Interview by Pratyasha
Mr. Kaushik Bhattacharjee is designated as the Director of Darjeeling Tea Research and Management Association. He carries a Master Degree in Agriculture with specialization in Soil Chemistry. Having rich experience of nearly 15 years, he has held various positions like Technical Officer, Deputy Director, and Director. With this, he has expertise in marketing strategy, business strategy and new business development.
In an exclusive interview with Collegedunia.com, Mr. Bhattacharjee shares his insights on the education industry and also talks about his institute.
Experience in the education industry
I am associated with this industry since 1993 and have had a satisfying experience. For me, education is not an industry but a noble service. Most of my students are from an economically weaker class, which restricts me to look at it as a profit-making industry. Being a Director, it is my responsibility to look after them and not pose any financial burden to the students’ families.
Not a leader but a motivator
I do not consider myself to be a leader but a motivator. I and my team have a lot under our umbrella, and we are pleased to accomplish and take on each task assigned to us. Apart from this we perform various social responsibilities not only towards the tea industry but also for academics. I arrange visits to various industry tours, to make the students understand the current conditions and scenario in the industry.
As a motivator, I make sure to appreciate people when they are doing well and guide them when they are making mistakes. Instead of negatively commenting on their mistakes, I tell them to learn from their mistakes and do not get disheartened from them.
Changing Pre-conceived notions about tea industry
Nowadays, the students are getting negatively affected by false rumors that the tea industry is running low, which is absolutely false. I consider it as my responsibility try to overcome this notion by staying updated and bringing regular changes to the curriculum. This helps the students as well as the management to handle the upcoming challenges.
I have seen that many students are offered jobs in the middle of the semester. This creates a positive attitude and motivates learners to do more. For more enrolment, the institute also facilitates the toppers with awards and scholarships.
NITM provides industry exposure to the students
Being a research institute, the unique factor is the Soil Testing Laboratory, which is approved by the Tea Board of India. We receive many soil samples for testing from various parts of the country. In addition to this, I also take the students to visit various tea gardens or plantations to make them have an in-depth understanding of the industry. It helps them to gain practical experience and knowledge of the field which will sustain for a long-term.
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A vision and aim – Qualities that a student must possess
I believe, today’s generation lacks seriousness and has no clear vision and goal for their future. With the increasing competition and less opportunities, it is a must for each individual to have both of these factors as clear as water.
Synchronising different culture at NITM
We have students coming from different parts of the world, which create a diverse culture in the Institute. To build a positive environment, I maintain a strict administrative policy and absolute discipline in the Institute. To fulfill my duty as an academician, I regularly take lectures and interact with students personally.
Placement opportunities at the Institute
I regularly interact with various industry personnel, especially with soil testing experts. With this, I build a trusting relationship with the organizations. This not only helps the institute to organize campus recruitment drives, but various students are offered internship opportunities there and then.
Apart from this, I regularly take my students to different practical units such as tea plantations, packaging, and testing centers and units of big brands. This will help them to gain industry experience, which is a vital part of their lives.
Upcoming goals for the Institute
The tea industry is an ever-growing sector in the world due to its level of consumption. Our research institute is the oldest tea institute in North-Eastern India. With the increasing level of competition, we are trying to improve our infrastructural facilities to cater to the needs of the students. Also, we are looking forward to offering the best placement offers to our students with big brands in the near future.