India lives in villages – this is the hard fact which no one can deny. With 70 percent of 125 crore population living in rural areas and going by a rough estimate as revealed by the recently changed Government’s policies for Rural Development, the day is not far when more than 50 percent of India’s marketing, finance and human resources management programmes will require more and more qualified professionals with MBA in Rural Management courses. This is the reason that more and more multinationals are attracted towards the skilled professionals with MBA in Rural Management  to cater to the needs of huge potential of rural market in India

 Since the demand for rural managers is rising consistently and more and more MBA Rural Management Courses in India are being introduced, the MBA rural management jobs are also on the rise. Not only at campus placements, the job opportunities for qualified MBAs in Rural Management are available with high salary packages outside as well.

IIMs, University affiliated institutions, autonomous and private institutes have realized the importance of the Rural Management programs like MBA in Rural Management offering specialization in Rural Marketing, Management of Rural resources including Human Resources, Rural Financing among others. More and more companies with tremendous investments with focused attention on Rural Markets.

MBA in Rural Management: Programme Highlights

MBA in Rural Management Syllabus

The Rural Management Syllabus is divided into two years and six semesters. In the first year MBA in Rural Management syllabus is more or less to develop the foundation of the student with leadership skills. In the second year the specialization areas in MBA in Rural Management syllabus are different. 

The key topics for the MBA in Rural Management Syllabus are:

MBA in Rural Management: Key Characteristics

Rural Management programmes offer learning and managing the rural markets which are prominently dominated by agriculture and allied products by using locally available raw material. IRMA is the pioneer management institution offering rural management programme for the last four decades with high placement record. IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow launched their Agribusiness Management programmes later on, although these Agri Business management programmes also focus on rural management apart from Agri business Management

MBA in Rural Management applies the management theories and practice with their modified process meant for rural areas that can be converted into high potential market in future. The planning, organising, making the rural areas develop fruitfully with profit generation for the products, studying with a view to develop the  cooperatives, agri-business and allied activities are part of the courses in MBA Rural Management. 

The rural management courses include the application of management principles to the rural sector, defining the requirements like making available the required finance, the public or private sector banking institutions operating, inculcating the interest of corporate sector, the extant rural life style and proposed changes in improving the production and marketing strategy of agriculture produce, rural products, establishing meaningful Self Help Groups (SHGs) to consolidate the rural produce and getting high return on it. Since management experts are required to streamline all these areas in rural management, the Rural Management Colleges adopt a focused pedagogy of studying these challenging aspects of rural management which is more practical, case study based than class room based. Field visits and stay in rural areas, industries manufacturing products procured from rural areas, co-operatives, SHGs are part of focused pedagogy and internships.

IIM Ahmedabad FABM, IIM Lucknow ABM, IRMA PGDRM, XUB MBA-Rural Management are only some examples of the Management programmes in Rural Management. A consistent rising demand for graduates in Rural Management, with high career prospects as reflected in higher salaries offered by the companies in the placement seasons over past few years is a clear indicator of the importance commanded by MBA programmes in rural management. 

What is the difference between MBA Rural Management & MBA Agri Business Management?

MBA in various other areas are very common but the Rural Management MBA or MBA in Agri Business management is not well understood by most of the MBA aspirants. So, before we delve deep into the top Rural management colleges offering Rural Management courses in India or Agri Business Management courses in India, we should know what is a Rural or Agribusiness Management MBA, how good are these rural management courses in India, what are the career prospects after completing the course of MBA in Rural Management or Agribusiness management

While the basics of MBA in Rural Management and MBA in Agribusiness Management are more or less same as both the programmes focus on Agriculture and Rural Market Development based on Agricluture and allied activities, the basic difference between the two is that the Agriculture business management gives you comprehensive learning on how to manage and develop agriculture & food production, green houses, vertical farming, roof top farming techniques that can be done in rural as well urban areas and the Rural management is about every thing related agriculture business, marketing, rural land management including planning development on  rural lands, habitat protection, environmental protection, all type of surface and sub-surface protection.

So, the MBA in Rural management offers you the opportunity to study how to plan, organise, direct and exercise effective control on the rural area activities and their development including agriculture.  Most of the MBA courses in Rural Management are designed in such a way that the concepts are applied in the real life through training in the rural areas with the help of case studies and rural immersion.

On the other hand, MBA in Agri Business Management focuses more on Agriculture and allied activities and combine them with rural management. The Agribusiness management has a different set of rules. Major characteristics governing the MBA in Agribusiness Management are long investment cycles, long production cycles, production volatility, food safety issues, the food security and environmental implications. In each situation there is different set of rules for Agri Business Management.

