Poonam Singh

The combination of civil services and Bollywood remains an uncommon occurrence in India, despite the nation being home to highly skilled and versatile bureaucrats. Notable instances include Abhishek Singh, who transitioned from an IAS officer to an actor, and HS Keerthana, who shifted from acting to becoming an IAS officer. Among these stories stands out that of Srivatsa Krishna, a senior IAS officer and the 1994 UPSC topper, who also made a mark as a playback singer in the Bollywood industry.

According to a News18 report, born in Delhi, Srivatsa harboured dual dreams from a young age - one of becoming a Bollywood singer and the other of donning the hat of an IAS officer. An exceptionally bright student, he pursued his education at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and turned down full scholarships from prestigious US institutes like Stanford University and Yale to honour his father's last wish of becoming an IAS officer.

Srivatsa's academic journey is illustrious, including his stints at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Oxford University, and earning a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. Notably, he became the first IAS officer in history to hold an MBA from Harvard.

Despite his commitment to academics and bureaucracy, Srivatsa Krishna didn't let go of his passion for music. Originally offered a singing opportunity by music director Ravindra Jain in Raj Kapoor's film ‘Prem Rog,’ Srivatsa had to decline to fulfil his father's desire for him to complete his studies first.

His breakthrough in Bollywood came when he sang the Vishnu Sahasranamam Mantra in Dibakar Banerjee’s film "Shanghai." The fateful meeting between Srivatsa and Banerjee in a cafe led to an audition with the legendary Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman for a future production, marking a significant milestone in Srivatsa's journey as a playback singer.

Despite earlier setbacks, Srivatsa Krishna eventually found his chance to showcase his singing talent when he lent his voice to the Vishnu Sahasranamam Mantra in Dibakar Banerjee’s acclaimed Bollywood film, ‘Shanghai.’ Interestingly, Srivatsa and Banerjee shared a college history as rival debaters, adding a unique layer to their collaboration. The unexpected opportunity for Srivatsa arose during an impromptu meeting at a cafe between the IAS officer and the filmmaker. 

Notably, his journey in the music industry took a significant turn when he was auditioned by the legendary Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman for an upcoming production, as documented by IMDb.