Growing at a rate of 15 per cent year-on-year, the bakery industry in India has evolved considerably over the years. However, there is still a dearth of skilled manpower. Raj Kapoor, managing director, Assocom-India and managing director of Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology & Management (AIBTM) talks about how his institute has been addressing this need
Within one year, the Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology & Management (AIBTM), located at Knowledge Park III, Greater Noida, has become one of the most sought after choices for students who are enthusiastic about learning the art and technology of bakery. According to Raj Kapoor, managing director, Assocom-India and managing director, AIBTM, bakery is like food science. “We have been struggling for many years due to lack of facilities. Therefore we decided to open an institute having international standard facilities in India,” he states.
The Indian bakery industry is showing a growth rate of 15 per cent leading to a rise in the demand for bakery schools and institutes. “Sensing such a need, we bought this property in 2008 and finally last year we kick started the project,” mentions Kapoor. With the guidance of their parent company, Assocom, India, AIBTM has been doing training programmes for the last 14 years. “We are partners with the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and keep targeting even the small bakers apart from the established ones. We have been conducting these programmes on portals as well as sometimes in hotel management institutes,” he highlights.
Having most of their board advisors from the industry, AIBTM has designed the various courses keeping in mind the industry requirements. “There is a huge requirement for skill development, trained and innovative bakers. There are bakeries opening up every now and then but the quality is missing. Most of the small time bakers are uneducated about the process and don’t even know about the ingredients properly. Our focus is to change all this,” he emphasis.
Due to the changing market trends, AIBTM has designed its courses which not only focuses on teaching recipes to students but also providing in-depth knowledge so that new and innovative products are created. Having around 30 diploma courses, currently AIBTM is focusing on the post-graduate diploma courses. Talking about few courses, Kapoor says, “We have designed a course on bakery science and management. Any student, who has a science background, not necessarily in food technology, can learn the intricacies of the job. Also, we have a one year programme in food science and technology where we train students in patisserie and artisan aspects. Until and unless you have the required knowledge about a particular product, one is unable to create something new and innovative.” He adds, “Training someone new in the industry can take almost two-three years and even then the specialisation isn’t thoroughly achieved. However, after completing our one year diploma courses, they are ready for different production staff jobs, quality control, R&D, marketing, and even working for the ingredient companies also.”
Another programme is the PG Diploma in Patisserie and Art and Craft. This programme is designed for non-science graduates wherein the basics of science are taught to them with more focus on artisan and patisseries. “In order to develop a product, they can join small bakeries, go to retail shops and join hotels,” feels Kapoor. A two year diploma course for school passouts is also available at AIBTM. It provides students with the content and curriculum to make sure that they are ready for various jobs at retail level or have the necessary qualification and skill set to become entrepreneurs and start their own small businesses. There is also a programme for people with no qualifications as the bakery industry.
“We have tried to design programmes that cover all aspects of this industry, with multitudes of discussions at large with joint industry representatives, who have been supportive of all our endeavours,” says Kapoor.
Facilities and amenities
For AIBTM, to retain focus on providing more practical knowledge rather than theoretical one, they have drafted the curriculum in such a way that more than 50 per cent is based on practical training. Backed by the industry, AIBTM is also able to provide internships to students according to their choice and field of interest. Visits to the industry are also part of the curriculum.