Transition to civilian industry was smooth. The pay was equally good. I left the Army on a Saturday afternoon and joined Tata Motors, then TELCO, on the following Monday morning. During the first three months of induction, I was going from one department to the other spending a week at each place to familiarise myself with the functioning of the factory. At the second place, the forge shop, the supervisor kept ratting off all the items that were being stolen and the locations from where they were being stolen. Surprised, I asked him why he was telling all this to me. Equally surprised, he asked what else he would tell the new security officers.
All the other ex-army chaps in the factory were either administrative officers or security officers.
That’s when I dropped my rank major and become plain Mr. DVR RAO But for the fact that nobody saluted me, which I didn’t bother about, working in the private industry posed no problems for me. I made a conscious effort to leave my uniform behind and behave like a civilian. Things were equally smooth even after I left Telco and did Engineering Consultancy. Tatas being an honest and low abiding group, I had no problems as I never had to break any law to boost profits.
The job was satisfying. And, like in the army I had the need and opportunity to visit several places across the country to meet bulk customer and hold seminars, including a trip to Algeria. I also went to Philippines as a private consultant. Engineering Consultancy is satisfying as my reports always resulted in saving for the client. The clients satisfaction is also an emotional reward.
I had opportunities to teach both in the Army and in TELCO and also as visiting faculty in a few management training institute. In my schooldays, in the mid twentieth century teaching was considered a last option as it was a low paying profession. But teaching to keen students and with a sense of commitment is great experience. Actually I see teaching as an act of giving knowledge and the benefits of experience to young or less informed people who can build their careers on it. Seen that way it is very satisfying, irrespective of remuneration. In my case money was not a factor, but I am glad teaching is a well paid profession now.
Teaching and the preparation to teach further enhances and fine tunes the teacher’s own knowledge. The fact is a good teacher/lecturer/professor must prepare for every single session of teaching. The emphasis needs to be attuned to each set of students.