An IIM degree guarantees a cushy corporate job. However, there are a number of IIM grads who prefer traveling off the beaten track and opt for careers that are a far cry from the jobs they were offered after attaining the management degree from one of India’s most prestigious business schools. When there is a tussle between the heart and the brain, they preferred following their inner calling. Here is the story of 10 IIM grads who didn’t have any qualms about sacrificing their corporate career to follow their dreams.
When grads from India’s elite institutions hanker for a life of untold luxury, Shuvajit Payne abandoned his lucrative corporate career to improve the life of the poor people living in the remote Indian villages. With a degree in finance and marketing from IIM Lucknow, Shuvajit Payne worked for the multinational giant IBM in London for four years. Despite resistance from his family and friends he quit his job and returned to India to follow his mission to empower people living in the remote villages.
For Kaushalendra Kumar, an IIM Ahmedabad topper, changing the lives of the vegetable vendors in Bihar was more important than a comfortable corporate job. He founded Kaushalya Foundation, which serves as a platform for cultivators from different districts of Bihar to sell their vegetables directly to customers. His mission is to launch his push cart services to other Indian states that will benefit both the cultivators and customers alike.
Another IIM Ahmedabad alumnus Nirmal Kumar instead of joining a multinational company with a hefty pay package, preferred to start an auto rickshaw service in Gujarat. He offers an auto rickshaw service of a different kind. His aim is to ensure a comfortable ride for passengers and guarantee a decent income for the drivers.
Chakradhar Gade, an IIM Indore graduate, left his lucrative job in an investment bank, to become a corporate milkman in Gurgaon. His mission is to supply unadulterated fresh milk to customers.
An IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta alumnus, Swami Mukundananda worked for a leading industrial house before he became a monk. The founder of JKYog teaches yoga and delivers religious discourses to his followers spread across the globe.
One of the most popular IIM grads who quit his cushy corporate job to pursue his dream is Chetan Bhagat. This popular English language novelist of India is an alumnus of IIM, Ahmedabad. Before he became a fulltime writer he worked as an investment banker with Goldmann Sachs.
Nila Madhav Panda
Nila Madhav Panda, a filmmaker and social activist, is an IIM Bangalore graduate. However, instead of pursuing a corporate career he founded a multimedia production house. His first feature film ‘I am Kalam’ is the story of a poor and intelligent boy who idolizes India’s former President A. P. J Abdul Kalam. The film received a number of national and international awards and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
The renowned Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer and social activist Mallika Sarabhai is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. The daughter of the renowned classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and the famous space scientist as well as the man who is credited to have convinced Jawaharlal Nehru to establish an IIM in Ahmedabad is a multi-talented personality. She is an actor, dancer, founder of a publishing house and a vociferous social activist.
Amish Tripathi is another IIM graduate turned writer. The bestselling author is an IIM Calcutta alumnus. He quit his job with a leading investment bank to become a fulltime author. After his famous Shiva trilogy, the writer is now working on the Ram Chandra series. His novels have made him one of the top 100 celebrities of India according to the Forbes magazine.
An electronics engineer and IIM graduate, Krishnna Natarajan is a young Hindustani vocalist. He has founded the Rageshri Foundation. His mission is to increase the popularity of Indian classical music and encourage young artists.