance managers. Agribusiness managers are also absorbed in the public sector and by NGOs.
The salaries are at par with other MBAs from reputed institutes.
– Priya Chaphekar