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Rediff.com  » Business » Corporate warfare lessons for the army

Corporate warfare lessons for the army

October 19, 2005 13:37 IST
The next time you step into a prestigious management institute in India, don't be surprised to find men in uniform.

The Indian Army is now going to send the men of action to top B-schools to train them in the fine art of management.

The army has tied up with the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, the Narsee Monjee Institute in Mumbai, MDI in Gurgaon, and the SIES College of Management in Mumbai, for its senior officers to take six-month management courses.

India's MBA gold rush

Soon, the army's Directorate General, Resettlement, will tie up with the IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.

"We feel army men learning the art of the finest business management is essential these days for making our force in-tune with the times," said Major General Kuldip Sindhu, director general, resettlement.

About 40 officers have already completed one round of managerial training courses from various institutes last year.

"Some 50 officers are currently attending management courses this year," General Sindhu added.

IIM Bangalore to take in more students

"In course of time, all officers above the major general rank will compulsorily undergo three-week to three-month capsule management courses in various IIMs," a senior defence ministry official told rediff.com

There is also a move, the officer said, for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy to tie up with the Indian Institutes of Technology for special training for its engineers. "The deal is being finalised," the general said.

But just what prompted the army to embark on the IIM training mission for its personnel?

The thinking is that corporate managers and the armed forces operate roughly on the same mental and managerial levels when it comes to the following:

  • Management practices are the same whether it is for the armed forces or for corporate managers. 
  • The armed services personnel need to be very good managers, thanks to the need for discipline, loyalty, integrity, selfless service, strategic thinking, exposure to risks, crises, and high technology, besides experience in managing men, materials, and logistics. 
  • Management studies instil in army men a high degree of confidence in their leadership, a key index of morale.

Defence ministry officials say studying with students in India's top B-schools raises the morale and confidence of army men.

Last year, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies held a survey among army personnel. It said soldiers were increasingly unhappy with service conditions.

IIM, IIT courses for ex-servicemen

The Indian Army is no stranger to management studies. The Army Institute of Management in Kolkata conducts state-of-the-art management programmes for children of army personnel, with opportunities for general candidates as well.

AIM is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education and affiliated to the West Bengal University of Technology.  AIM is considered one of the best B-schools in the country.

George Iype in Kochi