Retired armed force personnel train for corporate jobs

Retired armed force personnel train for corporate jobs

Wednesday, 26 August 2009, 12:10 Hrs
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Kolkata: They were earlier men in olive green protecting the country. After bidding farewell to arms, these retired armed forces personnel are honing their skills at India's premier management institutes to equip themselves for crack civilian jobs in the corporate sector.

The six-month Armed Forces Programme (AFP), started three years ago by B-schools like the Indian Institutes of Management, has been helping the former soldiers increase their job prospects.

"They retire early from armed forces but have long years ahead of them. The course provides them with customised training for corporate jobs," Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) Director Shekhar Chaudhuri told IANS.

The management schools do not have placement services for the trainees. "But we act as facilitator by letting them use the campus for job interviews," Chaudhuri said.

The IIMs run the course once a year as per an agreement with the directorate general of resettlement (DGR) under the defence ministry.

Apart from the IIMs, the Xavier Labour Relations Institute in Jamshedpur and the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon also run courses for the just-retired armed forces personnel.

"We have 30 subjects and projects in this course," retired Captain Manish Srivastava, now studying at IIM-C, told IANS.

The subjects include operations management, cost accounting, marketing, retail marketing and strategic management.

Asked to spell out the experiences which they were likely to encounter in the corporate world as distinct from their defence experiences, another trainee, retired Wing Commander P.M. Srinivasan of the Indian Air Force, said the novelty would lie in the "less hierarchical approach in the business sector".

"All armed forces personnel are adept at planning and execution. They are also experts in overcoming hurdles by opting for plan B when plan A becomes unworkable.

"But in the corporate world, there is more scope for meetings and discussions. And there is not much of a hierarchy, unlike in the forces," said Srinivasan.

Ruia Group chairman Pawan Ruia praised the commitment of the ex-defence personnel.

"We find them very focussed and committed to their work. They are very disciplined and now that they are getting trained by management institutions, this will enhance their capabilities," said Ruia, who was one of the guest lecturers during the course.

Has the recession affected placements?

"Not much," said Srinivasan.

Last year, around 50 percent of the students were placed by the end of the course and the rest got jobs within a month or two afterwards.

"This year (April-September), there were problems around a month back, as fewer companies were visiting us. But then we started calling up companies, visiting them and informing them about our courses. Now more firms are visiting us," Col. Jatinder Uppal, placement committee head of the current batch, told IANS.

Uppal said: "We have initiated talks with at least 10-15 companies till date. Around six-seven have already visited us and we expect many more in the coming days."

Companies like Hindustan National Glass, Simplex Infrastructure, Ruia Group and Larsen & Toubro have made their rounds of IIM-C this year.

"We are hopeful many more companies will come to us at the end of our course in September," said Srinivasan.
Source: IANS
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