Head/Director – Food & Agriculture, RICH




Minimum 8 years

Job Type:


* Please drop an email with your resume at   cmanager-rich@telangana.gov.in

About RICH (Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad):

Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), launched in 2017 as a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Government of Telangana, is a collaborative platform that fosters research and innovation in Hyderabad, India. RICH is also the Hyderabad Science and Technology Cluster, an initiative spearheaded by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. RICH is a Section 8 Company under Companies Act 2013.

RICH acts as a unifying collaborative force, bringing together academia, research institutes, startups, industries, government bodies, and other pertinent stakeholders to elevate the realms of science and technology research and innovation. It functions as a catalyst, propelling forward technological progress and fostering economic prosperity within the region. Through facilitating the exchange of knowledge, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and offering resources to startups and researchers, RICH has established itself as a central hub for pioneering research and innovation across three key sectors: Food and Agriculture, Health and Life Sciences, and Sustainability. Through its array of initiatives and strategic partnerships, RICH assumes a crucial role in Telangana’s innovation ecosystem, both nationally and internationally.

The S&T Clusters work towards achieving the following broad objectives:

  • To increase India’s national & global S&T competitiveness.
  • To become regional solution providers for local industry & government.
  • To create shared S&T ecosystems in India.

Job Description:

RICH is looking for a full-time Head/Director for the Food & Agriculture vertical. The broad roles and responsibilities will be as follows:

The broad roles and responsibilities will be as follows:

1. Flagship Initiatives: Lead, manage and supervise RICH’s flagship programmes in the Food and Agriculture vertical. Endeavour to position RICH as a facilitator in the agriculture sector in the national & international development arena through these initiatives.

2. Startup Advisory: Support the core objective of RICH to assist and mentor startups in the Food & Agricultural sector and help them scale up; identify potential funding avenues, market access, mentor connects, networking opportunities etc. for startups. Develop and maintain matrix of selecting/onboarding of startups, perform continuous quality checks, and ensure tight management of milestones and progress of startups. Maintain and update start-up grant management record.

3. Project Delivery: Design and implement multi-disciplinary projects for solving issues of regional and national priority in conformance with time, quality, scope and cost budgeted. Build working groups of various stakeholders for each project. Manage and guide the Agri business manager with administrative tasks for projects. Support project outreach in consultation with the CEO and the communications team. Devise strategies for implementing and maintaining all project controls and plans. Obtain and record project status feedback from various stakeholders (including start-ups) and provide updates to the leadership.

4. Partnerships: Reach out to key industry players, research and academic institutions, associations, national and global innovation ecosystems, FPOs, Farm communities like KVKs, NGOs, government bodies to forge strategic partnerships. Work closely with related state and centralgovernment departments.

5. Synergy and Strategy building: Strengthen partnerships with the Telangana state innovation ecosystem partners. Work closely with various regional and national incubators/accelerators. Reach out to corporates, institutions, industry bodies, startups, MSMEs etc. with tailored offerings for each group including gathering problem statements from each group, analysing and identifying suitable partners and making relevant connections. Reach out to national and global investors, and funders to strengthen the connect for providing funding options for startups. Develop and implement an innovative and ambitious strategy for the vertical with a clear focus on evidence-based advocacy, advisory work and scaling up of operations.

6. Ecosystem building: Develop content and playbooks for use by incubators/accelerators as part of incubation capacity building that will enable incubators to setup their operations and plan, facilitate, and deliver incubation programmes in a structured, standard, and consistent manner for startups. Conduct skilling/training programmes for Agricultural sector workforce, scientists, researchers, faculty in collaboration with RICH partners.

7. Events: Design, organise and manage events, hackathons, conferences, webinars, meets on important topics in Food & Agriculture sector to provide a knowledge-sharing and networking platform for startups/entrepreneurs and researchers/scientists to showcase their innovations.

8. Knowledge base creation: Write white papers/position papers/reports on important topics to create awareness and support policy frameworks. Further, to work towards resource mobilisation and relationship management with main donors and partners, including securing funding at a global (multi-country) level for the sector.

9. Budget: Create budget for projects and periodically update the requirements for projects andother sector-specific activities.

10. Teams: Create, support, and nurture teams, and support other RICH team members to leadmulti-organisation projects, as identified by you and the leadership of RICH.

Fulfil and implement any other tasks in consultation with the CEO and the DG of RICH.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Food Technology, Food Science, Food Safety or allied fields from a premier institution; a business degree would be a plus.
  • Minimum of 8 years of professional work experience in agriculture, Agri food systems, food safety, rural development and related policies, research, innovation, technology development, project management, strategy, or business development in academia, industry, or government.
  • Management experience, interpersonal and communication skills as demonstrated in leading and working effectively with large teams of people of diverse backgrounds.

Desired Skill Sets:

  • Strong leadership experience in design, implementation, and management of programmes in organisations (governments, corporates, foundations, international organisations, research/academic institutions, incubators, consulting firms, etc.); multidisciplinary, multi-organisation programme delivery experience necessary.
  • Good understanding of the entrepreneurship ecosystem - experience of working with entrepreneurs, start-ups, tinkering labs, incubators, or start-up consultancy.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate, build and maintain strong working relationships with start-ups, entrepreneurs, mentors, research institutions, industry experts, associations,and investors.
  • Demonstrated intellectual, managerial and technical leadership of a high order in the relevant subject areas
  • Strong strategic, creative, and analytical skills to develop programme strategy.
  • Excellent collaboration and communication (oral and written) skills in English. Working knowledge of Telugu would be a plus.

RICH is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusiveness.