How Becoming a Company Secretary Changed My Life

The Finance Story

My Life Journey

I come from a middle-class family, my dad runs a small tailoring business, my mother is a housewife and helps my dad in his tailoring work. I have three siblings - Elder sister is a housewife, another sister a Chartered Accountant and younger brother also a Chartered Accountants (CA),” says CS Dharmesh Sarvaiya who is a Practicing Company Secretary from Mumbai.

“I was the only child who received education from a Private School right from KG as my other siblings were studying in a municipality school. I was a bright student right from the very start, therefore, the expectations of my parents were also very high from me.

When I was in the 7th standard my dad left his job and started with a small tailoring shop, after school I used to sit at his shop and help him in minor tailoring work, gradually learning to tailor well. Since dad’s business was new we used to have financial issues so my mom took up housework of others to support us. It was a time in our life which was not very good at the same time not too bad - As we all learned so much in those tough years.

My eldest sister also started working to support us after class 10. I also wanted to contribute so I started my first job during my school vacation (it was a job of polishing artificial jewelry) where I earned Rs. 927/-pm. It was an awesome feeling when I gave my complete earnings to my mother.

After securing First Class in grade 10, I started with college and secured 2nd Rank in class 12. My career plans were to complete my graduation and do an MBA.

When I was in F.Y.Bcom my dad suffered serious health issues luckily all went well but he took a while to recover. Since our shop was the only source of major income and with dad’s lesser chances of being able to work again, I took over the work of the entire shop and handled it for 6 months, neglecting my college studies completely. There came a day where I had decided to give up all my dreams to study and just focus on dad’s tailoring business full time. However, after several operations and bed rest my dad started coming to the shop and slowly he took over the shop and let me resume my college and studies.

My CS Journey

One day I realized that an MBA is going to cost lakhs of rupees and I could not afford the same back then so I scrapped the idea of doing an MBA. After my graduation, I thought of pursuing Chartered Accountancy.

I joined a coaching class for CPT (1st level CA exam) but could not attend and concentrate well on CPT class due to some family issues so I dropped off and my brother started attending lectures instead of me (as we did not want to waste the fees). That’s how my brother’s CA journey started. He also clearer CPT in the 1st attempt.

It was during that phase one of my uncles suggested Company Secretary (CS) and I decided on the spot that I would go ahead with it and here started my CS journey. Sometimes when I think about it had I not decided there and then on pursuing CS maybe I would have never done it. Because of financial issues I chose to Self-Study and work full time at a CA firm.

CS Executive Exam:

  • It took me 2 attempts to clear CS Executive Exam (2nd level CS Exam, as I was a graduate I could start with the 2nd level directly).

Articles:

  • After completing CS Executive, I joined articles where I was the sole article of my boss - CS Nimish Mehta sir. He played a significant role in making me what I am today and I am very thankful to him.
  • During my articleship I got a chance to work independently on several assignments where I learned how to handle clients.
  • After completing my articleship, I started working in the Accounts field and also started taking up Secretarial assignments independently.

CS Final:

  • Again, in CS Final (last level CS exam) I chose to self-study and work full time as I wanted to continue my work and my independent assignments.
  • I cleared 3 groups of my CS Final examinations in first three attempts itself but there was one group which took 8 attempts to clear (4 years).
  • In the meanwhile, my younger brother cleared his CA and after 3 years of he becoming a CA, I cleared that one group.
  • Finally becoming a qualified Company Secretary (CS).

CS has various benefits:

  • It is relatively cheaper than other courses
  • It has great professional value
  • A lot of students do not understand the value/importance of being a CS. With the current reforms in Companies Act, the scope of a CS is infinite and very remunerative.
  • Being a Key Managerial person, a CS gets paid well.
  • You can pass the course with self-study
  • The only key to be a best CS professional is - KEEP YOURSELF UPDATED
  • One should select CS course if he/she is good at understanding legal language and laws. As the CS course is all about compliances with various statutory laws be it Companies Act 2031, SEBI Act, Labour Laws and any other laws applicable to corporates.

What is the procedure to become a Company Secretary in India

If one chooses CS course after 12th Grade exam he/she needs to go through three stages:

  1. Foundation (Foundation Programme can be pursued by 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (Excluding Fine Arts)
  2. Executive (Executive Programme can be pursued by a Graduate of all streams except Fine Arts)
  3. Professional (Executive Programme can be pursued by a Graduate of all streams except Fine Arts.)

  • Admission to the CS Course is open throughout the year.
  • Examinations are held twice a year in June and December.

Today my brother Navin Sarvaiya and I are running a firm in name of Sarvaiya & Co. where we provide one stop solution for all the Accounting, taxation, audit, companies act, FEMA, Finance and related matters to our esteemed clients. Since he is a Practicing CA and I am a practicing CS we provide complimentary services to each other, benefitting us and our clients. Also, we kept our roles very pure to each one’s domain so no two views on any matter.

By god grace my parents are fine and all is great. We are ever grateful to them for all they have done for us,” he concluded.

For any career advice/help you can reach him at 9967552238/dharmesh@sarvaiyaco.in

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