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Retirement benefits

india Updated: Jan 20, 2009 13:52 IST
Deepika Bugalia

When medical representative Jensher Singh (60) retired from pharma company Petro Laboratory (Ahmedabad) in 2007, he knew it wouldn’t be easy to find another job.

While looking for one, he heard of, a portal that finds suitable employment for retired people.

He registered and, in days, found a job in the marketing department of Metal Cast, a company involved in metal castings, in Jaipur.

Like Singh, NK Joshi (61), who retired in 2006 from a senior position at Bansal Wires, a steel wire-drawing company in Ghaziabad, happened to stumble upon when looking for post-retirement employment.

“It took the website just one month to find me a job,” said Joshi, now a works manager with Nikunj, which draws brass wires, in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh.

The website is run by Ravi Kumar Panagaria, who retired as senior vice-president, HEG Ltd, in 2006 and his wife Asha.

“It took me two months to establish my own consultancy firm following retirement. But I realised the problems other retired people face. That was when we decided to do something about it,” the Jaipur-based Panagaria said.

On January 1, 2008, he and Asha published their first advertisement in a local daily, asking retired people to send in their resumes, to be passed on to companies looking for such candidates.

“The response we got was amazing,” said Asha. “It made us realise that a large number of people were struggling for decent resettlement.”

But placing advertisements in newspapers was expensive, and it was also proving difficult to connect with potential employers.

The Internet offered a low-cost solution to both problems.

“We launched our website on June 30, 2008, in memory of my late father B.L. Panagaria, in whose memory we have dedicated this initiative,” said Panagaria.

The site is now managed by the B.L. Panagaria Memorial Trust. It even provides mailing addresses for applicants who are not computer-literate.

Most applications come from retired bank and government employees.

“We get a lot of applications from retired defence officers and public-sector officials. Even compounders and clerks have applied,” said Panagaria. “In fact, the first application we received was from a retired chief commissioner of the income tax department.”

Over the last six months, the website has placed 750 retired people in suitable positions.

“Helpage India and the Army cell for retired persons have been helping us, but we have not taken any financial help from anywhere,” said Panagaria.

The couple use their own money and some money from their trust to meet the costs of running the website.

For the next step, Panagaria plans to retrain and reorient retired people to make them suitable for work in a modern environment.

“Many applicants have very little knowledge of computers and don’t want to spend money learning new skills. So we plan to train them at our cost,” he said.

That could make growing old and retiring a worry-free exercise.