Elegance is the end result of hard work, not the starting point, and this line is best suited to Sanjeev Kaushik’s life journey. His journey began in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, where he grew up and schooled at St Joseph College. After that, he went to one of the most eminent engineering colleges in India for his mechanical engineering at BITS Pilani. Although he was a mechanical engineer, he always had a keen interest in English literature and Psychology. Since childhood, he wanted to be an IAS officer, and luckily, he was able to crack the most difficult Civil Services Entrance Examination in his first attempt. In his second attempt, he got the All India 14th position to join the IAS in the Kerala cadre.
Kaushik was always very fond of doing things creatively and in an innovative way. He always believed his actions should impact the lives of others around him, which attracted him to a career in public service and gave him a broad canvas to deliver an enormous impact.
If we talk about his career in the private and public sectors, we will find a long list of achievements. In his early days in IAS, he was appointed as a special officer to set up the National Business School, the Indian Institute of Management at Calicut in Kerala (now IIM Kozhikode), and start the first MBA class for sixty students. He was also responsible for successfully raising the international funds for the Kerala budget from the global markets. It became the first state in the country to get an International rating from S&P and Fitch, and then it even had a successful listing for the popular ‘Masala Bonds’, which are INR denominated global bonds. Kaushik joined the Lehman brothers to set up their equity markets platform for worldwide research work and the Indian market. He worked as the Managing Director at HSBC, doing the same in the capital markets business.
Kaushik overcame enormous challenges in making services wholly computerized when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had a modernizing government program for service delivery. Subsequently Palghat became the first district in the country out of 650 odd districts to modernize service delivery and make services completely computerized. He also launched a vast Rain Water Harvesting program distilling ponds and lakes to store the water better and battle the water shortages in the area. Kaushik counts those years as the best years of his life in terms of what he was able to do and deliver there and not just innovative work but also highly impactful stuff in the lives of the ordinary citizen in that district.
Kaushik also has a phenomenal international exposure. He holds an International MBA degree from the London Business School. He also got an opportunity to work at the University of London, the prime hub of the International Financial Sector, and in the city of London at Investment Banks, including the Bank Of America. He was there introduced to the equity capital markets around the world as an equity investment analyst.
According to Kaushik, one of the most productive periods of his journey in the IAS was in the Department of Economic Affairs, where he worked with Dr. Raghuram Rajan. Back in 2013, he and his team faced the current account deficit crisis. The imperative was on them to find ways to arrest outflows and attract more inflows into the country so that the exchange rate could stabilize. So he helped simplify the portfolio investment regime for foreign portfolio investors by making it easier for them to enter the country and register.
He also tried to broaden the framework for ADRs and GDRs. He also came up with the FCNRB deposit scheme idea to attract dollars from not only the non-resident Indians but also institutional investors. They drew 36 billion dollars at the time of the crisis into the country, and that single scheme was responsible for stabilizing the exchange rate.
A financial wiz in the true sense, Kaushik has used his banking experience to deliver many positive, impactful things in the Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry. He is currently posted as the Additional Secretary at the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.
Honouring his service to the nation and his contribution towards financial growth of the country, SpeakIn recently recognized Sanjeev Kaushik’s efforts in the first edition of ‘India’s Distinguished IAS Officers’. He was conferred an award for excellence in Business and Finance.
Watch the full video featuring Sanjeev Kaushik highlighting his career learnings, his personal life and some of his amazing achievements as a Civil Servant: WATCH HERE