He graduated from the Madras School of Arts and Crafts. From 1982 to 1988, he was a freelance graphics designer for companies such as Welcomgroup Hotels, the Taj Group of Hotels, and Madura Coats. In 1988, he began his art director career, and has directed more than 480 advertisements, 3 teleserials and 50 feature films in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada to date. In 1996, he directed the stage design for the Miss World beauty pageant.
Sabu has revolutionalised the role of art director in Indian film production, to make it more like Hollywood's. For his efforts, he has won two National Awards, the State awards of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and many Filmfare awards as the Best Art Director.