Imapct factor(SJIF): 6.56
A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management
An Entrepreneurship Development Initiative - A Project Designed, Developed and Executed for Indian Army Personnel.
*Dr. Rajesh N. Pahurkar, Assistant Professor, Department of Management Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune-07.
**Dr.(Capt.) C.M. Chitale: Professor(Retd.), Department of Management Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University,Pune-07.
***Dr.(Mrs) Surbhi Jain, Professor, Department of Management Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune-07.
The present study is a case of Social Entrepreneurship. This study was conducted in three phases spanning for almost one year time. The first phase was to understand the extent of entrepreneurial skills and abilities possessed by the differently-abled soldiers and the about to retire soldiers of the Indian Army and also to understand the areas in which the soldiers would like to start their enterprise. An extensive survey to understand the same was done. It was found through the research that the soldiers possessed several characteristics of an entrepreneur. They showed a keen interest in Entrepreneurship. Hence in the second phase of the research the researchers developed an Entrepreneurship Development (ED) capsule taking into view the interests of the soldiers. The course was conducted for two batches of retiring soldiers and one program was conducted for the differently-abled soldiers who are inmates of the paraphegic house and those who were doing various courses at Queen Mary’s Technical Institute at Khadki, Pune during their study leave. In the third phase (Impact evaluation of ED training) the researchers tried to understand the practical applicability of the program by reverting back to the soldiers who had attended the programme. After interacting with the participants (Soldiers) it was found out that out of 67 retired soldiers whom the researchers were able to contact, 26 had engaged themselves in some entrepreneurial activity and for many the programme was an eye opener and kindled the spark of entrepreneurship in them
Keywords –Entrepreneurship Development, Training, Impact.
Rehabilitation of soldiers of Indian Army is a challenge as they retire very early in life. Most of them retire by the time they are of 44 years. Through this project the researchers have identified that with their Army background there is a good potential amongst the soldiers for entrepreneurship, if they get the right exposure at the right time.
The Present study is a case of Social Entrepreneurship which is a process of bringing about meaningful changes in the society by identifying specific challenges and working out solutions to resolve the same (Martin & Osberg , 2007).
Queen Mary’s Technical Institute,(QMTI) Khadki ,Pune, in 2008. QMTI is an NGO working towards rehabilitation of disabled soldiers since 1917. The researchers while working with the disabled soldiers of the Indian Army realized that the soldiers have keen interest towards Entrepreneurship and there was a tremendous scope for further training them.
Around 50,000 soldiers hang up their uniforms every year (Shukla, 2015). 85 per cent soldiers compulsorily retire between 35 and 37 years of age (Som, 2015). Another 12-13 per cent soldiers retire between 40 and 54 years. The retirement age is deliberately kept early to maintain the physical fitness of the forces.
As veterans begin their second innings, entrepreneurship is increasingly becoming an appealing option. Military veterans make good leaders they value team work and have great respect for procedures. Veterans are goal-focused, have strategic clarity and high risk appetite; they plan and execute well to achieve tangible results (Kumar, 2014).
Army instills focus, brings in discipline, fosters leadership traits much required for entrepreneurship (Taj, 2009). Training Military Veterans in area of Entrepreneurship has been very successful in the US also (Moran, 2012).
The literature review suggests that Army personnel have many traits of Entrepreneurs (Thomas, M., et.al.1987). Most of the case studies on entrepreneurship of Army veterans were from the officers rank .The researchers found out that not much work has been done on the soldiers for whom planning the second career is much more difficult as they retire much early and come from rural areas. Their education qualification would be only up to matriculation. The spouse of theses soldiers are even less educated. Even if financial assistance is given to them, for their rehabilitation, the effective utilization of that money still remains a big question. It is observed that soldiers face lot of problems during their rehabilitation as compared to commissioned officers.
Keeping these facts in view the Army Commander, Head Quarter, Southern Command and authorities of Southern Command assigned a Training Consultancy project to the researchers. The project was to develop and execute an Entrepreneurship Development(ED) capsule for Disabled Soldiers and about to retire Army soldier. This study was conducted in three phases spanning for almost one year time. The project executed in three phases as shown below-
After knowing that the soldiers were interested in entrepreneurship it was decided by the General Officer Commanding-In-Chief (GOC-in- C), Southern Command and PUMBA that the area needs further probing as Entrepreneurship is a good way for such soldiers to support themselves and their families to achieve the above objective, a detailed survey was planned by the team of researchers.
The Psychometric test was designed by referring the national and international tools used to measure the entrepreneurial knowledge and qualities (Abilities/ Attitudes /Personality Traits).
Objectives of the test:
2.3 SAMPLING PLAN:
A survey was conducted at three centers of Maharashtra States, India. Interacted with almost 500 soldiers who were about to retire at the centers-Bombay Engineering Group( BEG) Khadki,Pune, Arty Centre –Deolali, MIRC/Armoured Core Centre, Ahmednagar. Questionnaire was administered to 286 soldiers.
