Veterans who took their Army Stride and bravado into the Corporate World


A glance at the veterans who proudly hold the badge of honor in both corporate and army world – meet Captain GR Gopinath, Suresh Nanda, Rajeev Manali, Sonal Gupta, and Kulmeet Bawa.

No one beats the zeal and leadership potential of men that have served in the army. The more we witness military veterans transitioning into the corporate world, the more we appreciate what rigorous standards and discipline they can teach us in the entrepreneurial field.

Listed below are the top army veterans and their ventures that are leading examples of mission, vision, and commitment.

1. Captain GR Gopinath

Claiming the regional skies with his vigour and entrepreneurial success, Captain GR Gopinath is a force to be reckoned with. He has often been credited for making the dream of flying accessible to thousands of Indians, with the launch of his erstwhile Air Deccan. His journey from the remote parts of Karnataka to ruling the skies, albeit briefly, has generated much interest.

2. Suresh Nanda

An alumnus of the National Defense Academy, Suresh Nanda, metamorphosed into a serial entrepreneur to achieve the full measure of his calling. His role in leading the famous luxury Hotel – The Claridges and its subsequent restoration has earned its current reputation as an iconic hotel in India’s capital, New Delhi. As an enterprising entrepreneur, Suresh Nanda extensively developed international business relationships and learned the dynamics of proper business management before venturing into the hospitality industry. Coming from a culture of ‘service before self’, the veteran’s military values have helped him to face and overcome challenges head-on!

3. Rajeev Manali

After serving the nation for more than three decades, Rajeev Manali never sought refuge in the comfort of retirement and went on to achieve success in the healthcare sector. Utilizing his certifications and field involvement, he worked with medical clinics in Kerala and Vellore for around five years before setting up ‘Solid World’ in 2013 which focused as a consultancy firm. He works extensively to make civilians aware of prevention measures to ailments rather than just providing treatment and cure.

4. Sonal Gupta

Proudly earning the credentials of being one of the first few women batches entering into the army, Sonal Gupta did her call of duty pretty well, whether it was through her stint in the military or venturing out Navrang Creations in early 2014 with the idea of conserving the rich Indian handloom tradition and culture, where products are sourced from local artisans at each location. Her firm is an excellent example of how people can source their resources to help both businesses and people grow. Her conscious attempt through Navrang creations has not only made her move forward but also the hundreds of local artisans, whose works have been overshadowed in the realm of digitization.

5. Kulmeet Bawa

Another notable alumnus of the National Defense Academy apart from Suresh Nanda, Kulmeet Bawa, began his career with the Indian Army (Armored Corps) in 1990. Serving the country for 12 years before moving on to become the Managing Director of Adobe India & South Asia, Kulmeet Bawa also served as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of an Indian state ahead of entering the corporate world. Leading the business for Adobe Systems in the region, the channels his army experience, focus and vision to aid his expansive business objectives.

These inspirational army veterans took on more significant roles to lead us not only at the periphery of our country but also in the corporate domain!