Located at a mere hour’s drive from Ahmedabad is the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). If the words “rural management” pique your interest and you are determined to seek a career that allows you to stand out in a melee of professionals, a course at IRMA is the single best choice you could make as an MBA aspirant. Here are several of the many reasons why:
- An Illustrious History
Founded in 1979 by Dr Verghese Kurien, IRMA is a pioneering institution in rural management education and research. Dr Kurien is renowned as the Father of the White Revolution in India, an initiative that transformed the country from a milk-deficient nation to the world’s largest producer of the same. Led by the insight that professional management is the key to rural development, Dr Kurien established IRMA to provide passionate individuals with an education at par with the leading B-schools of the country.
- Hands-on Learning from Day One
Barely a couple of days into the beginning of the two-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) at IRMA, students are sent off in pairs to villages in Gujarat for a few days. For many of the students, it is their first time ever in a rural environment. There is a lot to learn and observe in this induction, which prepares students to understand the context in which their learning will be based. Not to mention, the hospitality of a family in the hinterlands of Gujarat wins you friends and fond memories for a lifetime.
- The Campus – a Second Home
The moment you enter the gates of IRMA, you are mesmerized by the refreshing quiet and verdancy of the campus. Studying at IRMA means calling sixty acres of lush lawns, wooded stretches, playfields, biking tracks, expansive classrooms and spacious yet cosy single hostel rooms your home for two years. It is not an odd sight to see students spending most of their time outdoors, whether it is to work on assignments or just chat over endless cups of tea. The campus is a quaint combination of stimulating and therapeutic.
- A Microcosm of India
Every year, IRMA admits talented and driven individuals from across the country for its PGDRM course. The batch is composed of individuals from every state in India, and from every educational and vocational background imaginable. Students, faculty and even alumni come together to celebrate every festival and honour every custom that the country holds dear. One would be hard-pressed to find such diversity anywhere else.
- Learning in the Classroom and Beyond
IRMA prides itself on being a B-school with a heart. No subject in the two-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) at IRMA is complete without an intriguing discussion about the application of the acquired knowledge in real-world scenarios. Students at IRMA are called ‘participants’ – proactive and accountable agents of development. Classroom learning is supplemented with an experiential learning segment at the end of the first term. Called the Village Fieldwork Segment (VFS), it entails a two-month long stay at a village anywhere in India in collaboration with a partner organization which operates in the region. Participants are immersed in rural life and expected to conduct studies focussing on the village of their residence. An experience that every IRMAn regards as a life-changing one, the VFS is perhaps the most unique offering in the PRM course.
- Unmatched Exposure
Regular sessions are interspersed with seminars by eminent scholars, entrepreneurs, alumni and change-makers. Participants in the past have had the chance to discuss issues of national and international concern, and have a relaxed tête-à-tête with personalities such as Dr Kiran Bedi, Dr Raghuram Rajan, and Azeem Premji, to name a few.
- Something for Everyone
Even in the most taxing of academic terms, monotony is unheard of at IRMA. There are many student clubs which organize activities throughout the programme. You will never have to go a day without your evening football, or classic movies, or jam sessions. If you have a green thumb, you could even try your hand at organic farming. In the past, IRMAns have also helped children of construction workers and underprivileged settlements keep up with their studies. After all, if you are part of the solution, why wait?
- An Incomparable Legacy
In addition to its distinguished founder, IRMA also boasts of a vibrant alumni network, members of which have made their mark in diverse fields. Participants find inspiration in the legacy of accomplished alumni such as Sanjoy Ghose, Neelima Khetan, S Sivakumar and Girish Menon, to name a few. The alumni network at IRMA is a close-knit one, and continues to support every batch with its collective expertise and camaraderie.
- Exemplary Placement Records
Since its inception, IRMA has maintained a 100 per cent placement record. IRMA attracts organizations from sectors as varied as Cooperatives/Producers Collectives like GCMMF (cooperative body managing the Amul brand) to multinational and national agribusiness corporations like Tolaram, Afriventures, Cummins, Cargill, ITC, to grassroots development organizations like the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society – JEEVIKA.
- An Institute with a Difference
Your choice of B-school influences not only the quality of your learning for two years and immediate career, but also the values that will define you as an effective leader. No matter where an IRMAn is placed, they work with a strong sense of accountability to every stakeholder and the zeal to ensure sustainable growth. IRMA marks you with humility and empathy, and yet the capability to find a solution where none seems possible. It is this spirit that sets IRMAns apart from their peers in every sector, and equips them with the can-do that every professional yearns to achieve.
“You cannot breed princes in a pigsty,” said Dr Kurien once, succinctly explaining why an institution with world-class infrastructure was dedicated to training rural development professionals. If you seek quality education, holistic growth and a career that offers both personal and professional fulfilment, IRMA is the ideal place for you..