What do you think are some of the traits that an entrepreneur definitely needs to have? Leadership skills, critical thinking, ability to think and perform under pressure, not being afraid of taking risks, being brave, having a disciplined life and a never-say-die attitude are some I can think of.
One sector that has consistently been imbibing these qualities in youngsters is the defence sector. As a bonus, defence personnel are always attuned to thinking about the greater good and solving problems – another important attribute of a good entrepreneur.
More than 10,000 defence personnel seek to retire from their respective force every year. All of them are fit, with the physical and mental acumen that would allow them to take active part in social life. However, many of them find it very difficult to adjust to civilian life, especially in terms of what they do in the post-service years.
Due to the training they receive and qualities they develop over the years, former defence personnel can make excellent entrepreneurs. However, there is still a need for them to take up a few lessons, a kind of reorientation, to help them with the nitty gritties of the entrepreneurial life.
In US, which has one the largest militaries of all countries, more than 49% of veterans from World War II became entrepreneurs after leaving the service, according to a study by Syracuse University. The trend continues well into the present day, with ‘vetrepreneurs’ are working in every capacity in the start-up world, from running incubators to being venture capitalists themselves, even as the government and private parties work towards empowering the former military personnel.
Additionally upon retirement , Defence personnels gets good money as part of various benefits which could become seed money for their venture journey. Also they get regular pension and other life long benefits which certainly take care of their livelihood , hence the risk is not that as high as in other cases. They are most fit to start their journey as entrepreneurs.
Since during service tenure , Defence personnel spend time away from their hometown , it gives a good opportunity for them to identify right need/problem/gap in form of business/social opportunity in their hometown and become local entrepreneurs at grassroot. This also adds to the nation’s benefit of solving core problems of people as well as creating employment avenues for rural and remote places.
We believe that Indian defence personnel can also emulate this model, with a little help and training. It is this belief in our defence personnel that makes Lemon School of Entrepreneurship come up with a special training programme aimed at the ex-servicemen. A well structured and quick course, it aims to equip them with nuances of business and help them pick the right business idea and start their next big career leap.