|IIPM’s Jorhat centre
Jorhat, Oct. 4: Doors have opened up nearer home for those in the Northeast wishing to take up a career in tea tasting and marketing.
Interested persons need no longer go out of Assam to pursue such a course, as the Jorhat centre of Indian Institute of Plantation Management Jorhat (based in Bangalore) will launch a certificate course in these subjects, the first in the region.
IIPM Bangalore is an autonomous organisation promoted by the Union ministry of commerce and industry and the Tea, Coffee, Spices and Rubber Boards of India.
The head of IIPM’s Jorhat centre, Rangan Bhuyan, told reporters here today that the 15-day course, named Professional Certificate Course — Tea Tasting and Marketing, merges two sections of the tea business — tasting and marketing.
He said the course takes into account that a tea entrepreneur should know the demand for different kinds of teas in the market.
The course, to begin from October 28, will teach candidates how to adjust one’s product to cater to the buyers’ choice.
Bhuyan, who is also the co-ordinator of the course, said the former vice-president of Tata Tea, K.G. Nanda, the technical director of the course, will also take classes.
He said the programme would provide an opportunity to freshers to enter the tea industry as tasters, learn entrepreneurship in tea retailing and how to become assessors of tea in the hotel industry.
He said wards of small tea growers (STGs) and bought leaf factory owners (BLFOs) and those belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes will be provided 50 per cent subsidy in the course fee. The course is designed for 20 persons.
Bhuyan said even small tea growers or bought leaf factory owners could avail of the course fee subsidy if they want to pursue the course. The course fee is nearly Rs 28,000 (including service tax of 12.36 per cent on the principal amount).
The eligibility for the course is graduation in any discipline for general candidates while for candidates who are wards of STGs or BLFOs there will be a relaxation — those having cleared the Plus-II exam can also apply.
Bhuyan said an electronic tongue — used in tea tasting — will be demonstrated and samples of teas within and outside India will be exposed to the candidates.
Group discussions and field visits to nearby tea gardens and factories are also part of the classes.
The course co-ordinator said candidates, including a few from Assam, who had undergone the course at IIPM Bangalore earlier this year, have been employed in well-known five-star hotels and by an international airline.
The course is expected to be conducted once or twice a year depending on the funds available and demand for the course.
He said two batches of candidates, who had enrolled in the 15-day tea estate management course, conducted by the IIPM’s Jorhat centre in 2011 and again earlier this year, have been absorbed as executives in well-known companies.