MBA in Rural Management -  An MBA in Rural Management involves the application of management principles to the rural sector. The specialists in Rural Management are needed in CSR wings of the corporate and public sector, livelihoods focused organisations, micro-finance institutions, small finance banks among others. MBA in Rural Management specialisation prepares students to take on challenging responsibilities in rural and developmental organizations and visit rural areas, interact and stay with villagers as a part of their fieldwork, while an organizational internship gives them a hands-on experience of working in a rural setup. Let’s discover the career opportunities and scope of employment with MBA in Rural Management programme.

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MBA in Rural Management: Opportunities on the Upswing


What is Rural Management?

Rural Management refers to the study of planning, organising, directing and controlling rural areas, cooperatives, agri-business and allied fields. The curriculum is designed to make it contextual to develop rural areas through experiential learning, live projects. 


MBA in Rural Management - Course Curriculum

Despite the specialisation, the core areas of the MBA programme remain same, which include Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, among others. The curriculum also includes areas such as Rural Society and Polity, Rural Marketing, CSR Management among others.


MBA in Rural Management – Tranforming Rural Lives

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The future of India lies in its villages. The statement made by Mahatma Gandhi stands relevant even today. The development of the country like India is largely dependent on the development of the rural areas. While deciding upon his career path, an MBA aspirant generally chooses a specialisation which is not only lucrative in terms of building a career but also give you a sense of giving it back to the society.

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 villagers through professional management of their institutions and organisations.


MBA in Rural Management - A Promising sector

Dr. Jeemol Unni, former Director, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), states, “The programme is meant for those students who wish to participate in nation building in rural India which has a very high demand for professionals.”

According to a report by the Ministry of Rural Development, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), 4.67 crore rural households were provided employment in 140.24 lakh works and in the process 187.91 crore person days of employment were generated. There was high participation from marginalized groups like ST (39 percent) and women (56 per cent). Around 11.42 crore Bank and Post Office accounts have been opened in order to disburse wages. 


Managing the Rural Sector – The Prospects and Profits

The budget allocated for rural and agricultural development increased by 24% in FY 2017-18 to Rs. 1.87 trillion. Out of which MGNREGS was allocated Rs. 48,000 crore and Rs. 19,000 crore was allocated to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna or PMGSY.

Although the general notion is that the employment opportunities lie only in the non-profit organisations, but in reality, there is equal scope in getting recruited in corporate sectors in the CSR department or allied areas. As Dr. V Venkatakrishnan, Dean, KIIT School of Rural Management, shares, “Unlike the past when the Rural Management specialists were finding opportunities mostly in the Dairy or Agribusiness related sectors, many new areas have opened up. The specialists in Rural Management are needed in CSR wings of corporate and public sector, livelihoods focused organisations, micro-finance institutions, small finance banks among others.”

Rakesh SaxenaINTERVIEW

Dr. Rakesh Saxena,  

Director, IRMA

Placement Opportunities on the upswing


Careers360: What is the scope of ‘Rural Management’ as a specialisation?

Dr. Saxena: The rural economy has a vast potential for growth. With the increasing focus on the rural sector, the placement opportunities for the rural management graduates have also been expanding in this sector. Despite increasing batch sizes in recent years, IRMA has always been able to achieve 100 percent placement for its students with rising average salaries. Normally, the job positions taken up by the PGDRM holders have more autonomy, responsibilities and opportunities for decision making which may help in faster personal and professional growth and development.


Careers360: How often do you review and revise the curriculum? Who are the stakeholders that you consult during the process?

Dr. Saxena: IRMA has a Programme Review Committee which undertakes needs assessment by engaging with students, faculty, major recruiters, academics from other institutions and a cross-section of the alumni. The Review Committee’s recommendations are examined by the Academic Council and the Board of Governors before the new curriculum gets adopted keeping in view the needs of business and industry.


No changes have been incorporated in the core courses of our curriculum over the past two to three years. The overall curriculum is usually reviewed every five years.

Prof. L.K. VaswaniINTERVIEW

Prof. L.K. Vaswani,


KIIT School of Rural Management,

KIIT University, Bhubaneswar

Experiential learning is one of the core components of Rural Management


Careers360: What are the unique areas of Rural Management in terms of course and career which make the graduates stand out?

Prof. Vaswani: 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.


Careers360: What is the total number of seats and fee for the MBA-RM programme?

Prof. Vaswani: Our KIIT School of Rural Management has a sanctioned capacity of 100 seats for MBA (Rural Management) programme since 2007.

Our total all inclusive fees for the entire duration of the MBA (Rural Management) is Rs. 6.47 lakhs.


Careers360: How have you incorporated the current industry trends and demands into the curriculum and pedagogy of the programme?

Prof. Vaswani: Matching with the requirement of the industry, courses focusing on Sustainable Development, E-Business, Innovation in Rural Development and Enterprises, Farmer Producer Organizations have been introduced from 2017-18. Apart from that the curriculum has undergone changes as in most of the courses the recent developments have been incorporated.


Careers360: How has the Rural Management sector developed over the past four to five years?

Prof. Vaswani: Unlike in the past when the Rural Management specialists were finding opportunities mostly in the dairy or agribusiness related sectors, many new areas have opened up. Compared to just one or two B-Schools offering MBA (Rural Management) programme a decade ago, about 15 B-Schools/University departments are now offering programmes on Rural Management as in 2017.

Specialists in Rural Management are needed in CSR wings of corporate and public sector, organisations focused on livelihoods, microfinance institutions, small finance banks, consulting firms, rural energy and technology oriented organisations, international and national level development organisations.


Careers360: What kind of candidature do you look for among the aspirants?

Prof. Vaswani: Any graduate with strong interest in the rural sector and willing to work anywhere in India and outside will be preferred over others.

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