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From IAS Officer to Entrepreneurial Triumph: Roman Saini’s Unacademy Success Story

In a tale of exceptional determination and entrepreneurial spirit, Roman Saini, once among the youngest IAS officers, left the coveted Indian Administrative Service (IAS) at the age of 22 to embark on a business journey that has now blossomed into a multi-billion dollar empire. His brainchild, Unacademy, stands today as one of India’s leading ed-tech startups, boasting a staggering net worth of Rs 26,000 crores.

The Unconventional Journey

Roman Saini’s journey began with academic brilliance. Raised in Rajasthan with a homemaker mother and an engineer father, Roman demonstrated exceptional intelligence by passing the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) exam at the tender age of 16. Following his MBBS degree, he spent a brief six months as a doctor at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Center (NDDTC).

However, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and accomplishment, Roman set his sights on an even loftier goal – the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). Astonishingly, at the age of 22, he cracked the notoriously challenging exam, securing a position as an IAS officer and serving as a District Collector in Madhya Pradesh.

Yet, Roman’s appetite for impact and innovation led him to take a bold step away from the esteemed IAS role. Teaming up with friend Gaurav Munjal and Hemesh Singh, Roman founded Unacademy, drawing inspiration from Munjal’s YouTube channel. What started as a platform to provide affordable coaching for UPSC aspirants has grown into an ed-tech powerhouse, boasting nearly 18,000 educators within just six years.

Building Unacademy: A Platform for Empowerment

Unacademy, headquartered in Bangalore, has become synonymous with accessible and quality education. Initially catering to UPSC coaching, the platform has expanded its reach to cover a spectrum of fields, including medical, engineering, and academia. Roman Saini’s vision was to democratize education, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional coaching models that often burden students with exorbitant fees.

Under his leadership, Unacademy has flourished into a business empire, with a current valuation of Rs 26,000 crores. The company’s success has not only transformed the educational landscape but also serves as a testament to Roman’s belief in the power of effort and commitment.

The Impact and Recognition

Roman Saini’s entrepreneurial acumen has not gone unnoticed. The financial success of Unacademy has propelled him into the upper echelons of business leaders. While Gaurav Munjal, Unacademy’s CEO, received a salary of Rs. 1.58 crore in 2022, Roman Saini himself received a substantial compensation of Rs. 88 lakh.

In a world where stability often lures professionals to remain within the secure confines of government service, Roman Saini’s journey stands as an inspiring example of chasing one’s entrepreneurial dreams. From a doctor to an IAS officer and now a key player in the ed-tech revolution, Roman Saini’s story reflects the limitless possibilities that can unfold with determination, resilience, and a commitment to transformative ideas.

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