“So many students today think that if they will complete CA then only they can succeed. They assume that if they score at least 90 % in school they will be successful in future. But let me tell you scoring 90 percent plus does not bring success,” says Chetan Shah from Ahmedabad.
“I was born in a middle-class family. My siblings were brilliant in studies while I was very average right from the start, I never scored a 60% in my life. I took Science in 10th standard and managed to get only 50%! As I scored poorly I shifted to Commerce in class 11. Due to my low %, I could only get admission in Gujarat college which was a blessing as the professors there were amazing. I loved Accounts right from the beginning but hated theoretical subjects thus scoring only 51 % in class 12.
Life After Graduation:
Moving on, after my graduation, I joined a company as a store assistant. I did not like that job as I just had to maintain stocks thus I quit it in a month. Then I told my father I wanted to pursue Company Secretary (CS) so I can get a better job in future. My father was very clever but due to poor financial conditions he just completed his M.Com and took up a government job. He advised me to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) instead of CS and here started my CA journey.
CA Inter Journey:
- At that time we had to start with Articleship immediately. So, during the day I worked and then studied in the evening.
- I did not join any classes for CA Inter Group 1 (CA Inter is 2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups – Group 1 and Group 2, now known as IPCC). Then in Nov’ 99 I cleared my CA Inter Group 1 and finished with my articlehship as well.
- For CA Inter Group 2 I joined coaching class only for one subject which was very boring – FEDP ( Fundamental of Electronic and Data processing) and I cleared my CA Inter in Nov 2000.
CA Final Journey:
I was working at a place for Rs 2500 and now it was time to decide whether I wanted to continue with my job or go ahead with CA Final (last level of CA, consisting of 2 groups – Group 1 and Group 2). I took a decision to leave the job and start my preparation for CA Final Exams.
It was a trend back then to give only CA Final Group 2 and then CA Final Group 1, I also did the same thing and started preparing for CA Final Group 2 only. Now again all my other friends were going for classes but I decided to self-study and only go for tuition for MICS (it was a subject similar to ISCA). I did not clear a few attempts and finally got an exemption in one subject but the entire syllabus changed by then! After the syllabus changed I still gave CA Final Exams till 2005 and then I gave up.
Life After Leaving CA Final:
I was working all this while but now I decided to give my 100 % to my job as I got married and a lot of responsibilities came on to me. My father also retired then. I started working in a CA firm with a salary of Rs 2500 pm, after a year I jumped to an FMCG as an Executive Internal Auditor with a salary of Rs. 6000 pm, after 2 years I changed that job and got a job as an Accountant with a salary of Rs. 10,000 pm.
Now see the jumps I took with a very good hike I am talking about the year 2002 to 2006. During that phase, there were a lot of problems in my company and my team would always send me for tough audits as they knew I would handle it with perfection.
In 2007, I decided to start my own Accounting and Tax Consultancy firm. When I started I was earning an avg. 2,500 per month. Within a year due to my good service, I started making an avg. of INR 20,000 per month. Life was good. But I always had this desire to work out of India.
My International Work Journey:
- In 2008, I got an opportunity to interview for an Accounts Manager Role based in – Qatar. During the interview, the Group Finance Manager told me that he is not very interested in my CV but he liked my confidence and was sure I could handle all the responsibilities well. And with this job my international journey started. In Qatar, I was only in the Accounts dept. and I had to report to the Group Finance Manager in Abu Dhabi. There was an Audit by KPMG going on which I handled really well and received a lot of appreciations from the CPA of KPMG.
- From there I moved to Uganda East Africa so I could get my family also with me. I worked there as an Accounts Manager and again my work was appreciated. I was handling a team of 5 people. From there I came back to India due to the health issues of my son.
- Then again I applied for a Sr. Management position in South Africa but my CV was rejected by the management. Post that they took so many other interviews but liked none. Then by request of the consultant they called me for an interview and selected me for a Finance Manager in a Middle Managerial Position. However, after joining I realized that that the CFO had quit and they were also searching for his replacement. After 3 months, the Group MD trusted me and gave me all the responsibility and promoted me to a Group Finance Manager. When I left from there (I left because there were a lot of restrictions on movement, also my son could not play and move freely) the Group MD made sure I got an amazing farewell and told me that I could join them whenever I wish to.
- After that, I went to China and I started working as an Accounts Manager. The Accounts were in a mess and the Director told me clearly if I could not manage things in 3 months they would send me back to India. However gradually he realized I knew my work very well and I became a Hero again there.
- Later on, I moved back to India (in China education was very expensive so hence I moved to India again) and started working in a KPO. However, due to an odd work schedule, I chose to start my own consultancy again ( we provide bookkeeping services to various domestic clients apart from other services. We also help our international clients get their bookkeeping outsourced to India at a reduced cost).
- Along with it I also started a recruitment firm. The first 6 months were tough but later on, I earned way more than my salary also.
- I am also in the business of Anti-Ageing, Skin Care, and healthcare products.
This is all about my story I have written all this to tell you that:
- If you are positive and don’t keep anything negative in mind you will get everything at the right time.
- We all have the ability to pursue all that we want.
- All we have is internal strength – Nothing can dim the light which shines from within,” he concluded.
P:S: You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
The CA Story is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and get updates with latest stories of finance professionals.