IIMA - Course Catalogue
Value Chain Management - Applications in Agribusiness
Centre for Management in Agriculture
Prof. Ranjan Kumar Ghosh
Course Description & Objectives
Objectives and overview:
In this course we learn the importance of a firm identifying the ‘right position’ in a supply chain. While an efficient supply chain is about smooth and cost-effective physical flows, managers can gain a competitive advantage only when they extract ‘value’ at each stage of the chain. Moving beyond the focus on optimization of production and operations, this requires an emphasis on ‘organization’ and ‘coordination’. For instance, we ask why does a manager procure one particular input from a contracted supplier, while preferring to produce another input ‘in-house’? When does she choose to ‘shed’ an asset or outsource an activity? What determines if a chain is buyer driven or producer driven? Does this have an implication on the business model needed for a successful enterprise? In short, this course aims to expose students to the complex ‘web’ of activities that engulf a real world value chain.
The empirical focus is on agribusiness sector, as it presents instances of complicated links to informal input and output markets, relational partners, uncertain commodity structure and social networks. The role of managing the costs of transactions in itself becomes a determining factor in the firm’s survival and success. With the aid of reading materials, examples and topical business events, the course will expose students to concepts that aid in handling complexities, innovation and upgradation in chains. An overview of the Indian agribusiness scenario, the challenges and opportunities will be presented through relevant cases and live interaction with successful practitioners.
The course will combine methods such as lectures, guest lectures, case discussions and multi-media, wherever needed. The core emphasis will be on learning through in-class discussions of concepts and their relation to real world value chain development. The lectures are intended to guide students towards thinking in terms of chains, contractual relationships, networks and efficient organization of business transactions – on both the input and output side. The guest lectures are intended to enable the students to get into the shoes of practitioners and understand how to deal with complexities that come in the way of value chain management.
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