IRMA was established in 1979 at Anand, Gujarat with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), the Government of India, the Government of Gujarat, erstwhile Indian Dairy Corporation and the National Dairy Development Board to provide management education, training, research and consultancy support to co-operatives and rural development organisations in India. IRMA is founded with the belief, borne out by Dr.Kurien’s work in the dairy co-operatives which revolutionised the dairy industry in the country, that the key for effective rural development is professional management. Professionalising the management of rural organisations calls for matching the specific but unmet needs of the sector with the formal techniques and skills of management professionals. Linking the two are the ‘rural managers’ prepared by IRMA through its two-years diploma (PRM) in rural management. Born out of a maverick’s dream, IRMA has become a frontrunner in professionalising the development of India’s rural sector. Over the years it has provided management training, support and research facilities to students committed to rural development and in this process it has brought within its ambit several co-operatives, non-government organisations, government development agencies, international development organisations and funding agencies.