24-Year-Old Quits Comfy IAS Job To Help Students Across The Country Realise Their Dreams

What do you do when you are 24-years-old, have already earned your medical degree, cracked the civil services exam and become an assistant district collector? You dream, of course, of a bright future in administration and a crack at the top bureaucrat’s post in three decades’ time. And that is exactly what Roman Saini did not do.

Saini has resigned after two years as assistant collector of Jabalpur and ventured into an area where he may neither earn like a doctor nor wield clout like a babu. All he wants to do is to see students get past the various academic hurdles that stand in the way of youthful ambitions.

 He uploads lectures on his Unacademy platform on YouTube for those aspiring to become doctors, civil servants, computer programmers, even experts in foreign languages. Ten followers have cleared the civil services exams and more than 1.1 crore have viewed the videos, while Unacademy has 20,000 Twitter followers and 64,000 Facebook likes.

He was inspired in the venture by his school pal Gaurav Munjal, who approached Saini with the idea when he was in the second year of the MBBS programme at AIIMS. Munjal, astonishingly for a product of the online age, has stepped down as CEO of his Bengaluru start-up, and put the proceeds from the sale of his company at the disposal of unacademy.in.

“My focus is on making quality education accessible,” says Saini, “and I think the offline mode is not the way to achieve it.” He reckons that there is a massive need for technological intervention due to paucity of infrastructure and human resources to meet the demand of millions. “That is why I decided to pursue full-time the concept of Unacademy,” he reasons.

Of course, foregoing an IAS future was not as easy as stating a vision, and Saini certainly went through an internal churn. It didn’t help that his father, an engineer, and brother, a paediatrician, weren’t happy that the youngster was chucking a perfectly good “government job with security” to pursue a dream.

 They hadn’t complained when he decided to discard the stethoscope for grimy files, but this wasn’t the better alternative. Personally too, it wasn’t an easy decision. “I had dedicated two years to prepare for the civil service exams,” says Saini. “There were many factors were involved, so I consulted everyone possible.”

Here’s what Roman posted on Facebook.

#ISupportUnacademyIn 2011, Gaurav Munjal, whom I have known since school as the closest friend called and spoke about…
Posted by Roman Saini on Saturday, January 9, 2016


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