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Retired Professionals Improving India Inc's Health by Returning into the Job Market

When Ignatius NV turned 60 and retired from South Indian Bank, he was expected to gently drift into an easy life in God’s own country. Instead, he signed up as general manager (operations) with Manappuram Finance, in Thrissur.

“Sixty is too early to retire,” he says. “I am healthy and looking forward to a lifestyle where I will be physically and mentally active.”

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Ignatius’ desire suits Manappuram well. It wants to blend youth and experience, and has hired 2,000 retirees across functions such as audit, regulatory compliance, inspection, bran-ch operations and risk management, says its Executive President (HR) Somasajeevan.

In India’s young demography, many retirees are also exploring a meaningful second innings. The number of senior citizens seeking jobs has risen by 15% in the past two years, according to rough industry estimates. Increasing longevity, better health, financial independence and a meaningful life are some factors driving this group back into the job market.

More than a few companies, including the Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra & Mahindra, RPG, Goldman Sachs, TCS and Muthoot Finance, are using the services of retired professionals in various capacities.


Others have tried it, but with limited success. But many companies also miss this talent pool. There are 2.6 million retirees that India Inc can tap, according to AVTAAR Career Creators and Flexicareers India. “A lot of organisations focus on GenY to the exclusion of other generations. The silver generation has a mindset of knowledge transfer and is open to learning too,” says Saundarya Rajesh, its president and founder. But not everyone is able to swing this. ITes firm Aegis tried hiring the retired lot around two years ago, but had to abandon the idea.

“There was a mismatch of their expectations from positions and salary,” said an HR team member. The company wanted to hire them for junior management and front-end staff. A few companies, though, have used this pipeline well. Muthoot Finance values the silver generation. It has almost 4,500 retirees, primarily ex-bankers, working in 4,000-plus branches across India. “Retired talent brings amazing knowledge and credibility. We rely heavily on their ability to bring the trust factor…this is an important philosophy of our brand,” said Avinav Chaubey, AGM-marketing.

RPG Group company KEC International taps senior people who have superannuated from public and private sectors, and especially those who have experience of the power sector. “The nature of the sector calls for highly trained and process-driven personnel who can lead teams of young managers to execute projects in challenging conditions,” says Yugesh Goutam, executive director, infrastructure sector of KEC International. Large business groups use retired talent for specialised roles, not in line jobs. The Birla Group employs around 30 retirees.

“We retire people from line roles to give younger talent growth opportunities. But we do tap the expertise of some of the senior talent depending on the unique requirement of a particular expertise,” says Santrupt B Misra, Carbon Black Business CEO & Group HR director, Aditya Birla Group. Ravindra Dayal, 61, executive director projects and engineering at Maruti Suzuki, worked for almost 27 years at the company before officially retiring in 2012. But Dayal has not hung up his boots yet. He is now helping set up Maruti’s greenfield project in Gujarat.

“I am fit enough to continue having a meaningful working life and contribute to the organisation where I worked so long,” he says. Maruti Suzuki also taps retired executives for its research and design needs. “We pay a premium to hire R&D and design experts who are retirees. We hire a lot of them even from the US,” says its COO SY Siddiqui.

Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra hired old-timer Alan Durante to run its football academy and KJ Devasia, ex-head of the group’s farm equipment business, to set up the institute of quality at Nasik. Sensing the need, the Department of Extension and Communication at the Faculty of Family and Community Sciences of MS University has launched a dedicated portal called ‘Second Innings’. It lists profiles of senior citizens looking for work after retirement.

Retired executives welcome such opportunities that help them avoid late-life challenges. “After 40 years of Army life, I was more of a household errand boy for my wife post-retirement,” says Lt Dushyant Chauhan, now an advisor for Maruti’s vigilance and security division.Via : ET


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