Preparing armed forces officers for a post-retirement career

July 11th, 2008 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, July 11 (IANS) After practising battlefield tactics, they are now into learning boardroom strategies. Meet this group of 64 armed forces officers, 15 of them women, who are undergoing an executive management programme to prepare them for a second career after retirement. In fact, some of them have found placements even before the course concludes.

Some have even flown aircraft and sailed submarines. Now, on the verge of hanging their uniforms they are learning corporate terminologies and functioning for a career in the civilian world.

“After serving in terrorism regions, serving in the corporate jungle does not seem so daunting after all,” quipped Capt. Shradha Tewari of the Indian Army’s Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers at the Management Development Institute (MDI) here.

“Besides the learning value, the course provides an opportunity to showcase the multifarious skills of these future corporate warriors and will enable them to settle down to a satisfying second career, for some at the age of 25, for others in their mid- fifties,” said Col. Joseph Raj Kumar, an IT expert who was earlier involved in creating an human resource (HR) management project at Army Headquarters here.

Thus, it is not surprising that some of the course participants have mastered the art of marketing their skills for grabbing annual packages of up to Rs.2 million, while junior officers leaving after a five-year stint in the armed forces are pegged lower at Rs1-1.2 million.

MDI placement coordinator Col Satya Nidhi Tandon is very hopeful of a good response from industry not just from the capital and its surroundings but also from the entire northern India, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and the northeastern states for those in the course who are yet to be placed.

“This is perhaps the only place where the recruiters can get so many disciplined, experienced and focused problem solvers, all under one roof,” he pointed out.

The defence ministry sponsors similar six-month duration programmes at the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata, as also at the Narsi Monji Institute of Management at Mumbai and at XLRI, Jamshedpur.

The government picks up 60 percent of the cost, with the officers paying the balance.

At MDI for example, the officers pay close to Rs.100,000 for the six-months intensive course, with the government paying Rs.150,000.

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