[Editor’s Note: Last week I was invited by Dr. Trilochan Sastry to attend the Anantpur Cooperative Federation Annual General Meeting. The meeting, held at the cooperative-owned groundnut processing mill in Gutturu (Andhra Pradesh), was inspirational and provided valuable insights into how a cooperative can have a big impact on the lives of small plot farmers in drought-prone regions. The cooperative is now looking to hire a marketing head to play a crucial role in its foray into the creation of value added products.]

Last year, we profiled Dr. Sastry here – The many lives of Dr. Trilochan Sastry – academic, social activist, social entrepreneur. Earlier we also published Dr. Sastry’s 7-part series on commodity cooperatives (Part 1 here).

Marketing Head – Profile & Job Description

We are looking for a senior marketing professional to lead the marketing function. The ideal person would have 10-20 years of experience and an excellent track record in sales, distribution and product/brand management in the retail/consumer sector. But any competent professional with a serious interest in switching to the development sector would be valuable. We would pay a good salary but may or may not be able to match top level corporate salaries.

The job requires setting up an all India marketing network for value added products of farmers and their organizations.

There are many such organizations in place and they are already doing some commodity type marketing. These include thousands of farmers from different parts of the country. They have already reached a basic level of marketing and value addition of their products and are making profits.

Axis Bank Foundation, HIVOS ( Dutch donor agency), Ford Foundation, Dorabji Tata Trust, NABARD, RABO Bank, and a few high net worth individuals are backing this with significant funds as they want to take it to scale.

Inclusive growth, market access for small producers, etc. are some of the new buzz words that you might have heard of. The goal really is to help small and marginal farmers make profits and take the cooperatives to scale. While there is an obvious development goal, the marketing and operations will be run professionally in a sustainable manner. It will not be a small scale, NGO type of work.

If you know of anyone who would be interested, please have them send their resume (or a link to their LinkedIn profile) to techsangam.india@gmail.com. I will be forwarding to Dr. Trilochan Sastry.