Top 10 MBA in Rural Management Colleges in India

The search for top rural management colleges offering MBA in rural management courses has gone up sharply in recent past. There are more than 100 MBA in Rural Management colleges in India. We share below the top 10 Rural Management colleges offering MBA in Rural Management courses with their programme name and Fee structure:

MBA in Rural Management CollegeTitle of 2 Years full time Rural Management Programme Rural Management Fees (Rs. in Lakhs)
IIM AhmedabadPost Graduate Programme in Food & Agri-Business Management (PGP-FABM)22.51
IIM LucknowPost Graduate Programme in Agribusiness Management (PGP-ABM)14.16
IRMA AnandPost Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM)12.10
MANAGE HyderabadPost Graduate Diploma in Management (Agri Business Management) PGDM-ABM 8.00
IIFM BhopalPost Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management (PGDFM)6.39
XUB-Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM) BhubaneswarMBA Rural Management (MBA-RM)12.20
Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS) Ranchi Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDM-RM)8.0
KIIT School of Rural Management Bhubaneswar1.MBA-Rural Management 2.MBA-Agri Business Management1. 6.47   2. 7.49
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) – School of Rural Development, Tuljapur campus1. Master of Arts / Master of Science (Development Policy, Planning and Practice) 2. Master of Arts / Master of Science (Sustainable Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance)  1 to 1.5
Indian Institute of Plantation Management Bengaluru (IIPMB) Post Graduate Diploma in Agri-Plantation Business (PGD-ABPM)3.50
IIHMR University, JaipurMBA in Rural Management 5.25

MBA Rural Management: Career Prospects
The MBA in Rural Management has seen a steady rise in placement packages as the need for rural managers is rising year after year. The demand for managerial skills continues to be on the rise in rural sector. As a result more and more students are taking up MBA rural management courses as preferred career option. A consistent increase in salaries in Placement offers from reputed recruiters to graduates with MBA in Rural Management adds to this charm.

National and Multi Nationals are realizing the importance of Rural and Agribusiness market. While AMUL is one of the top examples of cooperative brands offering high placements to graduates in Rural Management and Agribusiness management, number of top recruiters like Adani, Reliance, Tata, Godrej, EY, KPMG, Tolaram, Ninjacart, Cloudtail among others have been participating in campus placements and making high salary offers in the management institutes offering MBA in Rural Management and MBA in Agri Business Management programmes.

Shri R S Sodhi, Managing Director of Amul is of the view that rural organisations should be provided with funding from governments or through CSR route to pick the top brains in the rural management.

Types of Industries & Hundreds of Employers

More than 30 types of industry governed by hundreds of top corporate houses offer career opportunities and placement to the Rural Managers. Major industries in which career opportunities exist for the MBA graduates in Rural Management are Dairy Processing; Fruit and Vegetable processing; Chicken & Meat Processing; Retail Industry; Financial Services; Private Sector Banks; Public Sector Banks; Small Finance Banks; NBFCs working in Agri and Rural Sector; Micro Finance; Agri Commodity Trading Sector; Agri Warehousing Sector; Development Sector; Cooperatives and FPOs; Agri Export Houses; E Commerce; Teaching & Research; Agri Input Industry; Seeds; Fertiliser; Agrochemicals; Farm Machinery and Equipments; Cattle Feed; Poultry Feed; Aqua Feed; Food Processing Industry

Besides, there are immense opportunities in banks, logistics and consultancy firms for MBAs in Rural management. The food processing sector also requires trained professionals.

MBA Rural Management: Placement Highlights

The Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) is dominating as the front runner in placements for the last 40 years in rural management programme- PGDRM as more interest is shown by multinational recruiters offering high placement packages. Leading FMCG and retail sector players such as Pidilite, Future Group, Grofers, Big Basket, Metro Cash & Carry participated in IRMA placements making more offers.

Similarly, IIM Lucknow MBA in Agri Business; XSRM MBA in Rural Management; IIFM Bhopal; MANAGE Hyderabad; XISS Ranchi among others have also recorded high placements for the graduates in Rural Management.

