Chairman IRMA Speech at 40th Foundation Day celebrations of IRMA on December 14, 2019

A very Good Morning and a hearty welcome to all of you at the 40th Foundation Day celebrations of Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)

Firstly, on behalf of entire IRMA fraternity, I extend our heartfelt and sincere welcome to Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu ji and thank him for kindly agreeing to grace the 40th Foundation day celebrations of IRMA and for being with us in the milk city of Anand to share with all of us this proud moment in the history of IRMA. I also welcome the Hon’ble Minister for Education, Government of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasamaji and thank him for kindly gracing this event. I welcome Shri Mitesh Rameshbhai Patel, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Shri Lal Sinh Vadodia, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, other dignitaries on the dais and at this event. I take this opportunity to welcome IRMA Society and Board Members, faculty, employees, alumni, students and all other invited guests and members of the media.

Today happens to be a very special day in the history of IRMA. It was on this day, 40 years ago, that for the first time in the country, a management institution was established to exclusively cater to the human resources requirements of organisations serving the rural sector and train management professionals who were better equipped to address the special needs of the rural communities. Over the last 40 years, this institute has remained steadfast in its resolve to train young professionals to work in organisations, primarily serving the rural, agribusiness and related sectors, in a way that no other institution has ever done before. As Dr Kurien, the founder of IRMA, had said “The India of the future belongs to the young Indians and I believe that for all of them there is but one choice – that choice is to put all their abilities and energies into building the India of all our dreams”, IRMA has been constantly striving to play a constructive role in fulfilling this dream.

Institutions are known to be synonymous with the people who had built them and nowhere is this more apparent than in IRMA, fondly referred to as the “house that Kurien built”. He realised that professional management of organisations serving the rural sector, can not only enhance rural livelihoods and quality of life of rural households, but also strengthen the country’s economy. His holistic approach to rural transformation included creation of other related institutions right here in Anand like the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) and thousands of grassroots level cooperative institutions across the country, all contributing to bringing about prosperity and improving the livelihoods of rural communities.

The young management professionals trained by mainstream management institutions, by and large, even today do not consider the rural sector exciting or remunerative enough as their career option. This realisation led to the establishment of IRMA and it was left to IRMA to address the challenge of developing human resources to work with rural communities and the developmental sector. This was done by designing an entirely new discipline called “rural management” which is a blend of the knowledge of the rural space with modern management principles.

IRMA’s flagship Programme called Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management equips students with skills to take up responsibilities and address challenges of rural cooperatives, producers owned institutions and developmental organisations supporting these institutions. Besides its flagship PGDRM programme, IRMA also offers a Fellow Programme in Rural Management for students seeking careers in research and teaching in rural management institutions.

A recent welcome addition to IRMA’s programmes is the Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management that was launched earlier this year with the objective to equipping middle level working professionals, to prepare them for advanced career and leadership positions.

We are proud of the fact that over the last 4 decades, IRMA has striven to live up to the ideals of its founding father and today more than 60 per cent of the 3,000 odd IRMA alumni are working in organisations serving rural and allied sectors and they have made a difference to the organisations and stakeholders they work for.

IRMA has been continuously reinventing itself to remain as a leader amongst knowledge institutions rather than merely being a routine teaching or research centre. We are proud that IRMA graduates continue to work towards the betterment of society and to augment and enrich the vibrant alumni base which we can proudly claim to be one of the IRMA’s richest social capital wealth.

As we look forward to the next 40 years of this great institution, I can say with confidence that, in the coming years, every organisation in India worth its name working for the rural communities and the marginalised sections of society, will have IRMA alumni in them providing professional management in revitalising rural economy, promoting sustainable rural livelihoods and supporting Government’s efforts to make India a $ 5 Trillion economy.

I once again on behalf of the entire IRMA fraternity express gratitude to the Hon’ble Vice President of India for agreeing to be with all of us on this historic occasion of 40th Foundation Day of IRMA.

Thank you.

Jai Hind!