R. K. A. Subrahmanya joined the Indian Audit and Accounts Service after passing the IAS and Central Services Combined Competitive Examination in 1950. He was Accountant General in Assam Odisha, Tamilnadu and Kerala.
He was appointed Addl. Secretary in the Union Ministry of Labour in 1979. He was Chairman of the Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO, the Standing Committee of the ESIC and the Central Board of Workers Education for some time. He represented the Government of India in the International Labor Conferences held in Geneva for four years. He was a member of a committee set up by the ILO for studying the future of social security in developing countries. He was a member of the Bureau of the International Social Security Association, for full five years.
After retiring from service in 1984 he was Director General, Gandhi Labour Institute, Ahmedabad for some time before he was appointed as a Member of the A.P. Administrative Tribunal in Hyderabad. Shri Subrahmanya has been actively writing on the subject of his interest.