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Why techies turn bureaucrats

By B Krishna Mohan in Chennai, Hyderabad
May 14, 2009 12:00 IST
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For a year or so, Kartikeya Misra worked feverishly in the fast-paced New York City for global investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs. His work involved strategic acquisitions, financial reengineering, use of metrics to quantify the results and value addition. This kept him busy most of the time, weekends not excluded.

In January 2008, however, he decided to call it quits to focus his energies on preparing for the Indian civil exams. For his effort, he secured 40th rank at the all India level in this year's UPSC exams. He is now awaiting his IAS posting.

Kartikeya, who did his computer science from BITS Pilani and management degree from IIM-Ahmedabad, says: "A corporate job attains monotony over a period of time. There would be less deliverables, particularly to society." The work only helps in personal or company development but not the poor, he reasons.

Kartikeya, who was part of the team that build the India office of Goldman Sachs at Mumbai, used his stint with the investment banker to achieve financial independence before plunging into public service.

He worked there till January 2008 and returned to Hyderabad to prepare for the civil exams. It took him three months preparation for the prelims and another three months to clear the mains in his first attempt.

Kartikeya is not a lone case. There are a few other rankers who too gave up corporate jobs for civil services.

For instance, Sandeep Nanduri, who secured 91st rank in the UPSC, quit his post at Hewlett Packard towards the end of 2006. He sat for the civil exams the following year and got an IRS posting (income tax assistant commissioner). He used the leave provision and bettered his previous rank in the second attempt.

For him, money is not a big thing, thanks to the Sixth Pay Commission. "The satisfaction of serving the masses is great," he says.

Nanduri's work as sales manager at HP involved B2B sales, meeting companies to sell server products, negotiations, taking customer calls, meeting distributors. He did his engineering from a college affiliated to Osmania University and his MBA from IIM-Bangalore. "I have learnt people management at HP," he says about the take away.

C Hima Bindu, a BTech graduate from Visakhapatnam, is another case in point. She was working with TCS at its onsite office at Detroit. She planned it well to ensure that the work and the rigour of the preparation did not suffer and she managed to get into IRS.

"Transparency, discipline and efficiency are the three important aspects that the corporate stint has given to me," says Bindu, adding she did not want to be a stereotype.

M Laya, another BITS Pilani graduate, working with Unitech, a Hyderabad-based software company, managed an IRS posting this year.

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B Krishna Mohan in Chennai, Hyderabad
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