Indian Navy: Military Rank: Companies are increasingly using ex-servicemen to fill the skills gap

Aveek Misra, a Short Term Commission (SSC) officer who has worked on surface warfare vessels for 11 years, has a unique blend of professional experiences. At 35, he left the Indian Navy to join , a company of the RPG group. The idea was to stay professionally engaged in an environment that keeps him intellectually motivated, says Misra, who works on overseeing KEC projects for the Indian Air Force, various smart cities and other defense projects.

“Companies are increasingly realizing that qualities such as adaptability, sincerity and integrity, which are at the core of ex-servicemen, require a great deal of rigor to develop,” says Misra.

Rajkumar Agarwal, a submarine specialist for 14 years, was also picked up by KEC under an executive program the armed forces have with IIMs.

Like Misra and Agarwal, a growing number of army veterans are now part of the company’s workforce and even though the debate around Agniveers rages on, several companies have brought in some number of veterans in the ranks over the years.

Mahindra Group, RPG,

Sodexo, Godrej & Boyce, among others, have increased the recruitment of military veterans in recent years, as companies find them well-trained in process orientation, disciplined, good at execution and with high integrity.

“Companies appreciate the discipline brought by ex-servicemen and I see the trend of hiring veterans only increasing,” says former naval architect officer Agarwal.

“Ex-military people are good candidates because they’re willing to go to any ‘uncharted territory’ to work on a project,” says Harsh Goenka, president of the RPG group, which onboards ex-military people every year into leadership positions.

Respond to the labor shortage

The RPG Group has a specialized “CORPS to Corporate” program that helps former military members transition smoothly into civilian life.

Hiring military veterans also allows companies to expand their talent pool to address a labor shortage in the market, says Pradeep Chavda, director – HR – India at Sodexo, one of the largest foodservice and facilities management and technical service providers who hire ex-military personnel. , mainly at the level of management and department heads.

“We have several heads of profit centers as well as people at the supervisory level who have come from former departments. Although many of these people come with a degree in management, it’s not a necessary prerequisite to get hired,” says Chavda. “They are already well trained in process orientation. They have strong communication skills,

in client interaction and project planning skills and are good at executing and closing goals,” he says.

Recently, the company launched a policy to sponsor the development and continuing education of defense employees who join them in any domestic or foreign course.

Companies in industries such as automotive, telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, and aerospace are hiring military veterans to manage their engineering/machining/tooling outposts.

Mahindra & Mahindra appoints ex-military personnel to senior positions in functions such as strategy, supply chain, human resources, marketing, as well as in leadership roles.

Edwin Lobo, Vice President of Human Resources for the Group’s Logistics business, Mahindra Logistics, said: “Armed forces veterans are exposed to transportation management, warehouse management, contract management, sourcing, inventory management as well as store and online food management where they managed various portfolios. ”

Over the past three years, the company has hired more than 30 military veterans and is in the process of hiring 1-2 batches each year that include 12-15 veterans, Lobo says.

Hero MotoCorp has seen many former military personnel join its ranks. “Their leadership, their strong work ethic and their rigor of execution are definitely an asset for us,” said a spokesperson.

Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice president of staffing firm Teamlease Services, said: “There is a wide range of Army veteran appointments in the logistics, e-commerce and warehouse segments. “These people are good at handling crises and their ability to execute is considered very high.”

About 60,000 to 70,000 members of the armed forces retire each year, with the majority in their early 40s, experts say.

Command. Sudheer Parakala, president of the Tri-services Ex-servicemen Welfare Association, says, “Hiring ex-servicemen is good for companies because they have highly disciplined staff at a relatively young age. Companies must also do background checks if they hire men directly from the forces. Men who leave the forces after 17 years of service are mainly hired by PSUs, banks and utility companies like BHEL and NTPC,” he says.

Men who come out of short-term commission programs can obtain management positions in large corporations; many end up sitting for the UPSC exam and getting high-level government jobs.

The defense industry is growing in India. Agniveers and military veterans are ideal for the defense industry. “Young members of the Air Force could be hired as ground staff, air traffic controllers (ATC), mechanics, machinists and even engineers. Navy personnel could be hired in profiles that may require skills or competencies in electricity and electronics. With some training and thorough onboarding programs, these people will be ready to take on their corporate responsibilities quite easily,” says Parakala.

Companies also have orientation programs to integrate them into the company. Harpreet Kaur, Director and Senior Vice President (Personnel and Business Administration), Godrej & Boyce, says, “We have comprehensive orientation programs to integrate and enable them to become contributing members of the organization. »

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