Santhosh Babu is a Medical Doctor turned Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of the 1995 batch, of the Tamil Nadu cadre. He is an alumnus of the Government Medical College, Trivandrum. He is also a Chevening Gurukul Scholar from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an LKY Fellow and MPM Degree holder from the National University of Singapore and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He firmly believes that only leadership embedded in integrity and selflessness, with the ability to innovate in the governance process, can take India to prosperity.
His abiding passion has been to transform governance within his jurisdiction to world-class levels, using modern management practices and tools that information technology provides. He has about 250 plus transformational initiatives and innovations to his credit, including installing ERP driven “anytime, anywhere” Government offices, developing and implementing numerous web based application softwares, establishing India’s first Rural BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) units etc. He has conceived and edited numerous magazines and websites.
A few recognitions have come his way, like
1. The Best Collector Award of the Government of Tamil Nadu for child labour eradication
2. Dataquest Magazine e-Governance Champion Award, South India, 2008,
3. Being recognized as “The Pride of Tamil Nadu” by the Indian Express in its annual publication 2007 “The Pride of Tamil Nadu”, as one of five persons who has made a difference in various aspects of public life,
4. being recognized by the reputed Tamil Magazine Ananda Vikatan, as one of the “Top Ten People in Tamil Nadu” in 2008 etc.
5. In 2017, Poompuhar won the National e-Governance Award and the Skoch Smart Governance Platinum Award under his leadership.
6. Rotary Club, Madras Metro presented him with the “Changemaker” award on 24.03.17.
7. He was recently awarded the “Disruptor” award by YourStory.com
8. Jeppiar Icon Award by the Jeppiar Foundation.
He has spoken at numerous fora including TEDx IIT Chennai, TEDx Hindustan University Chennai and TEDx SVCE Chennai.
His best moment so far has been when, the former President of India Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, quoted his work under the heading “Committed Leadership” in his speech on the occasion of the 7th National Civil Services Day, 21st April 2012, at New Delhi.
In August 2019, while serving as the Principal Secretary, Information Technology Department, Dr. Hiren Joshi, Advisor to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, had telephonically contacted Dr. Santhosh Babu and invited him to join as the CEO of MyGov.com in Government of India
He has served the Government of Tamil Nadu in various capacities; as 1. Sub-Collector, Chidambaram
2. Additional Collector, Tiruvallur
3. Special Officer, CM’s Special Cell
4. Executive Director, Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Ltd,
5. Joint Secretary – Department of Rural Development,
6. District Collector of Sivaganga and Krishnagiri,
7. Managing Director of ELCOT & CEO of Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency,
8. Commissioner of Horticulture & Plantation Crops, Commissioner of Indian Medicine & Homeopathy.
9. He has served the Information Technology Department on 2 occasions, as Secretary to Government, IT Department in 2011-12 and again as Principal Secretary to Government IT Department, in 2018-20.
10. He was Chairman & Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation from 2014 to 2018, and again was in charge as its Principal Secretary/CMD from 28.01.2020 to 22.08.2020
11. He also held additional charge as OSD, CM’s Special Cell since 2016 till 22.08.2020, as in charge of the Amma Call Centre
On 22.08.2020, he took voluntary retirement from Government service, with 8 years to go for retirement. He took the foray into politics and joined Mr. Kamal Hassan’s party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) as its General Secretary (Headquarters) also in charge of IT, Data, Policy, Manifesto, special projects etc.
He contested as an MLA candidate representing MNM at Velachery Assembly Constituency, Chennai, during the state assembly elections, 2021. He couldn’t campaign due to COVID. He managed to get 23,072 (13.6%) votes and came 3rd.
He quit MNM on 13.05.2021.
He maintains a personal website www.santhoshbabu.org