IAS is considered as one of the most prestigious professions in India. While many youngsters aspire to join the services, there are a few officers who quit their job to pursue another career. Here are 7 Civil Servants who left their charming positions to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Let’s have a look at their incredible journeys.
1) Dr. Syed Sabahat Azim
Syed Sabahat Azim is a Doctor and a former 2000 batch IAS officer who resigned from his duties to launch the affordable healthcare chain Glocal Healthcare Systems. It was the untimely death of his father that led Azim, a trained medical doctor, to launch Glocal in July 2010. As he said in an interview “My father died due to unnecessary treatments. I thought, if this can happen to me, a doctor and an IAS officer, what about others?” and hence he started to work-upon this idea. He was closely supported by Mr. M Damodaran, the former Chairman of SEBI who is also the Chairman of Glocal.
At Glocal, his team has come up with a protocol-driven model, where the computerized system will help a doctor automate the diagnosis of 42 diseases, ranging from ischaemic heart disease to malaria, which they identified as affecting 95% of the patients. Glocal, which runs a chain of 11 hospitals, relies on innovation in processes and design for cost-effective healthcare in small towns. Dr. Azim says each Glocal hospital is built for Rs 15 crore, half the cost of a regular 100-bed hospital.
2) Rajan Singh
This IIT Kanpur Graduate cleared the UPSC Civil Services and served as the Police Commissioner of Thiruvananthapuram for three years, managing a force of 3,500 policemen. However, after 8 years of service, the urge to tread a different path led him to the corporate world. After working for a few big names in the corporate world, in 2016 he started ConceptOwl - a teacherless online-in-classroom educational platform to help students prepare for entrance exams.
"As an investor, I used to meet a lot of entrepreneurs. I saw that the only thing which made them different from us professionals was the ability to take risks. I did not want to regret not taking a chance in life. I quit my job and took the risk of becoming an entrepreneur," he says.
3) Pravesh Sharma
Pravesh Sharma is a 1982 batch Madhya Pradesh Cadre IAS Officer who voluntarily retired from services in 2016 after a career span of 34 years. After resigning, he set up a start-up named Sabziwala, a retail fruits and vegetables chain that sources and delivers quality fresh produce directly from farmers to consumers, ensuring everyone gets a fair price. Since March 2018, he expanded services to the KAMATAN platform with 3 dynamic partners. working with farmers and farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to create farm-market linkages across all crops.
Using his extensive knowledge of agriculture and food security, Pravesh started his second innings as a successful entrepreneur.
4) Roman Saini
Roman Saini can be categorized as one born different- in a unique way! We can prove this with his achievements till date. Roman cleared the AIIMS entrance examination at the age of 16 and went to publish a research paper in a reputed medical journal before the age of 18. Not just this, after completing his MBBS, he worked as a Junior Resident at NDDTC in Psychiatry but resigned within six months after he cleared UPSC Civil Services Exam 2014 in his first attempt. He was the youngest IAS then and was appointed as a collector in Madhya Pradesh.
Roman, however, resigned from the administration services and began his entrepreneurial venture - Unacademy, a website that provides free online coaching, webinars, tutorials and motivational speeches for IAS aspirants. Roman believes that no one is a born genius and everyone has the knowledge, talent, and caliber to achieve whatever they want in life.
5) Vivek Kulkarni
The 1979-batch IAS officer, who quit the services after 22 years, following his stint as IT and Biotechnology secretary to the Government of Karnataka has made one of the most successful transitions from civil services to the private sector.
In 2005, he co-founded Brickwork India, a knowledge process outsourcing firm that provides virtual assistants to global companies. By then, his wife had joined him too as co-founder. Today, she is the company’s chief executive officer. The Kulkarni's claim to have clients across 116 countries. Vivek runs Brickwork Ratings, which was incorporated in 2007 as India’s fifth Reserve Bank of India accredited credit rating agency—it has so far rated more than 10,000 companies.
6) GV Rao
The 52-year-old GV Rao is a retired civil servant who founded Learning Space Educational Services Private Limited (LSES), based in Vijayawada, to coach CSE aspirants. Where most coaching institutes charge anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lacs, Rao charges only Rs 7999/- from each student which also includes access to all content that they create. According to Rao “ “During the time I was preparing for the examination, the entire commercialization of it had not reached such heights. This commercialization has prevented good talent from coming into the system, and I wished to address this loophole.” Hence, he took voluntary retirement in 2014 and after setting up the strategy into action, in 2017 he launched the online portal and app offering content for aspirants.
7) Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Gupta is a 1985 batch IAS Officer who cleared the UPSC Civil Service Exam at a young age of 22. After taking voluntary retirement in 2002, Sanjay joined the Adani Group as CEO (Infrastructure). After spending a few years with the group, he launched his chain of luxury hotels, Cambay under the umbrella of Neesa Group. Some of his group companies are Neesa Leisure, Neesa Infrastructure, Neesa Agritech and Food, Orient Spa, Neesa Technologies, Neesa Financial Services, Neesa Township, and Properties and Cambay SEZ Hotels. In 2011, Gupta surprised many a sitting IAS and contender when he was picked up for building Gujarat’s first metro rail venture called MEGA (Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad). He was made the executive chairman of Mega, a Gujarat government project of building a cost-effective metro rail project purely on an elevated track.