Making the transition from the battlefield to the boardroom surely isn’t easy. But at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow (IIM-L), where the seventh general management programme (GMP) for defense personnel, began on Monday, this is exactly what is being taught ever so successfully for the last three years to those officers of the Indian armed forces who wish to make the switch.
Little wonder, the 33 officers who arrived at the IIM-L on Monday, for taking the six-month course on management, organized in association with the army’s resettlement directorate looked excited and said that they were looking forward to learning the nuances of managing an entirely different terrain – the corporate jungle.
Lieutenant Colonel Amarjit Singh, 46, who took the previous course besides heading the placement committee that ensured that top recruiters were contacted and informed about the "unique talent pool" that was available, told HT, "The most important thing we learnt at IIM-L was how to mentally prepare for the life in the corporate world. This meant becoming accustomed to being called on a first name basis sans prefixes and realizing that that the strict hierarchy practiced in the force would have to give way to lots of informal sharing etc.
Going by the feedback received from previous batches, the institute this year has decided to fly in experts from the industry for making the officers aware of what the corporate world needs.
“Till the sixth GMP we used to run classes for six days a week. Now, we have decided to cut it short by a day and use the sixth day for industry interaction. We have also changed the course content slightly so that what the officers are taught is in sync with industry requirements,” Prof Pankaj Kumar, chairman, management development programme of IIM-L told HT.
Brigadier Rajiv Verma, director general, resettlement, Central Command, told the officers that the entire exercise was not new. “In armed forces too, officers indulge in management. Only the context changes in corporate world and IIM-L course would arm you with the management tools to become successful in the industry.” Prof RL Raina and Dr Ajay Garg, the course coordinators said effort would to be to prepare the men in the armed officers get ready to serve the corporate world in just six months. “They have the basics in place. They have been following chain management, operations management etc for such a long time. We would just fine tune their skills.” In the past, officers after taking the IIM-L course have got excellent offers in the industry and getting placed with recruiters like Infosys, HCL, Barclays etc.