Posted by: Boopalan Jayaraman | April 17, 2009

Sarath Babu – An IIM Grad in the elections – 2009


The other evening I was chatting with one of my friends, “Can you ever think of me contesting in the elections and giving poses in front of media? Of Course, I agree mine is not a photogenic face…” He interrupted before I could complete, “I disagree” said he. With an exciting tone, I replied “Yo man, Glad that you accept I am photogenic, but, see…” He again interrupted, “I disagree with the point that you call yours a face” Damned, I thought.


Such is the face-value of mine and keeping the discussions about my face aside for now, I would like to share something about Mr. Sarath Babu. No, Not any similar incidences as found in the first paragraph. You would have read about this guy, sometime back, as one who made it to BITS and IIMA, from the slums of Chennai. But you would not have read about me who made it to this IT MNC from the town panchayat of vellakerWait, I can feel your face getting red. Let me come to the matter. He contests this parliamentary election from south-chennai constituency, as an independent.


A small Introduction about him! His was a house [we usually call it a hut] in Madipaakam, Chennai. His mother (Deepa Ramani, as some sites say) ran a roadside Idli shop there and the family (2 more sons) had its way with the income through this small shop. When Sarath Babu was graduated out of IIM Ahmedabad in 2006, he was offered a job with an annual salary of USD 185000. He declined it. [Hmmm, 185000 * 50, equals… Aiyo..! :-O]. Rather he put forth his ambition of starting his own business – a catering service.


FoodKing Catering Services – was the incorporated company. He once shared in an interview, that even for the incorporation of the private limited firm, he had needed 1 Lakh Rupees[as per the government norms], which he did not have. His friends offered him the money [Friends Indeed. Surjith, get some inspiration and offer me some money!]. Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys, inaugurated the company operations. Today his firm earns more than 7 Crores Rupees in annual revenue, employs around 250 and offers services to Corporates and Colleges in Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Pliani, etc.


Well, now for the elections. Recent mid-term polls in TamilNadu have made people doubt if the parties had just looted Reserve Bank. Numerous offers to people that does not limit to but include Free Meal with Biriyani, drinks, travel fares, cash rewards (not less than 1000 per head), Silver kitchen containers, gold coins, etc. An independent contestant will most unlikely be able to face the battle with cash-rich, goon-crowded parties.  Sarath has come forward and shown his guts to face it, which is first required quality for anyone to enter politics. I appreciate and applaud! A ray of hope on future politics!


Normally I doubt any party formed by young people just out of institutions. For they lack maturity, and their inability to get along with the people from lower / rural class. Years back, one of such parties contested in some five constituencies for the assembly election here, and I saw few young people in bikes holding the party-flag, chorusing ‘Vote for So-and-so party’ in English, moved swiftly. My first-impression was not good. They did not reach the people, they did not get along, and they did not succeed.


I hear Sarath is working out several plans for going to the people. Let us wait and watch if the intellect of his, which brought him laurels in education and business career, can bring one in the politics too.  

 Inauguration of Foodking India

From Right: Narayana Murthy, Sarath’s Mother, Sarath
Source: FoodKing India website.

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