Many officers from the Army, Navy and the Air Force with varied backgrounds, experience and expertise are polishing their managerial skills at premier B-schools, as a precursor to the launch of their ‘second career’ in the corporate world.
They say that an army officer’s life starts and ends with serving his / her country and protecting it. But many a times, in the contemporary scenario, an army officer chooses to let go off his / her defense career or is forced to do so, due to unprecedented circumstances and join the corporate life like a simple civilian. But having spent so many years serving the country, entering the corporate world becomes quite an unsettling task. However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel now as many B-schools are increasingly offering courses tailor made for armed officers seeking civilian jobs.
Directorate of Re-Settlement, Ministry of Defense, new Delhi has started a scheme of helping their officers in their second careers who opt out from the services due to early retirement or short commission. These officers who have to undergo training are selected by the Directorate and sent to various management institutions. The Directorate approached us three years ago and requested us to plan a management program for these officers. We accepted this requested immediately and designed the program for these officers. The title of this program is “Post Graduate Certificate Course in Business Management” and its duration is for six month full time.
Approximately 60,000 officers and men from the armed forces retire every year. The retiring personnel are in the age group of 35 to 45 years. These personnel need to begin a second career as they are a trained and disciplined human resource. The acceptance from the corporate sector has been remarkably huge and they have understood that defense officers / personnel can go beyond the security department. To prepare the retiring defense personnel for employment / self employment and to ensure their smooth transition to the corporate world, IMT – CDL’s programs give them the flexibility and equip them with the concepts and skills of all functional areas of management. The courses at IMT – CDL expose students to key areas such as marketing management, financial accounting, human resource management, organizational behavior etc among others. The defense personnel are also making effective use of their experience in the armed forces to combat that corporate battlefield.
The management courses for officers are a highly focused program completed in a six month time. The purpose is to expose these officers to various functional areas with basic knowledge in each function.
So, what kinds of career opportunities can ex-defense officers expect on the completion of such a management program? After completion of this program, army officers appear in the placement interviews at the campus. These officers get absorbed in the corporate world in technical as well as other functional areas of the organization. The type of industries who have absorbed them, in the past, are IT, retail, manufacturing, other services industries like banking consultancy organizations, SMEs etc.
The ex-army men can begin their second innings to conquer the corporate world by working mainly in key position fields like administration, human resources development, marketing, IT, corporate communications, strategic planning and teaching. BS served in the army for 15 years is one of the students at The Indian School of Business in this present class of 2010. He want to rise to a level where he can manage an organization on his own. What he learnt in the army is equally relevant to the corporate world; there, it is about winning and here, it is about profit maximizing.
It is indeed a very proud moment for, corporate India to have these defense people on board. With their level of commitment and discipline, they are certainly great assets to any organization.