Rural management

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Rural management is the study of planning, organising, directing, and controlling of rural area, co-operatives, agribusiness and allied fields. It merges the knowledge of management studies and applying it in the rural context. Most of the courses are designed in such a way that the concepts taught in the class is applied in the real life through training in the rural areas through case-studies and interaction with the rural people

Rural Management Institutes in India[edit]

There are many academic institutions within India offering courses on Rural Management. Notable among them are Institute of Rural Management, Anand (www.irma.ac.in), KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM), Bhubaneswar (ksrm.ac.in) and Xavier University, Bhubaneswar (ximb.ac.in). They offer either two years' Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management or Two Years' Masters in Business Administration (MBA-Rural Management).

Rural Management graduates work in the areas like sustainable rural livelihoods, agri-business management, cooperatives, climate change, micro-finance, corporate social responsibility, natural resources management, rural marketing, commodity trading and marketing and social entrepreneurship.

Apart from the classroom based courses, IRMA and KSRM provide opportunities to their rural management students to undergo three field segments (internships) of 10–11 weeks duration. In other words, the curriculum is designed to make it contextual to develop rural areas through experiential learning, live projects.

  • Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat, India - www.irma.ac.in
  • KIIT School of Rural Management (MBA-Rural Management)- KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • Xavier School of Rural Management, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India www.xsrm.edu.in

Growing scope of Rural Management in India[edit]

India has close to 4,000 management schools that produce over 300,000 graduates every year. But the country has few niche management schools focusing on the rural sector. Rural management schools produce less than 1,000 rural managers. The small number is surprising considering the importance of the rural sector, or Bharat, in India's economy.

According to a study by global consulting firm Accenture, the rural economy accounts for 50 per cent of the country's gross domestic product. It also makes up 70 per cent of the country's population and 50 per cent of the work force. About 75 percent of new factories built in the past decade have come up in rural India, which accounts for 75 per cent of all new manufacturing jobs. Since 2000, per capita GDP has grown at 6.2 per cent a year in rural India compared with 4.2 per cent in urban areas. And in terms of spending, Bharat has trumped India by a mile. Between 2009 and 2012, Indians in the countryside spent $69 billion compared with $55 billion in big towns and cities.

Harish Manwani, chairman of Hindustan Unilever Ltd, says rural India is a powerhouse with the potential to add $1.8 trillion, or the equivalent of the current GDP, to the country's economy. But this potential can be realised only if Bharat and India merge.

Mainstream management schools have not ventured into rural management for many reasons. The rural management courses are very niche and they call for students with a different set of attitudes. The teaching approach is also different. Most mainstream schools may not be prepared to handle such subjects," says Professor Abraham Koshy, professor of marketing at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Experts say there is room for more rural management schools. For a country of India's size and the number of problems we face, there is a need for lot more such institutions. There is a need to create a lot of rural managers who are potential agents of change.

Rural Management is one such specialisation which gives you the chance to contribute towards uplifting and betterment of those sections of the society, where the light of development is yet to reach. The purpose of the rural managers is to promote sustainable, eco-friendly and equitable socioeconomic development of rural area through professional management of their institutions and organisations. Previously, only a few people opted for this challenging course but nowadays, a lot of students are opting for this course of rural management as they want to learn and showcase their skills to ensure that the performance in the rural sector is enhanced.

Unique areas of Rural Management in terms of course and career[edit]

The MBA (Rural Management) programme is unique in the sense that in addition to traditional management courses such as Project Management, Accounting, Quantitative Techniques, Managerial Analysis and Communication, Finance, Marketing Management, many specialised courses focusing on management of rural sector are offered.

Agribusiness Management, Rural Production and Livelihoods, Rural Finance and Commercial Banking, Natural Resources Management and Climate Change, Rural Marketing, CSR Management, Micro Finance, ICTs for Development, Innovation in Rural Development and Enterprises, Policy and Programme Interventions in Rural Development are some of the courses especially focusing on the rural sector.

Anyone who completes MBA (Rural Management) has the advantage of having career opportunities in any general management area. In addition to that, Rural Management graduates alone are preferred in specific areas mentioned above.

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