2.4 FINDINGS: Phase I
The analysis of data shown that almost (58.74%) responded would like to start their own business related activity after retirement.
The researchers categorized the entrepreneurial traits/quality into 5 sections based on literature review for the purpose of designing entrepreneurial analysis test. The strength of each trait may vary from persons to person but having its presence as part of personality would be useful to become an entrepreneur (Pahurkar, 2011)
All the above mentioned traits were studied through subtraits/qualities. The trait wise findings are presented below:
Section-I Need for Achievement (Result = 3.25/4 = Excellent)
Section – II Need for Autonomy/Independence (Result = 3.25/4 = Excellent )
Section – III Creativity/ Creative ability (Result = 2.75/4 = Good)
Section – IV Moderate or Calculated Risks Taking (Result = 2.25/4 = Average)
Section – V Drive and Determination (Result = 3/4 = Very Good)
The overall score – All three locations have shown that, almost all respondents have required/ necessary qualities to become an entrepreneur (73.00% average in ED Self test).
After analysis of the above findings the following recommendations were made to the Headquarter Southern Command.
The findings of the survey and the presentation thereof to the Army Authorities revealed that the retiring soldiers have keen interest in initiating self supporting/entrepreneurial ventures. The Army Commander Southern Command and authorities of Southern Command assigned a Training Consultancy project to the researchers under the Department of Management Sciences.
The project was to develop and execute an Entrepreneurship Development capsule for Disabled Soldiers and about to retire Army soldiers.
EDP Objectives: Entrepreneurship Development Programme will help the disabled Ex-Servicemen to become financially self reliant, by helping them to commence the suitable Income generating activities and managing them successfully.
The objective was further subdivided as below -
Through this project 3 programs were conducted:
1) At QMTI for differently abled soldiers -20th Jan 2014 to 1st Feb 2014. There were 43 participants. They were awarded participation certificates after completion of the program.
2) At BEG for soldiers from Arty Center, Deolali; MIRC, Armd Corps; and BEG -11th Feb to 19th Feb 2014. There were 44 participants. They were awarded participation certificates after completion of the program.
3) At BEG for soldiers from Arty Center, Deolali; MIRC, Armd Corps; and BEG -10th March to 18th March 2014. There were 44 participants. They were awarded participation certificates after completion of the program.
Reports of the 3 programs along with participants feedback have been sent to HQ SQ.
This is follow-up phase through which telephonic interviews were taken to find out the post ED training impact on all participants.
After personal interaction with 76 soldiers who had participated in the program, it was found that following activities are started by the participants –
Maximum participants were interested in starting Goat Farm, followed by, Poly house Farming Poultry, Dairy, Computer Sales, Service, Education, Cyber Café, Computer maintenance, Fishing Firm, Pig Keeping.
Few other areas where participants showed interest are Floor Tiles Business, Water Harvesting, Hardware Shop, Education/Tutor Class Brick Manufacturing, Departmental Store, Hotel/ Canteen, Vegetable Supply, Event Management, Supari Plate Manufacturing, Mobile Grocery Shop, Soyabean Plant, Tourism and Traveling, Health Club, Ice Cream Manufacturing.
To understand if the program was successful in providing the ‘Stimulus ‘to the participants for Entrepreneurship; the team conducted further research.
This program is a good method to provide the stimulus required for entrepreneurship. For supporting and sustaining the enterprises that have been started by soldiers, the Department proposes to set up an Entrepreneur Development Cell. The cell will provide training specifically designed keeping in mind the skill set of such soldiers. The cell would also focus on business areas indicated by the soldiers. Such areas can be agriculture and food processing, dairy business, mobile repair, computer hardware, security agency, transport business, school. Training in entrepreneurship assumes more importance in today’s time as finding employment in industry is getting very difficult.
Experience of the researchers after conducting the three Entrepreneurship Development Programs for the soldiers and follow up thereafter indicates that this group has tremendous potential for starting small businesses. The soldiers possess the much needed traits like risk taking ability, confidence, adaptability to environment, team building and they know how to be in the one up position and know how to manage the environment very well. Armed Forces personnel, having acquired certain competencies during their service career, need to re-orient their skills and attitude for becoming entrepreneurs. The researchers are of the opinion that financial assistance alone is not sufficient some training on business management also is important for developing successful entrepreneurs There is a requirement to design and deliver need based Entrepreneurship Development programs to such groups. Such programs will provide the required stimulus for entrepreneurship . For further support and growth of the business initiated by the retired soldiers , Entrepreneurship Cells can be formed at the District Level.
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Junior Commissioned Officers
Non Commissioned Officers
FEEDBACK OF THE PROGRAM:
BEG -11th Feb to 19th Feb 2014.
FEEDBACK ON VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAMME: After completion of the programme, the participants were asked to fill a detailed feedback form.
The findings of which have been shown below:
20th Jan 2014 to 1st Feb 2014
The findings of which have been shown below:
BEG -10th March to 18th March 2014
The findings of which have been shown below:
Pacific Institute of Management, Pacific Hills, Airport Road, Udaipur - 313001,