The absence of permanent commission (PC) in the armed forces is forcing many lady officers to discard their battle fatigues and don power suits in the corporate sector.
And the transformation spells big bucks. From measly pay packets of Rs 25,000 per month on an average, the switch to Civvy Street sometimes gets them 10-fold salary jumps.
Captain Sonam Khullar could have served the army for another six years but the 33-year-old chose to hang her uniform after just eight years of service. “There was no option as the army does not give PC to women. Like our seniors we want to reach top managerial positions,” says the Ordnance officer.
Several businesses these days prefer to hire women officers, says CP Shrimali, dean, Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon. “They earn upto Rs 30 lakh per annum. A lot of fresh MBAs are reluctant to serve in far-flung towns but army officers have no such hang-ups.”
The MDI is among six B-schools across the country, including IIMs, which offer tailor-made management courses to army officers. Apart from the MDI, other B-schools take in about 60 army officers every year, roughly 10 per cent of them women.
Thirty-one year old Shradha Mishra, a Major from Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, quit the army in 2005 after serving for seven years. In two years time, she was heading Spice Telecom’s west zone operations, earning a cool Rs 21 lakh per annum. “Money is not everything. I would have proudly served the army had I been given a chance. Now that I am out, I have to upgrade my skills to stay afloat in a fiercely competitive environment.”