Crop Improvement Operations Team Lead

ICRISAT seeks applications for a Crop Improvement Operations Lead position at Senior Scientist level to support the breeding organization in the transformation of its breeding programs in India. The position is based at ICRISAT- Patancheru, Telangana, India and reports to Regional Breeding Theme Lead – Asia.

This role is responsible for supporting the breeding teams and the complimentary disciplines through a restructuring and implementation of a centralized operations organization. You will collaborate with breeders, HR colleagues, as well as work closely with our India regional research teams and directors, broader functions (e.g. Planning, Labor contractors, etc.), breeding and farm engineering teams to design and deliver solutions that meet both the institute and stakeholder needs. You will have a critical role in strategic initiatives we are launching to transform our Crop Improvement organization.

ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. ICRISAT and its partners help empower those living in the semi-arid tropics, especially smallholder farmers, to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and a degraded environment through more efficient and profitable agriculture.

ICRISAT is headquartered in Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and five country offices in Sub-Saharan Africa. ICRISAT, established in 1972, is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. For more details, see 


  • Assign, select, train, schedule, tutor, recruit, counsel and coach employees
  • Communicate job expectations; planning, monitoring, appraising and reviewing job contributions
  • Contribute operations information and recommendations to strategic plans and reviews; prepare and complete action plans; implement production, productivity, quality and delivery standards; resolve problems; identify trends
  • Forecast requirements; contribute to preparation of annual budget planning; schedule expenditures; analyse variances; initiating corrective actions
  • Develop operations systems by determining demands; develop, implement, enforce and evaluate policies and procedures; develop processes for receiving supplies, equipment utilization, inventory management and shipping
  • Analyse process workflow, employee and space requirements and equipment layout; implement changes
  • Maintain safe and healthy work environment by establishing, following and enforcing standards and procedures; complying with institutional regulations Update job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations
  • Accomplish operations and organization objectives by completing related results as needed
  • Manage staff levels, contract labor in response to available resources
  • Responsible for all team leads, with review/approval responsibility for all operations employees
  • Serve as primary point of contact when there are performance issues related to activity quality, or accidents and mishaps on-site for the operations team
  • Communicate activity delivery issues with operations team and devise ways of improving quality, including resolving problems and complaints
  • Work closely with the breeders to set and/or implement policies, procedures and systems and to follow through with implementation
  • Work closely with the breeders and scientific officers to perform analysis of seed inventory and ensure we are utilizing our inventory space effectively, purchasing the right equipment and maintaining solid inventory data

Essential criteria:

  • Ph.D. degree and a minimum of 10 years of experience in applied breeding programs; international experience a plus.
  • Coordinative approach coupled with applied breeding expertise across crops.
  • Knowledge and experience in organizational effectiveness, process management and a working knowledge of Lean methodology as well as a thorough understanding of experimental trials, seed production and processing.
  • Need to be a problem solver and forward thinker — an individual who doesn’t just fix the immediate ask, but takes ambiguous issues, breaks them down to understand the root cause, and then designs an approach and solution that adapts outside thinking, and brings stakeholders along.
  • Building relationships will also be critical to success — strong written and verbal communication skills are a must. Need to be able to effectively tailor communications across multiple levels of the organization, from director level and senior leaders, scientists, to local teams doing the work.
  • Beyond being able to perform diligent, effective activities and operations management, balance and coordination will be crucial. Need to listen, negotiate, and flex where needed; while also having the stamina and strength to stand your ground on matters that are important and for the greater good.
  • Need to be outcome focused with the ability to proactively take initiative, use good judgment to prioritize requests and be comfortable working with basic direction.
  • Need to understand the big picture, even when the work gets granular, requiring strong organizational skills—an ability to handle multiple tasks, prioritize them, coordinate them and carry them out independently. This role does require you to “roll up your sleeves” and play an active role to assist in implementing process change.
  • The candidate should have an aptitude to work as a member of interdisciplinary teams in a multicultural environment and should have the ability to interact across matrix organizations and be cognizant of donors’ demands.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of other languages (Hindi, Telugu, French) will be an asset.


This is a Scientific and Managerial Group (SMG) cadre. The position is initially for a period of three years, renewable based on the performance of the incumbent and the institute’s continuing need for the position.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply on or before 28-April-2019, with latest Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about your professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged. However, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please CLICK HERE to submit your application.

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer