Farm business may not be typically white collar, but its management is -- at least that's what the trends indicate. Several agri-business management graduates have received overseas calls and top offers at home as well.
Placements of ABM graduates in 2005 by the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and the Institute of Rural Management, Anand bear this out. More jobs poured in this year for IIM-A's agri-business graduates, but what capped the placements were four international offers with one Hitesh Desai bagging the highest annual salary of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million), being placed with Kuwait-based company al-Ghanim. IRMA graduates, too, fared well.
"We have achieved 100 per cent placements as all our 22 students in ABM were placed with Indian and foreign companies. Indian companies and those based in other countries have started showing keen interest in picking up the best brains in the agri-business sector. This year, there were 46 offers for our 22 ABM graduates.
The average annual domestic salary has risen steeply by 35 per cent to Rs 700,000 as compared with Rs 520,000 last year while the maximum annual domestic salary this year was Rs 800,000 offered by ITC, which clearly shows that companies are now ready to spend more on ABM graduates with the sector opening up," Vinod Ahuja, chairman of the ABM programme at IIMA told Business Standard on Monday.
So much was the demand for ABM graduates that 22 were placed with 12 of the 15 companies, which took part in the campus recruitment programme and some more were in the queue but these firms could not be accommodated. A total of 35 placement offers were made, which included the four foreign offers.
"Foreign companies are showing more interest in hiring ABM students from the IIM- as the global markets for agricultural inputs, agri-products and food processing are opening up while the Indian companies are also in the race to hire the best brains. We are witnessing a significant rise in the number of students applying for the ABM course over the past three years and we may increase the number of seats from the existing 30," IIM-A director Bakul Dholakia.
Top business house in Singapore and Malaysia KUOK Oil has also picked up two students from IIM-A this year while the National Dairy Development Board and the National Commodities Derivatives Exchange remained the two top domestic employers, apart from insurance companies ICICI Lombard and HDFC General Insurance.The trend was similar in IRMA as its ABM graduates received leading offers. "With insurance companies readying to tap the rural potential of India, they are offering high salaries to our graduates and this year, the average annual domestic salary was reported to be Rs 264,000 against Rs 210,000 last year. The highest salary was offered by ITC at Rs 730,000 against last year's highest salary of Rs 600,000 offered by the same company," said an IRMA official.