From tech security to wildlife
By Sharada Balasubramanian
For someone who had a successful career in IT working for a global giant like Yahoo, what was the motivation to move to something as unique as wildlife? Meet Kalyan Varma, who quit his cushy job at Yahoo to pursue his trail into wilderness. After grabbing a mechanical engineering degree from PESIT in Bangalore, India, Kalyan entered the tech sector like many other engineers.
After a successful stint and many accolades at Yahoo, there was a strong inner urge for him to be in the wild. Kalyan’s passion intensified. “I wanted to spend time with wildlife and that is when I decided to quit my job. I did not have a clear plan on what I would be doing,” he said. Kalyan took a short sabbatical and went for naturalist training at Jungle Lodges Resort at BR hills. “The short sabbatical for two months increased slowly to eight months. During this time, I used up all my savings to buy cameras and lenses and start doing active photography in the wild.” After being in the wild for so long and picking up all the subtleties and skills of wildlife photography, Kalyan cherishes his precious moments of watching a tiger in the forest to meeting the local tribal clan at BR hills and learning about life.
At the end of 2005, Kalyan Varma won the Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photographer of the year award. “That made me look at photography more seriously,” he says.
There was no looking back since then. Kalyan then moved on in his career with great speed and success. In his wildlife photography and film making journey, he has worked with BBC Natural History. His work has appeared in many international magazines including the National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Maxim, to name some.
Kalyan now conducts weekend workshops on photography. He also takes people to wildlife destinations across the globe. Kalyan Varma is also featured in the book ‘Connect the Dots’ by Rashmi Bansal. It is a book about non-MBA entrepreneurs who made it big in their career. To someone, who has truly followed his passion, hats off!