Retired professionals improving India Inc’s health by returning into the job market

MUMBAI: When Ignatius NV turned 60 and retired fromSouth Indian BankBSE 0.91 %, 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 FinanceBSE 0.74 %, 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.”

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 ofsenior 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,TCSBSE 0.30 % 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 FinanceBSE 0.38 % 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 InternationalBSE 0.96 % 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.



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