GCCs in India: GCCs in India employ nearly 24,000 veterans | Bengaluru News

Bengaluru/Hyderabad: Armed forces personnel are making significant inroads into the corporate world, particularly in Global Capability Centres (GCCs). These veterans bring a unique combination of discipline, strategic thinking and the ability to perform under pressure, making them valuable assets to companies. Madan Kumar Subramanian, a former First Lieutenant in the Indian Air Force, moved into the corporate world after completing his postgraduate management studies at IIM-Calcutta. Today, he works as a Head of Software Development at Fiserv, a global fintech and payments company, where he leads a team of programmers working on peer-to-peer financial products. Kumar is part of a growing cadre of veterans who are making their mark in the corporate world, and are not just confining themselves to roles in HR or facilities management. According to Devashish Sharma, CEO of recruitment firm Taggd, the number of veterans hired in the GCC has increased to 24,000 in fiscal year 2023-24 from 10,000 a decade ago. According to recruitment firm Xpheno, mid- to large-sized GCC countries in the banking, retail and telecom sectors are hiring veterans in certain areas. “GCC countries are moving up the value chain in the coming years and will hire veterans for larger and higher-value roles,” said Kedar Pathak, a GCC specialist at Xpheno. Several companies have launched special programs to recruit veterans. Deepti Varma, vice president of human resources, employee experience and technology at Amazon Stores India and emerging markets, said the company is hiring veterans for roles in corporate, transportation, customer fulfillment, facility management, human resources and security operations. Amazon, for example, launched a veterans program in 2019 to tap into the talent pool of the armed forces and give them a second try in the corporate world. The company has partnered with the offices of the Director General of Resettlement (DGR), the Indian Naval Placement Agency (INPA), the Indian Air Force Placement Agency (IAFPA), the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO) and recently the Indian Coast Guard to hire veterans. Two years ago, the e-commerce giant launched a dedicated Indian military talent pool page aimed at veterans and members of the retiring armed forces. Wells Fargo, AT&T, Allstate India, Carelon Global Solutions and Deutsche Bank have also hired veterans for various positions, including director positions. Wells Fargo has hired over 100 military personnel in the last few years. Management institutes such as the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) and the Indian School of Business (ISB) have seen an increase in demand for their armed forces programs. Prof Rajat Sharma, lecturer in marketing and coordinator of the Armed Forces Programme at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), said the institute offers a 6-month course with a class strength of 50-60 students. “We are seeing increased demand for the course from military personnel in their 30s, from the Short Term Service Commission, 40s and even 50s. Due to the increased demand, we are planning to start a second such programme in October,” Sharma said. He said while most focus on electives like general administration, HRD or hospital administration, some also opt for electives like those in technical fields like AI and digital. At the Indian School of Business (ISB), military personnel enroll in all their postgraduate programmes, the one-year PGP as well as PGP-Max and PGP-Pro, an executive MBA offered as a weekend programme. “I would say about 5% of the students come from the armed forces,” said Prof. Ramabhadran Thirumalai, associate dean, ISB. Last year, ISB, in collaboration with the Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Department and the Ministry of Defence, introduced an Armed Forces Scholarship that offers a 50% waiver of tuition fees to armed forces veterans or active personnel who wish to return to civilian life. Naval Commandant Vishal Yadavalli and Aditi Sharma, a former deputy commandant of the Indian Coast Guard, are both pursuing PGP programmes at ISB to enhance their knowledge and build a solid foundation in the business world. “My experience in frugal product design, programme and project management, strategy formulation and dealing with global supply chains predestines me for roles in operations and technology management. However, to achieve my goals, I need to expand my knowledge in finance, marketing and corporate strategy,” said Yadavalli. As the GCCs continue to move up the value chain, the demand for veterans in larger and higher-value roles is expected to increase. The unique skills and experience that veterans bring with them make them valuable employees for companies looking to expand their operations and compete in the competitive business landscape. Sharma, who was the Deputy Commandant of the Indian Coast Guard and is currently pursuing a PGP program at ISB, said, “Being a military veteran comes with its own challenges. After retirement, as a veteran, you not only start a career from scratch but also leave the professional world behind. I wanted to build a solid foundation in the business world and build a wide network of colleagues.”

Sybil Alvarez

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