After quitting CA midway this man restarted his CA journey with the support of his wife & qualified at the age of 32
- Hi! I am CA Sudhakar Thamankar, born and brought up in a village called Venoor, 50 km away from Mangalore, India.
- Growing up life was not easy as we had a lot of financial issues. However, I was a dreamer since my childhood and wanted to achieve success in life despite being an average student. This desire encouraged me to become a Chartered Accountant.
- In the early years itself, I struggled with my CA journey and eventually discontinued the CA course after failing multiple times in CA Inter. However, I had a turning point in life after marriage and with my wife’s support, I re-started my CA journey and qualified at the age of 32!
- Here’s my journey of how despite continuous failures, I turned around in life by overcoming the challenges.
My decision to pursue CA
I was born and brought up in a lower-middle-class family where my father’s income was INR 15-20,000 per year (approx. USD 400 per year). My mother also supported our family by working as an Anganawadi worker (Anganwadi is a type of rural child care centre in India) for a monthly salary of INR 500 (USD 10).
Despite our poor familial conditions, I was a dreamer since my childhood days and wanted to become successful in life. However, I had a lot of financial issues and academically I was an average student.
While sharing my aspiration in life with someone during the summer holidays of my B.Com. graduation days, I got to know about the CA course and how it works. This proved to be the deciding factor and was imprinted in my mind.
Hence, after graduation, I decided to pursue CA. Many of my friends and relatives suggested not to pursue CA since it is one of the toughest courses and financially needs to be strong. However, I decided to pursue the course against everyone’s wish. And here started an interesting journey filled with ups and downs!
Failing CA Inter multiple times and giving up on my dream of becoming a CA
Since I was a graduate, I could go the direct entry route and start with my CA Articles. So in 1994, I started with my articles at a CA firm.
My Articleship years between 1994-1997 were the toughest period of my life. I was completely dependent on my stipend and since the stipend was a very small amount, after office hours I would work elsewhere to make some extra cash. My financial position became worse than before.
If this challenge wasn’t enough, I couldn’t even complete the CA intermediate even after four attempts. (I wasn’t able to complete even one Group in CA inter!)
I was heartbroken at that time and since this was a path I chose for myself, the pressure doubled up.
After the completion of my articleship, I started working as an Accountant for a minimal salary. Life got a little better here since the salary was a little higher than my earlier stipend. However, on the study front, I slipped into a comfort zone which affected my CA preparation.
Fast forward to 1999, I did something which I never imagined I would do – I quit my CA course after 6 years and gave up on my dream.
The turning point in life and restarting my CA journey
On one hand, I wanted to pursue my CA dream, and on the other hand, I wanted to give up.
With the internal struggle going on, in the year 2000, my parents pressured me to get married. I knew getting married meant additional responsibilities, it also meant a 100% end to my CA dream. However, this turned out to be a blessing.
After our marriage, I discussed my aspiration with my wife and to my surprise, she agreed to financially support me and motivated me to concentrate on my CA studies. With her support, in June 2000, at the age of 28, I restarted my CA journey with ignited hope − joined coaching classes and started preparing for CA inter exams that was scheduled in Nov'2000.
Having the freedom to focus on my studies proved to be very beneficial as I was able to clear CA Inter by Nov'01. After seeing continuous failure for years, I could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Now I had only CA Final exams to clear before I could become a CA.
Passing CA Inter gave me confidence and in March 2002, I left my accountant job and started studying full-time.
Around the same year, my daughter was born and since my wife was the sole breadwinner, the challenges increased over time. However, I was very determined and my wife continually supported me.
Fast forward to 10th July 2004, it was another joyful moment of my life… I finally cleared CA Final exams after so many hardships!
So, here I was, a 32-year-old who cracked one of the toughest exams and successfully converted failure into success.
Here is a summary:
- I married in Feb 2000 and in June 2000 I have started CA again and enrolled in a coaching class.
- Nov' 00 CA Inter Group II cleared, Nov'01 CA inter Group I cleared
- Nov' 02 CA Final Group II cleared
- May' 04 CA Final Group I cleared
Finally, restarting my career at age 32!
After qualifying as a CA, I was all set to join the corporate world. I thought life would be easy now, however, once again, I had to face a lot of challenges.
In spite of my previous work experience of more than 5 years, I had to start as a CA fresher at the age of 32!
My first role as a CA was as a contract employee at GE. Two years later, in 2006, since my contract was over I joined another consultancy as a contract employee. Luckily by Sept 2008, I got an opportunity at an MNC as a full-time employee. The role was of Assistant manager finance.
From here I slowly climbed the corporate ladder and by 2011, after years of learning and struggle, I became the Finance Director at Griffith Foods, an MNC food production company.
Over the years, I kept growing in my career but I wasn’t happy nor was I satisfied from the inside. There was no new learning and I felt like I had reached a saturation point.
So, after contemplating for a while, during the pandemic in April 2021, I decided to quit the corporate world and the comfortable paycheck and set out to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
I soon launched Credence CFO services with the idea to help startups and mid-size companies by providing value-added services.
Now, with each day, I am preparing and planning to better handle the business.
While growing up, I didn’t know what my strengths and weaknesses were and always believed others’ opinions. However, despite continuous failures, I never gave up.
My message is don’t give up and also introspect to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Seek people who would be able to guide you and believe in your dream.
Last but not the least, a big thank you to my parents and my dear wife who continued to support me and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Now It's Your Turn...
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