Manesh Shrikant quit his job as chief executive officer at Mukund Iron and Steel when he was 40 to do a PhD in management at Harvard Business School. The reason - he wanted to teach.
Today, at 76, Shrikant reaches his desk at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research at 8.30am every day and draws an annual salary of Re1 to head the institute and be the chairman of the Andheri campus of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, which includes three colleges, one high school and a cultural centre.
There are a few who discovered teaching as their true calling after trying their hand at other vocations.
"I always wanted to teach. At 40, I had made enough money to pursue what I really wanted to do," said Shrikant, who spends the weekends at his home in Khandala. "While I enjoyed being in the corporate world, the sense of fulfilment I get when I teach is different. It is, after all, giving back to society," added Shrikant who has spent 27 years with Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
Rizina Chaterji, 36, left JB Petit School in Fort as a student in 1992 and in 1999 - after getting an MBA and working three years at a bank - she rejoined the school as a teacher. She did not have a Bachelors of Education (BEd) degree and the salary was considerably lesser. "Never once did I regret my decision to move to teaching. Going back to school was like being at a home away from home," said Chaterji, who completed her BEd six years ago and now plans to do her MEd.
"Earlier, I would dread going back to work. There was nothing creative."
Forty-three-year-old Nita Row began teaching Spanish at Bombay International School at Babulnath last year. "In college, I hoped to become a teacher, but kept doing other things. It's been fantastic so far. I now feel like I've finally found myself," said Row.