Insights into veterinary education

  1. Veterinary education offers some of the cheapest yet best knowledge in our country as the majority of the institutes are government and not private. Also, you start recovering the money you paid for your education when you do the compulsory internship, as you get a stipend.
  2. There are about 40 government veterinary colleges in the country and there aren’t a lot of private colleges.
  3. Just like the field of medicine, veterinary offers a wide variety of areas you can specialize in and you have countless job opportunities in different industries/fields depending on your expertise.
  4. Going into veterinary sciences means you will be employed in a field which is related to the human food-chain business. So as long as people are eating non-vegetarian food you cannot run out of jobs. In addition to that, people will always have pets that need looking after.
  5. One of the major positives of having a degree in veterinary sciences is that unlike other professions, it is easier to branch out at any given point in time. You can either work in the government or the private sector, do practical and research work in the field you have a degree in or else open up a clinic and even do pet surgeries, albeit getting a good degree in this profession is getting more competitive as time goes by.
  6. My job requires a lot of international traveling. I have traveled to 45 countries to date. My company covers any and all expenses involved so this job is a dream come true for a travel enthusiast.

Profile details

Name – Sachin Ingewar

Profession – India Sales Head at Adisseo, a leader in animal nutrition

Age – 42

Gender – Male

Industry – Animal Nutrition

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sachiningewar/

Where have you been born and raised?

I was in born in Nagpur and stayed there till class 4th. Then, I moved to Nashik where I studied till the 10th; did my 12th from Wardha, came back to Nagpur for my graduation and went to Jabalpur for my post-grad.

What is your family background?

My father was an engineer and my mother a home-maker. I have a younger brother who runs his own electronics business in Mumbai.

As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a doctor. I even got into dental college, but I was not entirely happy with that particular field, so it was then that I decided to be a veterinarian instead.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I graduated from Nagpur Veterinary College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry and then I did my Masters in Animal Nutrition with Poultry Major from Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya in Jabalpur. I started my career in 2001, as a technical and field manager with Uttara Foods and Feed Pvt Ltd then changed my company and started working as a regional technical manager at Kemin Industries.

Following that, I went to Novus International where I became country manager at a very early age.

After that, I got a government job, as an assistant professor at the Nagpur Veterinary College. After that, I joined a Spanish company called Norel Animal Nutrition where I worked as the general manager for the Indian Subcontinent. Then, I joined Adisseo in 2014 where I’m currently working as a senior business development manager of the Indian Subcontinent.

Which institutes are best for the veterinary education/training?

There are about 40 veterinary colleges in the country, there aren’t a lot of private colleges that provide veterinary education. Since most of the institutes are government owned, you get best and cheapest professional education in the country.

What are the costs associated with the veterinary education/training?

The yearly fee would be around 20,000 INR, so that’s merely 1 lakh for 4 years. Plus, you get paid approximately 18,000 INR per month, when you start your internship (it’s course-mandated), so that way you recover your money very early.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?

It really depends on what kind of expertise you have. You can go into poultry, swine, canine, marine etc. You can even branch out do a course on the sex psychology of animals, so the opportunities are vast and varied.

Like my expertise was poultry, which is how I ended up in the techno-commercial role. Similarly, people with different skill sets might end up in different kinds of jobs/industries.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

5 years of experience – INR 30,000–60,000

10 years of experience – 1,50,000–2,00,000

15 years of experience – 3,00,000–5,00,000

20+ years of experience – 6,00,000–8,00,000

Please describe your work.

Our company produces products which are required for the poultry feed. My job entails explaining the technicalities and necessity of the same to our clients and in turn generating sales for the company.

At the same time, I also try to procure new clients for the company. The aforementioned tasks are mainly what I do on a day-to-day basis.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

Being a veterinarian means you are associated with an industry that will never die because people will have pets and people have to eat. We are in the human food chain business as long as that persists there will always be a need for vets. My job requires a lot of international traveling. I have traveled to 45 countries to date. The company covers any and all expenses involved so this job is a dream come true for a travel enthusiast.

Also, this is a very multifaceted field. I might be a poultry nutritionist but if I wanted, I could open up a private practice looking after animals and people’s pets because my degree allows me to do that. For example, my wife has a Ph.D. in poultry science which has nothing to do with surgery. But she has her own practice and does surgery on pets because she has the requisite anatomical knowledge. My point being that branching out in this field is very easy and you can do so according to your interest and convenience. It’s easy to earn money in this field; even a simple graduate could open up their own practice and do very well for themselves.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?

Getting a degree in Veterinary Sciences is not as easy as it used to be earlier. There is a lot of competition in this field. In my days, there was no entrance exam. We got admission based on our aggregate marks in PCB, but now you need to undergo an entrance exam.

Just to put things in perspective, today a lot of the toppers from NEET opt for veterinary schools.

Another job specific challenge that I have is, I don’t have any fixed working hours. Since I have to work in various time zones, it is supposed to be 8 hours a day but if I get a call at 7 am for a conference in Singapore, I cannot ignore it just because I’m operating on Indian time. So, that way my working hours can be very unpredictable.

Another thing is I love traveling and it can be a bit exhausting and the timing doesn’t always work out in my favor. Like recently I had to travel when my kid’s exams were going on but still, I wouldn’t consider it as a hindrance to my personal life (although some people might) because when I’m not traveling I’m home for days and I can devote as much time as I want to my family.

What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

Biotechnology is definitely one upcoming field to watch out for. Its applications are extensive and it is into consideration for pet surgeries.

As for trends, there is a running joke between my wife and me these days that people have an attitude wherein they won’t take care of their parents but will always cherish and take care of their pets.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

One of the most important factors is that you should possess an innate sense of wanting to help others; be it humans or animals that kind of mentality is necessary. You cannot opt for any profession pertaining to medical sciences as a second option you need to have a passion for it. Another thing, as I mentioned before, is that you should definitely love traveling but this only goes in so far as field jobs are concerned.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I might have gone into another line of work, but at the time when I was a student, we weren’t really given the liberty of choosing our own profession beyond medicine or engineering.

What would be your advice to students/professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

I don’t have any major advice just that one should be focused. Make sure this is what you really want and when choosing your area of expertise within the profession take both your interest and aptitude into account.

Contributing Writer — Shtakshi Gupta