As veterans begin their second innings, entrepreneurship is increasingly becoming an appealing option. Nearly 10% of the veterans whom I have met over the past few years have started their own business; some have had outstanding successes.
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. Their commitment to excellence, meticulous attention to details and ability to handle crisis situations serve them very well in their entrepreneurial careers. Add to it, most soldiers are good, honest human beings they value relationships, have excellent work ethics and high integrity.
As per the latest US Census Bureau, United States military veterans own an estimated 2.4 million businesses accounting for 9 per cent of companies nationwide. Though a similar data is not available for India, I find Indian veterans increasingly embracing entrepreneurship and delivering success in quick time. Veterans bond with each other easily and are willing to collaborate and exploit synergies.
I have also met some successful veteran NCOs and WOs who have created their own enterprise; one of them owns an ITES company which has a workforce of over 300.
Successful veteran entrepreneurs have been profiled in leading business magazines. Here, I would like to focus on some new entrepreneurs about whom you will hear a lot more in the coming years.
Navyug Infosolutions Pvt Ltd: Col Sunil Prem is the recipient of President’s Gold Medal at Indian Military Academy and an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and Staff College Australia and India. Sunil, along with his IIT friend Sanjeev Kumar has built Noida-based Navyug Infosolutions Pvt Ltd into a formidable ITES company. Navyug boasts of niche global clientele, outstanding service delivery, good margins and a very talented work force, mainly drawn from IITs.
Def Mart Private Limited. A Special Forces Engineer and a fashion retailer, Major Biju Balakrishnan understood the power of brands early in life. Along with Col Sudhir Kumar and other likeminded veterans, he created brands like “Soldier – branded for life” and “Urja Kendra an innovative rural distribution model based on pan-India network of veterans.” Def Mart’s work in Africa and its distribution network in Bihar has been lauded by global multilateral institutions and multi-national corporations (MNCs), some of whom have now partnered it. Vision Initiatives Private Limited: Co-founded by India’s leading strategic affairs expert Major Maroof Raza (retd) and another distinguished military veteran and leadership coach Lt Gen Sudhir Sharma, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM (retd), Vision Initiatives is buildinga successful event property titled “Ideas on India” – the central theme being that there is lots that is good about India and that her tryst with destiny is inevitable.
Sam is Col Samerendra Kumar
(retd), a recipient of Sword of Honour
and President’s Gold Medal at Indian
Military Academy is a graduate of Staff
College, Camberley. He is the MD and
CEO of MitKat Advisory Services, a
premium management consultancy. A
serial entrepreneur, he has also cofounded
Def Mart, Urja Kendra and