Fit and Well-behaved Ex-servicemen Provide India Inc. a New Advantage

By Consultants Review Team Wednesday, 10 July 2024

As they enter the next stage of expansion, a growing number of major conglomerates and elite businesses in India are utilizing the talent pool of former service members

In FY24, Reliance Industries employed close to 2,000 former employees, a 33% increase in only one year. With 7,500 workers, it employs more ex-military men than any other Indian enterprise. Industry sources claim that a number of Tata Group firms, automakers like Maruti Suzuki, and other businesses including the state-run ONGC, Vedanta, Adani Group, RPG Group, and Sodexo employ former army members.

According to a Reliance executive, these workers not only offer distinctive value due to their exceptional levels of discipline and fitness, but also because of their execution rigor, crisis management abilities, and resilience in challenging environments. He said, "They also bring the capacity to function in a volatile and uncertain environment."

Rather than employing former military personnel as needed, natural resources company Vedanta started a systematic effort to onboard them in FY24, according to top HR officer Madhu Srivastava. An estimated 55,000–60,000 individuals leave the Army, navy, and air force each year. Additionally, a lot of officers who are outclassed at the age of fifty or older leave the military, with the vast majority going to work for corporations.

The military has a fairly steep pyramid, with many officers quitting and around 30% of officers in each level being replaced. Big Indian corporations, like Reliance, Adani, L&T, and Tatas, use them for positions in HR, administration, supply chain, and strategy, among other departments, according to chief mentor and former president of the Tri-services Ex-servicemen Welfare Association Commodore Sudheer Parakala. Junior commissioned officers and other ranks make up the remaining 1,200–1,300 officers, or around 2%, of the Asoldiers who retire each year, according to him. According to industry officials, utilizing the veteran pool not only broadens the workforce but also fills talent gaps in certain fields.

"During their years of employment in our defense organization, ex-servicemen have acquired a number of special talents. Additionally, they acquire highly special skills in problem-solving, teamwork, stakeholder management, and project management," stated Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO of Ciel HR, a company that has placed several ex-servicemen with major Indian corporations. "We see large employers such as the Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Reliance, L&T, Vedanta Group, among others, recruiting such talent from time to time."

Veterans of the Army are also hired in the logistics, e-commerce, and warehousing sectors because they are very skilled at handling pressure and have excellent execution skills. Among the industries that appoint people are the automotive, manufacturing, electricity, telecom, logistics, and warehousing sectors.

The biggest food and facilities management firm in the world, Sodexo, employs individuals with military experience; many of these individuals have leadership positions and are in charge of profit centers or are supervisory level heads.

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