Closing date

ICRISAT is headquartered at Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and eight country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global agriculture research partnership whose science is carried out by the 15 Research Centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

ICRISAT conducts research on its mandate crops of chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet in the arid and semi-arid tropics. The Institute focuses its work on the drylands and in protecting the environment. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as drought, thereby trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and making them dependent on external aid.

ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics. Its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. The approach is through partnership-based international agricultural research-for-development that embodies Science with a Human Face. Please visit

ICRISAT has a compelling mission to fight poverty and improve the lives of people living in the semi-arid regions around the world. The semi-arid tropics are harsh environments with some of the highest levels of poverty and malnutrition, impacted strongly by climate change and battling water shortages and environmental degradation. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be met unless we are persistent in escalating efforts towards finding solutions in these most challenged landscapes.

This is an exceptional opportunity to become a part of a modern and innovative agricultural research organisation. ICRISAT is embarking on an ambitious new initiative to develop new and innovative funding models that will reach out to a wider portfolio of donors and investors, and to cultivate, engage in and build diverse and enduring strategic relationships with the private sector, foundations, governments and high-net worth individuals, among others. A larger portfolio of funded projects as well as new business models to diversify funding sources, will be among the measures of success for this role.

The Director/Global Head – Business Development will lead a focused business development team and will be based at ICRISAT’s headquarters in Patancheru, near Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. The position will report to the Deputy Director General - Research. This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position for three years with attractive compensation and benefits. A new contract may be offered at the end of the present tenure based on the performance of the incumbent, funding availability and the Institute's continuing need for the position. The suitable candidate will need to be able to act fast, engage professionally and build relationships across multiple cultures, besides working closely with the Institute’s Leadership Team and scientists across all our locations in Asia and Africa. The successful candidate will be an exceptional leader who is a passionate, dynamic, and collaborative individual and is highly motivated to achieve excellence.

Primary Responsibilities

▪ Lead the formulation of innovative business development opportunities.

▪ Proactively gather donor intelligence and identify new donors or potential funding opportunities.

▪ Develop and present innovation funding pitches to current and new donors.

▪ Coordinate multi-disciplinary teams to develop proposals and follow-through for successful funding.

▪ Work in partnership with stakeholders to submit proposals for competitive calls.

▪ Coordinate timely submission of donor reports and compliance with donor regulations.

▪ Coordinate with the Office of the Deputy Director General- Research and Financial Services for project management.

Candidate profile

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

▪ At minimum a master’s degree in a relevant field of business development or strategic marketing.

▪ Relevant work experience of at least 20 years for Director, and 15 years for Global Head, in business development and resource mobilization in agricultural research for development or a similar area.

▪ Experience across all phases of the business development lifecycle, from strategizing to successful proposals.

▪ Substantial proven success in generating resources from a diverse range of sources.

▪ Well connected with key funding organizations such as corporations, governments, foundations, impact investors, etc.

▪ Experience in business development areas such as Corporate Social Responsibility, multinational donors, development banks, consulting etc.

▪ Analysis of business processes to identify opportunities to generate additional revenue.

Skills and Knowledge

▪ Demonstrated leadership abilities and strong interpersonal skills.

▪ A deep understanding of agricultural science and its critical role in tackling issues such as climate change, natural resource management, malnutrition, gender issues and rural poverty across developing countries that impact the UN SDGs.

▪ Insights into solutions in agricultural science, ranging from plant breeding technologies to digital solutions and agribusiness.

▪ Proactive and achievement oriented.

▪ Strategic and innovative in business development strategy and execution.

▪ Established networks and skills to establish and strengthen industry partnerships.

▪ Ability to write impactful pitches and to follow these through personally or with support from others

▪ Excellent written and oral skills in English. Knowledge of other international languages, especially French, will be an advantage.

Assignment Location:

The position will be based at ICRISAT’s headquarters in Patancheru, near Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. Hyderabad is the largest city and capital of the Telangana State; and also the de jure capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is India’s fourth largest city; and is a fascinating combination of the ancient and the modern India.

Hyderabad has developed into one of the major hubs for the information technology industry in India. In addition to the IT industry, various biotechnology and pharmaceutics companies have set up their operations in Hyderabad owing to its established Public sector in Life Science Research and Genome Valley. The city incubates several promising start-up companies and is one of the most exciting business centers in the country.

Located at the crossroads of North and South India, Hyderabad has cultivated a unique culture that is reflected in its language and architecture. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, food and its multi-lingual culture. There are four major languages spoken in Hyderabad: Hindi, Deccani-Urdu, Telugu and English. English is the language of business and administration and is widely spoken and understood. The Hyderabadi cuisine is known for its delectable flavors. Traditional Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is the most celebrated dish from Hyderabad.

Hyderabad has world class education facilities. While it is home to the prestigious International Business School, the city also houses educational institutes and schools imparting various national and international curriculum. Noteworthily, ICRISAT hosts the International School of Hyderabad within its campus.

Hyderabad is an ideal destination for expatriation. A vibrant international community, warm and friendly residents, negligible crime rate, sophisticated luxury hotels, sprawling shopping malls, boutique cafes and world class recreation facilities make the city an ideal destination for global citizens.

How to apply

If this position interests you, please follow the below instructions to apply.

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Applicants should apply on or before 7 March 2021, with latest Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about their professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged. However, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.