Focus/Spotlight

Retirement is just the beginning – Jobs for ex-servicewomen

Sarah Hannan

It is not uncommon in Sri Lanka to hear of companies that are founded and/or led by ex-servicemen, such as security firms, catering companies, and maritime shipping companies. However, in a refreshing story a few days after the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), we heard about a company founded by retired female army officers in Sri Lanka.

Women officers are generally expected to serve the forces for approximately 20 years, after which they are required to retire from their positions. Given that many of these female soldiers and commissioned officers are still capable of contributing in the workforce, they would have further career options if there are establishments willing to recruit them for their skill sets.

With a vision to empower women with equal opportunities, Intake Plus (Pvt.) Ltd. was founded by an all-female board of directors recently led by Chairperson (Retd.) Major Nayomi Rathnayake, Secretary (Retd.) Major Enica Senevirathne and Directors (Retd.) Major Sarala Godakuru, (Retd.) Major Chamari Wijethilake, (Retd.) Major Ranura Hettiarachchi, and (Retd.) Lt. Colonal Jeewana Galgamuwa.

“This is the first time ex-servicewomen are teaming up for a business venture. The Board of Directors and I retired last year in April and we thought we would be able to empower our female soldiers and officers who are retiring from the service to serve the country further through applying their skill sets in different areas,” Intake Plus (Pvt.) Ltd. Chairwoman (Rtd.) Major Nayomi Rathnayake informed The Sunday Morning.

“Many of the women soldiers consider early retirement due to their commitments to their families. However, later in life, they are faced with financial difficulties and seek further employment opportunities, and some of the workplaces are not suited for them. Through our company, we wish to provide them better working conditions,” Rathnayake added.

Explaining the many benefits of seeking job opportunities with Intake Plus, Rathanyake also noted that when a retired officer or soldier joins their company, they will be given job opportunities in their respective residential areas.

“If they are to go for a job, generally they have to move from the suburbs to Colombo or commute daily from their homes to Colombo. But we have designed our workflow in such a way that they do not have to go through such a hassle.

“For instance, if they are residing in Anuradhapura and there is a requirement for event management in Anuradhapura, we will select the persons from that area to work on that event.”

This method is followed so that the retired female officer or soldier will not only have the opportunity to work again, but will also be able to conveniently attend to their family matters and care for their children.

Among the many service offerings that are available through Intake Plus, Rathnayake drew special attention to their caregiver service, stressing that it set them apart from other nursing and caregiver providers.

“Our caregiver service is especially designed for people who are living abroad but would want to hire the services of caregivers/nursing staff to attend to their ageing parents’ medical requirements. Many of these parents live alone and through our service, we will be offering to take the parents to the hospital for check-ups and monthly clinics or even accompany them to go to the temple or church.”

As Rathnayake elaborated, Intake Plus will be ready to provide female caregivers especially, i.e. to accompany elderly women who need care.

The running capital for the company at present has been contributed by the Board of Directors and since it is at the pre-launch stage, they are yet to commence their service offerings. Rathnayake stated that the recruitment process for the company is still ongoing and the company is open towards recruiting retired female soldiers and officers from the tri-forces.

Furthermore, she also noted that if these recruits need job opportunities for their family members, that too can be arranged. Once the company is up and running, Intake Plus is looking to provide security services, janitorial services, manpower supplying services, resource persons for training, event management services, and eco and agritourism.

Opportunities are open for females under the age of 55 years and Intake Plus requests them to send in their CVs to intakepluspvtltd@gmail.com or contact them on 0703966281 and 0703966299