The son of an Amul company chauffeur has not only driven himself to earn an IIM-A degree but has also chosen the field he thinks is the cream of the crop — the dairy sector.
At the recent placements at IIM-A, 24-year-old Hitesh Singh was selected as associate manager (new products) at Country Delight.
For Singh, it was a dream come true. He always wanted to get a job in the dairy sector and follow his role model R S Sodhi, the managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Ltd, which markets the brand Amul.
Singh’s father works as a chauffeur with GCMMF and this is how Singh got to meet Sodhi for the first time, many years ago. From then on, he was inspired by the man at the helm of India’s largest dairy cooperative. Singh sought guidance from Sodhi from time to time.
“Milk is already the largest crop in terms of value for India. Currently, the organized sector contributes to only 25% of the total industry pie,” said Singh. “There is a huge potential for growth. That’s why in the past 4-5 years more and more large organized players are coming into the field.”
Besides, Singh said, milk tech startups are disrupting the industry with product innovations, technological developments, and improvements in customer access.
Singh, who studied in a Gujarati-medium school, was in the 97 percentile club in physics, chemistry and maths stream in Class XII exams. He has studied on scholarship from his school days and has never attended tuition classes. His mother Saritaben taught him at home. He topped in BTech in dairy technology from SMC College of Dairy Science, Anand Agricultural University. He was placed in the 96.12 percentile in the Common Admission Test (CAT).
Pankaj Singh, the IIM graduate’s father, migrated with his family from a village in Bihar to Anand. He worked as a security guard initially, earning as little as Rs 600 per month. Later, he learnt driving and joined GCMMF in 2007.
“I have taken a loan for education and personal expenses,” said the junior Singh. “I had some savings from the previous job. Also, the institute had provided a special need-based scholarship.”
On his experience at IIM-A where he completed the Postgraduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management, Singh said the course gave him the best two years of his life.
“Studying alongside the brightest minds in India, I grew as a person. Now, I am more aware of my strengths. That has helped in boosting my self-confidence,” he said. “Compared to the BTech education, the management course helped me gain a deeper understanding of business as a whole.”