IRMA – The Life And The Difference

‘Running pole to post, working morn’ to night, the ever chugging train of thoughts, and the ever present desire to grow’ this summaries ‘LIFE’ the way it is. Briefly put, each one of us is a ‘Will Smith’ in ‘Pursuit of Happyness’. Treading the path in search of this Happiness are the 7.5 Billion people in this world. As a part of the whole pursuit, there comes a time in the lives of thousands the desire to seek, in thirst of knowledge (and to add to one’s salability), higher education.

One such stream of knowledge, vigorously sought after, is Management. After going through tiring chores of mathematical rigours and flummoxing language bewilderment, which yet again is followed by interviews or rather tight-rope walks, one reaches a juncture where a decision is to be made. The decision which would define two years’ education and a lifetime’s learning.

India, today, is the lone bright spot in the world. It has stood apart, and not just stood apart but has been growing at an admirable rate. We are possibly at a point where the world is looking at India and the multitude of opportunities, waiting to be utilised. A country which supports more than 18% of the world population, is in itself a huge market, waiting to be conquered. Within this vast land, over 70% of the population resides in over 600,000 villages. Again, a staggering number, a treasure waiting to be found. This combination of being both attractive and lucrative makes ‘Rural India’ the sweet-spot and this is exactly where IRMA fits in.

IRMA, was established in 1979, with 35 batches having graduated, it has an alumni base richly diverse. Ranging from CEOs of large conglomerates to officials at international agencies to famed personalities on the social development arena, the alumni base is a force to reckon with. IRMANs have spread out into all fields, and have made an impact. Some have brought around humongous change on the corporate front and others have brought around revolutionary changes on the developmental front.

The institution’s ideology is to provide Rural India with professional managers, for it believes, this is one way for an effective development. It believes in building synergies between the unmet needs of the vast rural populace and the professional management skills disseminated to its student participants.

Does this mean that IRMA is only and all about ‘development’? Does it mean that all these managers have their work bases in rural areas? NO. Rural managers are a rare breed, and today, are highly sought after. IRMA attunes its students to the rural psyche through three field segments, which total to around 22 weeks. This means that students here don’t learn ‘rural’ in air conditioned classrooms but also feel ‘rural’. Four weeks’ stay in a village, gives a student immense opportunity to spot treasure troves, those very four weeks also give a student an opportunity to empathise with rural life. When these four weeks are immediately followed by classroom sessions about marketing, finance and operations, one cannot help but learn management through a ‘rural’ lens. With corporate ferociously trying to foray into these virgin markets, rural managers sell like hot cakes.

SO IRMA is like any other B-School when it comes to the course structure, with regard to Management. It is unlike any other B-School, when it comes to the ability to blend developmental studies with those of managerial. IRMA is different from any other B-School in the context that, students here bring in the micro perspective to a macro view. This brings in an all-round learning.

IRMA’s mission and ideology are what distinguishes it from other B-Schools. IRMA’s mission and ideology are also the very reasons for it being similar to other premier B-Schools, for imparting managerial skills.

For those at the Y-Fork, confused about which path to tread. It would be an incentive if you are reminded of Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.