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Do Ex-Servicemen make better managers ?
Human Resources » Case Studies

Chrm Message From: jacob27 Total Posts: 12 Join Date: 27/02/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 24/04/2006 02:09:22 Points: 60 Location: India

A Survey on

“Do Ex-Servicemen Make Better Managers?”

Conceived and Conducted by:

DefenceIndia ,India’s premier online news magazine and path-finder on defence. In association with Credence Communications Pvt. Ltd.
A boutique image advisory firm.

The Need :

DefenceIndia was inundated with numerous calls in 2004-05, from corporate entities, Small and medium enterprises, and boutique manufacturing firms with requests for recommendations for vacancies in their organizations. The team were requested to collate and share lists of ex-servicemen who could be the best fit in that organization’s profile and prove to be a long term asset.

DefenceIndia team could sense a paradigm shift in the manner, the HR managers and owner-managers perceived the servicemen. Gone were the days when the servicemen were perceived to be best in roles of security manager and advisors. Subtle deviations did foresee many ex-servicemen in positions of international/government liaison, but those were exceptions to the rule.

Was India Inc. ready to perceive, attract and retain ex-servicemen in positions hitherto considered the bastion of fancy degrees and corporate domain experience?
Was India Inc. ready to acknowledge the persona, the innumerable facets that an ex-servicemen had, and did India Inc feel that those facets could be a perfect “ fit ” in the new scheme of things?

Armed with these queries, the team set out to understand and get the clear picture.

Plan of Action:

A blueprint was prepared that visualized the following steps:
1. A nationwide survey, based on a simple questionnaire
a. Have you worked with ex-servicemen?
b. Do you believe ex-servicemen make better, efficient managers?
c. What is your take on this?
2. An online Poll on
3. Reaching out to ex-servicemen and taking their advise.
4. Following general trends.

Methodology :

A span of 30 days.
1000 industry friends were called, faxed/emailed and posted, the brief questionnaire.
Online Blogs and HR groups were sent the brief.
Personal Interactions were made with more than 100 people.
Results were collated and analysed.

The Outcome:

1. 70% of respondents favoured ex-servicemen in their organizations and maintained that ex-servicemen made efficient managers.
2. Majority rated ex-servicemen high on counts of risk-taking and openness to new and fresh thoughts and ideas.
3. Majority rated ex-servicemen as the best bet for man-management skills, specially in large scale units, specifically in labour intensive units.
4. Majority perceived ex-servicemen effective as mentors, trainers and perfect as coaches.
5. There were new ideas where ex-servicemen were perceived effective as marketing managers on the basis of their presentation skills, ability to think, “out of the box”, and team player attitude.
6. Voices of dissent came from the new age companies which rated ex-servicemen average, in terms of adaptability and open-armed approach to new cultures.
7. On expected lines, HR Managers who dealt with cross-cultural training and adjustments, rated ex-servicemen higher than average.


Rajesh Dixit, GM – Corporate Communications, Reliance Industries Ltd.
Yes, Ive found them to be very energetic, commanding and with virtues of team playing and leadership instilled…with a penchant to always be calm.

Rohit Kumar, MD, IKAN Relocation Services Pvt Ltd.
Definitely, they are an asset, can lead, motivate and soothe ruffled feathers…

Rajeev Narayan, GM – Corp Comm, HCL.
Yes, they do make better managers because of their disciplined and structured approach.

Rajesh Bhardwaj, Advisor, KPMG.
A rare breed. And of immense mental strength and physical agility. A proven asset.

Rajesh Tripathy, Senior Manager – HR, Panacea Biotech.
Yes, some are good as they are very disciplined, have positive attitude, tend to have responsibility & they are committed to their job.

S R Kaushal, Manager – HR, BHEL.
Yes, they do make better manager as they are disciplined and follow the rules strictly.
Gaurav Sharma, Manager – HR, Sahara Computers.

Yes, they do as they have good qualities like leadership quality & discipline.
Dimple, Manager – HR, Abstract E Services.

Yes, they do as they are more experienced & more systematic.
Shalini Rao, Manager – HR, Nitesh Group.

Yes, they do make better managers. They have the grooming etiquette, dedication, disciplined approach, reliability & they have been doing the managing job for as long as they were in the Defence. So definitely they do hold a priority above the rest, just that they do not have an exposure in the corporate world.
Jagdish, Manager – HR, Alcatel India Ltd.

Chrm Message From: CHRM Total Posts: 209 Join Date: 27/02/2006  
Rank: Coach Post Date: 24/04/2006 23:48:21 Points: 1045 Location: India

Dear Members,

This has really been an interesting case study presentation by Jacob and a well woven one throwing focus on the attributes persistent within the ex-servicemen.

It's a known fact that the post-influx time after the Y2K has seen an increased significance in the recognition of the ex-servicemen in our country. The people who served in the armed and defence forces have suddenly felt their recognition rising in the barracks of the corporate benches. Headhunters have been on a rolling stone to get thru those these professionals to fill-in strategic and key positions in the corporate economy.

Defence personnel, by virtue of their training and upbringing,  are rich in experience. They have imbibed a value system which is a boon for any society. Their qualities of courage, discipline and integrity alone make them ideally suitable for absorption into various fields in the public and private sectors. With some guidance, orientation, training and assistance, they can do extremely well as self-employed entrepreneurs too. According to a personal experience, defence personnel inculcate noteworthy habits of going into minute details, visualising an event/activity and preparing and executing the same in best possible manner. Basic etiquette, courtesy and excellent personal conduct are the hallmarks of every service person.

So to conclude, they can be effective leaders and executors of specific functions and domains and they can be effevtive managers or to say a people's manager..

Any members with their viewpoints on the same..



"Think HR, think CHRM..

Chrm Message From: jacob27 Total Posts: 12 Join Date: 27/02/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 25/04/2006 00:04:49 Points: 60 Location: India

Right On Boss.