Mid-career job changes are always hard, but this one would’ve been harder than most.
A Google employee working at its office in Hyderabad has quit his job to sell momos. Vasudev Singh, who’d worked with the tech giant for 9 years, has started The Himalayan Cafe, a restaurant that specializes in the north-eastern snack. Instead of helping Google organize the world’s information, Singh will now focus his energies on serving the 20 different varieties of momos that his restaurant has on its menu.
“I love food, I will travel any extent to try different cuisines,” Singh told OfficeChai. “Hyderabad has a very spirited food culture, the people here really love and cherish their food. But one thing stood out which was surprising — there was not a single place which served good momos. Growing up in a Nepali family and around a very vibrant momo culture in Bangalore, I missed good momos in Hyderabad. This is when I decided there is an opportunity worth pursuing and decided to start my new phase in life,” he says.
Running a restaurant will be a pretty dramatic change from his previous role, in which he was helping prevent Google from fraud on its AdWords network and on Gmail. “Never ever did I imagine that one day I’ll actually be running a food outlet,” Singh laughs. “This basically means every morning we spend close to an hour picking up fresh produce for the kitchen. Kitchen prep usually starts 3 hours before we open. So I help the chef with my set of responsibilities during the prep time. Things do get super hectic, especially over the weekends. When I look back to where I was a few months back in a cubicle to now hunting for fresh produce I can most definitely say that life has taken a huge interesting turn,” he says.
Singh says he does miss some of the perks of a Google job — Google is regularly rated among the best places to work in India, and is famous for spoiling its employees silly with free gourmet food, slides in its offices, and in-house massages. He says what he’ll miss most is the people. “What makes Google such an incredible company is down to the people they hire. People with varied backgrounds bring with them their own unique perspective and experience, with every conversation you end up learning something new,” he says.
But he’s relishing the opportunity his new gig provides. “Will I get back into a corporate life ? Right now I am very happy where I am. The joy of setting up your dream is something I’ve never experienced before. I feel like a parent at times, investing in my business and watching it grow. Everyday there are new challenges — running a kitchen is both physically and emotionally exhausting. But the best part is I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of it and as long as I am enjoying what I am doing and continue learning from this incredibly demanding sector, I am more than happy to be part of it,” he says.
From working in a company whose biggest perk involves its food to quitting it to serve food, life’s definitely come a long way for Vasudev. And with this move, he joins the exemplary legion of people who have said no to the corporate world to follow or start a dream.