How Continuous Networking, Upskilling and Dedication helped CA Priti Savla build a name for herself
- Meet Priti Savla, a Practicing Chartered Accountant.
- Being brilliant in school academics, she dreamt of becoming an engineer but ended up pursuing Commerce as per her father’s wish.
- At the age of 17 while still in grade 12 Priti had to undergo major spine surgery. It was a very rough time, and she considers herself fortunate to have got a second shot at life!
- It was during this trying time while still recovering, on a friend’s recommendation she started her CA journey and eventually qualified in the year 2000.
- As a part of the CA Chronicles Series Powered by Tally, we spoke to Priti to understand her journey and how she has been building her career as a CA Practitioner for 20 years now.
From being severely ill to qualifying as a CA
Growing up, I never planned to become a Chartered Accountant. In fact, I wanted to become an Engineer however, my father required me to opt for the commerce stream.
Fast forward while in class 11, I became severely ill. The doctors almost took a year to make a proper diagnosis, but when they did, they said that I’ll have to be operated on within 24 hours, or else I could die.
By the time the major surgery was due, I was already in my 12th grade and the final exams were scheduled for about a week from the day of surgery. You can imagine the stress as in India class 12 exams hold great significance!
Being a bright and confident student, I was very nervous and worried about my future career.
But, with the support of my father, I was able to appear for the exams while still on mandatory bed rest, as he pursued to HSC Board & Exam centre & succeeded to get the permission for me to give the exam while sleeping on bed.
And each day of my exams, I travelled in an ambulance (yes, you read it correctly!) and appeared my exams while lying on a bed at the exam centre. It was a very difficult time but I successfully cleared my board exams that too with a first-class.
It was during this time while still recovering when a friend of mine suggested that I join the CA course of ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) and that’s how my CA journey began.
Coming from a traditional family, my parents were keen to see me settled and so found me a suitable groom. My marriage was decided at a very young age of 21 even before I even qualified as a CA.
(I am talking about the late 1990s in India where parents considered it as their responsibility to find the right life partner for their children!)
So, I appeared for CA Final Exam in November 1999, got married in December 1999 and the results were out in January 2000.
Aha! I cleared…. cleared my CA Finals and qualified as a CA in 2000 and at 21, I was married to Paras Savla, also a Chartered Accountant.
What next now?
As a fresher starting a CA Practice with my husband
After qualifying as a CA, I started Practicing along with my husband.
We started practice with the values of ethics, integrity, discipline, and commitment.
We had to pave our own path and so we became the member of various professional organizations which helped us network with other professionals.
We continuously upgrade our knowledge by attending study circles meetings, qualifying for several further professional exams, certificates & diploma courses. The knowledge that we acquired through all these courses helped us in updating ourselves with the markets and diversified our service fields.
Further continuous upskilling helped in venturing into areas apart from the regular Tax & Regulatory services, we have various verticals which help us work with domestic as well as international clients.
It was all because of our 3D – Desire, Determination & Dedication, we managed to grow our CA Practice.
Both of us, Paras & Priti - always plan & take the decisions together – whether it is about family or profession! We get inspiration from each other and our learning from each other's experiences.
At present, our team is catering in diversified areas of Corporate Advisory, Transaction Structuring, M & A, Valuations, IBC, Audit & Assurance, Tax Advisory, Litigations, FEMA & International Taxation, SME listing.
Continuous upgradation of knowledge helped us adapt to the ever-changing market
We have always believed in sharing our knowledge. Since then, we started sharing our knowledge by taking sessions on the topics of professional interest at various forums, contributing articles in journals & newsletters of several professional & social organizations & becoming the part of a committee of the organisations. This has helped in sharing the knowledge, ideas & networking.
So, all these activities helped us connect better with the professionals & society at large which helped in various ways.
We regularly upskill our knowledge with study courses & professional courses like DISA, CFE (USA) Certificate Course in Forensic Accounting & Fraud Detection, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Course, Valuation, CA – England & Wales, Management, ISB, etc to enhance our knowledge so that we can serve at our level best.
Overcoming Challenges as a woman and empowering others
Since I lived in a traditional joint family, I struggled to manage both my professional career and the family.
Although my in-laws were supportive throughout my professional career, it came with loads of responsibility and high expectations, some of which I struggled to meet.
As a woman myself, I can say for a fact that oftentimes we are taken for granted which is why our hard work gets brushed away easily, or we have to face gender-based stereotypes.
So, during the initial period, I had to put extra effort to prove myself but, hard work coupled with patience helped me overcome the challenges.
When one has a passion for something, whether they are men or women, the challenges don’t stop them from achieving their goals. So, be assured that whatever the circumstances are, they will change for the better if you continue giving your best efforts.
In my CA journey so far, I have taken various sessions motivating Women & mentored 200+ women and I want to contribute in whatever way I can so that despite the challenges faced by women, we can become empowered and confident.
In the year 2019-2020, I got an opportunity to serve the Western Region – WIRC of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) as the Chairperson. In 70 years of ICAI, there have been only 4 women chairpersons and I am happy to be one of them. It is very difficult to achieve that position but I am glad to have been elected unanimously by the regional council members & it was possible due to the support & guidance of my mentor.
When starting a practice, one should be clear about the areas they want to practice in.
Depending on the niche, one should also pursue specialized qualifications to keep up with the market requirements.
Innovative thinking is really important for a practitioner and implementing technology in practice would help in the growth of a Firm.
Lastly, if one feels that their CA firm is not progressing as they had expected, the most important points at such a stage is to have: 1) Patience 2) Perseverance 3) Introspecting yourself, identifying the problems & bringing solutions 4) Have a right Mentor to guide & support you.