Alumni Feature | Sriraj Venkatasamy’s journey of perseverance
February 5, 2022
From a small town near Madurai, where people may not even be aware of the National Law School, to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Sriraj Venkatasamy’s journey via Nagarbhavi is best described as a tale of sheer grit and perseverance.
Sriraj (LLM 2009), is currently serving as the Joint Director (Law) and in-charge of the Regional Office (South), CCI. An indulgent foodie, and a big music buff, whose playlist usually features Ilaiyaraaja, in this interview, he recounts his days at NLSIU and how they played a pivotal role in shaping his professional life.
What got you interested in law, and NLSIU?
Watching my father, who was a police officer, is where my tryst with the law and law enforcement began. Growing up, I was keen on an opportunity to study the law, as a means to get into public administration. So I did my Bachelor’s in Chennai, which left me with the question – what next? While my focus remained public administration, I had to answer more intricate questions of whether I wanted to pursue litigation, judiciary, write the UPSC, or get my Master’s degree.
When I first found out about NLSIU, I felt that I had missed out on something, as it was right after I had completed my Bachelor’s. Nonetheless, it encouraged me to do my Master’s here. So I made sure to put my best foot forward during the entrance exam and am glad I did so.
How would you describe your time here?
It was surprising! What I expected, rather, anticipated was long hours of classes. But what I ended up doing was completely different. This is not a school, where you will be spoon-fed or even fed. It is like an open book… you are not forced into any kind of regime, but given the right kind of opportunities you need for growth.
The systematic approach here prepares you for self-learning, which eventually grooms your personality. I find NLSIU to be the right place for one to realise their potential.
What were the most impactful moments during your time here?
I joined NLSIU to get my Master’s degree, but I did not have any clarity on what to do beyond it. However, I was keen on doing something in the field in Business Law. And I was very good at Admin Law during my undergraduate days.
At NLSIU, a lot of my research was based on topics related to constitutional law and land acquisition; and admin law, which I was good at during my undergraduate days. In my frequent interactions with my professors and mentors Prof, Rahul Singh, Prof. Ramakrishna, and Prof. Ramesh, among others, I was driven to realise that I am fit for laws related to government regulation over private enterprises. They encouraged me to look into topics relating to property rights, right to profession and right to business under constitutional law.
I went on to do my internship with CCI. This experience helped me understand that the purpose of the law is to balance the conduct of private business with respect to their interest as well as public interest, from a market perspective. One very important thing I learnt at NLSIU is how to stay focussed.
How would you describe your career trajectory?
After graduating, I worked with Multi Commodity Exchange of India, where once again, I was asked to deal with the competition law. Given my focus at NLSIU and my internship experience, I realised this is my domain, and marched towards it with pronounced focus and clarity. Three years at MCX prepared me to join CCI once again. There began my long stint with the organisation, and here I am today.
Any words of advice to young and aspiring students of law?
I would encourage them to embrace and leverage every aspect of the University – the library, faculty interactions, internships, and campus life to groom themselves for their professional life ahead.