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Hyderabad, Dec. 27

THE National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), in its first such initiative, has brought together representatives from the Defence and IT and ITES sectors, to tap the potential in the armed forces.

It is estimated that about 70,000 to 80,000 people retire from the defence sector each year. These people with different skill sets have immense potential to partner with IT services and ITES sector in both billable and non-billable areas.

Traditionally, defence retired staff have tapped into non-IT areas in partnership with industry agencies and bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry and it was felt that this was the right time to partner Nasscom, and turn to IT given the potential of the sector and the possible demand-supply mismatch that is likely to crop up in the next five-six years.

Apart from defence personal themselves, their family members including spouses and children, because of their grooming too have the potential to work in ITES sector, which has openings for people who have passed the secondary school level exams (Plus Two).

The Vice-President of Nasscom, Mr Sunil Mehta, said that the Nasscom-McKinsey study has projected that the Indian IT exports would cross the $60-billion mark by 2010, and there is the possibility of some demand-supply mismatch in certain technology areas. Apart from mainstream IT, defence personnel have scope to work in areas of security, management and even turn entrepreneurs providing travel services such as fleet operators.

Speaking at a meeting hosted by Nasscom on opportunities for defence personnel in IT services and BPO industry, Major General K.S. Sandhu, Director General Resettlement, Army Headquarters, said that it was a pity that about 80,000 defence personnel retire from armed forces by the age of 335. These people are well trained and have the capability to serve various industry segments both directly and indirectly through related services.

Introducing two senior ex-servicemen, the Chief Executive Officer of Genpact, Mr A.S.K. Raja, said Genpact has grown to a 19,000-employee company and had some people from defence who have not only served but have moulded their career path and grown rapidly in the organisation to the levels of vice-president. The Vice-President of Satyam Learning Centre, Mr Rajul Asthana, said that one of the key aspect of ex-servicemen looking at careers in the IT sector is to unlearn their defence background and chose a career path that would meet their specialisation.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 28, 2005)
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