Colleges offering     MBA Agri Business/MBA Rural ManagementAverage Salary in Placement 2019Top Recruiters 2019
IIM Ahmedabad15.20 (2018, Data for 2019 after IPRS Audit)Godrej Agrovet, PI Industries, Pioneering Ventures, Ninjacart, Waycool, EY, RBL Bank, Reliance Foundation, RaboBank, INI Farms, Cloudtail, Reckitt Benckiser, ADM, KPMG
IIM LucknowSalary Data Not sharedRIL, IBM, ICICI, TATA, Nokia, ITC, Microsoft, JSW, RPG, HUL, Amazon, Olam
Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand12.84GCMMF, Tolaram, Kewalram (Afriventures), ITC Agribusiness Division, ADM Agro, Godrej Agrovet, National Bulk Handling Corporation, Seedworks, Adani Wilmar, Pidilite, Future Group, Grofers, Big Basket, Metro Cash & Carry, Ninjacart, ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank
MANAGE, HyderabadNot SharedITC, Cadbury, KRIBHCO, Dhaanya Seeds, Netafim, Magma, Sahaj, Triton, Afri Venture, BASF,  JK Agri, Monsanto, Genetics, PHI Seeds, HDFC, ICICI, Britannia, Dabur, Tata Chemicals, Bharti Walmart, Aditya Birla, IOC, MCX, NCDEX
IIFM Bhopal7.5ICICI, IDFC, Kotak Mahindra, Capital Trust, Dr Reddy’s, EY, Axis Bank, Vyakta, Fincare
XUB-XSRM Bhubaneswar8.0Bharti AXA, FinCare, ICICI Bank, ICICI Lombard, Muthoot Fincorp, TATA AIG, Ujjivan, Deloitte, NuSocia, Adani Capital, AMUL, Crompton Greaves, Decathlon
XISS Ranchi5.87ACC, ACT, Adani, Aditya Birla, APCO, Asian Paints, Bajaj Allianz, BASF, BPCL, CARE, CISCO, GE, Future Generali, Future Supply Chain
IIHMR University, Jaipur 3.87 Bhoruka Charitable Trust (BCT), Care India, CHETNA, Coal India, Foundation for Ecological Security(FES), Gramin Vikas Trust (GVT), Gujarat State Watershed Management Association (GSWMA), HAV Foundation,  PRAYTAN, Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad, Rajasthan Rural Livelihood Mission, Rajeev Gandhi Foundation, Reliance Foundation, Save the children, SURE-Society to uplift rural economy, Water Aid

IRMA, which currently offers a host of programmes in rural and agri-business management, is planning to increase its intake of students to 480 from the current 360 in order to cater to the growing demand for this specialised field.

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the marketer of Amul brand products, recruits regularly from IRMA. Amul managing director RS Sodhi, who himself is an IRMA alumnus, believes the need for professional rural managers is more recognised now than any time in the past.

MBA Rural Management Courses in India

MBA in Rural Management courses in India as offered by IRMA and other top institutes are more or less have similar course design. PGDRM, an MBA equivalent programme is offered by IRMA for the last 40 years. IRMA is pioneer in offering MBA in Rural Management. The Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) prepares talented young managers to assume challenge-filled responsibilities in rural cooperatives and development organisations. PGDRM is a two-year fully residential programme.

Since IRMA is the front runner in MBA in rural Management course, we share below its flagship PGDRM course design.

PGDRM Course Curriculum & Pedagogy

The PGDRM curriculum provides a wide spectrum of high quality courses with a greater focus on experiential learning.  The curriculum comprises four distinct yet mutually supportive segments – classroom, village field work, development internship and management internship. The curriculum is approved by the reputed assessors and accreditation bodies.

The PGDRM is recognized as equivalent to MBA in Rural Management by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). On March 10, 2017, National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has accredited the Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM) of IRMA up to June 30, 2021.

The participants of this programme are highly valued in local, national and international cooperatives, NGOs, development organisations, and funding agencies.

Term I (12 Credits)

Qualifying non-credit Research Methods (1.0 Credit)

Term II (12.0 credits)

Term III (12.0 Credits)

Village Fieldwork Segment: (6.0 Credits)

Second Year Syllabus & Courses

Term IV (11.0 credits)

Summer Internship Segment: (8.0 Credits)

Specializations: Term V & VI
Each student is required to opt for elective courses in Term V and Term VI out of which courses should also be selected from Development Policy Group.

The list of elective courses offering specializations in Rural management programme includes Dairy Development Agribusiness Social Marketing Brand Management Corporate Social Responsibility Consumer Behaviour Cost Benefit Analysis E-Business for Rural Enterprises Development and Rural Communication Entrepreneurship Economic Environment and Policy Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management Geo-Informatics for Rural Management Promotional Strategy Governance and Development Sales and Distribution Management ICT for Development Service Operations Management International Trade Six Sigma Management of Change Strategic Management of Innovation and Technology Micro-Finance Strategic Marketing and Planning Public Policy Analysis Supply Chain Management Rural Innovations Taxation Public Policy & Marketing Total Quality Management Management Planning and Control Understanding Negotiation Critical Perspective on Organizations Econometric Methods for Impact Evaluation & Development Consulting

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