For five years, Mitan Sachdev worked in risk assurance for PwC across the pond, conducting control assessments and other such excitement. Like most of you, he dreamed of a better life, so one day he just up and quit.
What was his plan for LAP (Life After PwC)? Industry? Government? Nope. Falafel.
Bloomberg has the story:
Mitan Sachdev quit his job with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and spent 2-1/2 years looking for a site to open the falafel restaurant that was his dream.
Then nobody came.
Sachdev sat behind the counter of Falafel City, in the 02 Centre, north London, surrounded by piles of food he had brought for his first day in business. Neighboring establishments were boarded up as the center brought in new tenants. The colorful revolving sign he had ordered hadn’t arrived. Hungry shoppers who traveled up the escalator to Level 2 instead went to Yo! Sushi next door.
“We opened on the Saturday after Christmas (2013),” says Sachdev, who previously worked for PwC’s Insurance and Investment Management business. “I was expecting a flurry of people. I’d stocked up on pittas and salads. No one came. I thought they’re meant to be coming to me. What’s going on?
‘‘It got to about 5 o’clock and I said: Fine. We’ll do what we can. We went downstairs, did some sampling. And finally that brought in some customers.”
10 months later, business is booming. Well, maybe booming isn't the right word. But people are coming in and Mitan isn't crawling back to PwC with his tail tucked between his legs begging for his job back.
As you yourself may be considering an exit from public accounting, perhaps you can meditate on Mitan's words of wisdom:
He is a member of the Chinmaya Mission, a spiritual organization based on Hindu philosophy. He says he found the courage to quit accountancy after he and Kajal traveled to India for a spiritual camp. Does he miss the security of accountancy?
“The thing that I enjoyed the most was working with people, talking to people and working in teams, and working on different projects at the same time,” he says. “The exposure it gave me was very valuable. When you’ve just graduated, speaking to CFOs of banks, you just don’t get that exposure anywhere.
‘‘We’d go into businesses and say, OK, you’ve got this control in place or you haven’t got this control in place and for fraud purposes you need to. It was good, and it has helped me in this business, to some extent.
‘‘I’ve no regrets. The Chinmaya Mission talks a lot about the mind and how we need to detach ourselves from our emotions. It has allowed me to conquer my fear and really try to fulfil my dream of opening a restaurant.”
Alright, so the guy is serving up falafel, not curing Ebola. But hey, at least he's happy.