The most distinctive endeavor that Lotus Business School has nurtured is the Agri-Business Management specialization that it introduced to supplement the regular streams of specialization Viz finance hr marketing and operations. The driving force behind the decision to enter into this foray stems from it being a logical extension to the core business of our parent organization The Bhaishree group that is involved in processing and retailing of tea under the label VIKRAM TEA.
In line with the direction of our Prime minister Narendra Modi to double the income of the farmer by 2022 we drew inspiration, obligation, direction, and effective utilization of the ecosystem that the government provided under this vision. This unfolded an effective and pragmatic mission to strengthen the Agri and food industry of the nation. The motivation to provide meaningful employment to rural youth in metros and two-tier cities who after gaining seed capital and requisite experience would be inclined to go back to the roots to uplift the ecosystem and contribute to the development of that region.
A son of a farmer has a unique privilege to feed the masses and render a flourishing nation. Leveraging the expertise of the parent company and building upon the legacy of academic rigor that the institute possesses it took it upon itself to contribute to the nation by creating an enabled Agricultural professional.
As a recognition of the effectiveness of the initiatives Reliance Retail took onboard 29 students as management trainees. The students were expected to work for 4 hours in various departmental stores in Pune while shouldering the responsibility of the university-mandated curriculum. Upon completion of the training, the students were encouraged to go back to their home towns or the 3 tier cities near their home towns to work as store managers in the various reliance retail stores. This exercise led to an effective backward integration which in turn led to the development of rural India.
Taking advantage of the technological advances some enterprising students started entrepreneurship endeavor’s to supply the vegetables from the farmer directly to the stores in cities removing the middlemen which led to increase in the farmer’s income.
Some Students with an academic mind bent after working for various Agri input companies started giving consultancy to the farmers on the right use of fertilizer’s and safe use of pesticides. Aspects like soil testing and sowing practices also formed a part of the expertise that the students shared with the farmers.
Students after completing their MBA’s got gainfully employed with multinational companies and after collecting enough seed capital started opening their own shops near farm lands to the benefit of the farming community.
Those students that chose to make the cities their home achieved success in building bridges to their villages in form of investments and knowledge while being gainfully employed in a company of their choice.
Indigenous to Lotus Business School is the CAREER PROGRESSION PROGRAM where in industry processes are simulated on campus by industry delegates who then evaluate and certify the students to a grade that signifies a capability that the student can shoulder on the job. The ABM specialization offered an array of certifications from which the students had to select 10 that align with their career aspirations. These certifications led to better visualization for the students hence a heightened performance and a higher salary. Certifications like digital marketing helped students reach a larger audience of the farming community thereby providing services like farming advice at the doorstep of the farmers.
As a part of the CPP module, LBS initiated a Farmers Education Program that saw students being trained by experts on the financial intricacies relevant to the farming community. The students then trained the farmers through various outreach programs. The success of this initiative is encouraged to include in the bouquet of offering digital literacy. Various industrial houses have shown interest to tie up with the institute to offer a joint certification and support the program with a joint financial contribution. The students through this exercise learned how to deal with the nuances of dealing with the not-so-informed farming community which led to better performance in their professional careers leading to financial stability.
Seeing the direction that the ABM specialization was heading towards the students gave shape to a quarterly digital magazine that contained aspects that benefit the sector (the content of the magazine). The magazine aptly titled KRISHIVEDICA has been accepted as an effective tool to teach and inform the student and the small ticket farmers ( farmers that own land ranging from 1 to 4 acres) about the latest advances in the field of agriculture.
Academic excellence has been leveraged as a game changer and companies like Baskin robins, Mapro, Reliance retail, Agrostar, Vikram tea, Ecozen, Sahayadri farms, Ninja Kart and Kalash seeds have employed our students directly out of the campus or with subsequent opportunities.
An annual event called SYNNOVATION a symposium on fostering innovation saw various leading professionals converging on the campus to give discourses on their start-ups or the environment that would unfold in the recent future and adopting the changes. Concepts like Industry 4.0 were discussed in length with live examples of success stories that came to life using the aforesaid concepts. The audience included students and the academic fraternity from in and around Pune city. The ensemble had a national presence with delegates from all over India gracing the occasion.
Covid forced the recognition of Agriculture as one of the essential services and brought out the need to gain independence in the sector. Lotus Business School declares its humble effort to do so. For the years to come, we would like to build on the learnings and the experience garnered in the distant and recent past to make the program an effective endeavor to the betterment of the agriculture community.
Our resolve to excel and raise the bar is on firm ground and promising.
Farmer to the fore!!!!