Every CA should do a one year MBA, says this EY consultant turned Strategist at Accenture. Here's why.

CA at Accenture Strategy believes every CA should pursue an MBA

  • Bhawna Dudeja is a Chartered Accountant, MBA, Ex-EY and founder of The One Year MBA. 
  • She struggled to find accurate information about 1 year MBA programs in India.
  • Today she mentors MBA Aspirants and helps them get into their favourite B-Schools.
  • She claims that every CA should pursue an MBA. Here's why.


Most people opt for Chartered Accountancy for two reasons; inspired by others or parents encouraging them to do so. I on the other hand wanted to pursue CA because of my desire to become a CEO.

I thought a strong degree in finance can catapult me to the top. 

I qualified as a CA in 2013 and started my career with Ernst & Young (EY) in the International Taxation division. I was tasked to deal with a lot of US clients/ US counterparts on a daily basis.

This made me realise how much I love giving presentations to clients and managing people.

The CA qualification, even though excellent did not cover business aspects as in-depth as I would have liked. This is why I thought an MBA would help me understand these concepts better. I got interested in the idea of pursuing an MBA.

What next? 

Also Read

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MBA Degree Changed My Career Trajectory

I didn’t want to go down the 2-year MBA path as it required taking the Common Admission Test (CAT) and it was mostly for freshers. 

CAT is a national-level MBA entrance examination conducted every year by the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).

I felt as a working professional I fit the eligibility for one year MBA in India.

  • A graduate degree
  • Good GMAT score
  • Quality Work Experience of 5 years.

I registered for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in 2016.

Even though I was shortlisted for the interview at the Indian School of Business (ISB), I couldn’t make it due to my lack of problem-solving skills. I continued on with my work.

Only after I got married did my husband push me to reconsider doing an MBA.

Seeing his enthusiasm and my own yearning, I gave it a shot again in 2019. This time I managed to get 710 on GMAT.  

Between ISB and IIM Ahmedabad, I decided to go with the latter as it required a minimum of 4 years of work experience. (I had six and a half years of experience.)   

I took a break from my work and embarked on completing my one-year MBA program.

Bhawna getting her 1 year MBA qualification from IIM Ahmedabad

The MBA Roadmap: Navigating The Journey From Application To Graduation

When I was researching available MBA programs in India I noticed how scattered the pieces of information were. Even today many admission consultants cannot provide complete information.

I learned that:

  • IIM Ahmedabad is ranked 31st in Financial Times Global MBA Ranking for its PGPX (Post-Graduate Programme In Management for Executives).
  • The curriculum for IIMs 2-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) and 1 year PGPX are the same.  

Fast forward to when I was doing my MBA, we started providing free mentoring sessions, and profile evaluation sessions for MBA aspirants. I realised my passion for mentoring and creating an impact in people’s lives.

I said to myself, “Once I finish my MBA I am going to start in the mentoring space full-time.” From March 2022 I kept mentoring unofficially to build a personal brand. 

In April I completed my MBA. The One Year MBA officially started in November 2022. 

Once a candidate has received the GMAT score, I help with:

  • Free Profile Evaluation
  • Career Guidance
  • MBA Mentoring
  • Resume Editing
  • Essay Drafting
  • Mock Interview Practice

One female candidate loved my mentoring so much that she signed up for the 7 B-School packages, and got acceptance letters from 4 of them. This was the confidence boost that I needed.  

I have 17 people signed up with me as of now. 

A Passion And Second Income Outside Of Work

I currently work at Accenture as a Transformation Excellence Consultant. And yes handling work with mentoring is really crazy.

Since I am working with a European client, my work hours are from 1.30 PM to 9.30 PM.

That’s why I try to schedule a lot of mocks/calls during the morning. I work on the essays during the day or past 9 PM. On top of that, my weekends are free.

It can be controversial to do side hustles in many organisations. But as long as your office work is not getting hampered, or you don’t have any company registered in your name it’s fine.  

Thankfully Accenture has an amazing work culture. My MDs and Senior Managers comment on my LinkedIn post about The One Year MBA and congratulate me. That’s the encouragement I need.

Is CA And MBA A Good Combination? Career Progression In The Business World

There are multiple benefits of MBA.

Every CA should pursue a 1 year MBA, in my opinion.

  • The CA course doesn’t teach you communication skills, or presentation skills.
  • CA students don’t get the chance to learn from their peers about various business cases.
  • The curriculum is memory-based whereas an MBA curriculum is entirely practical. It’s about applying what you read.

CAs are born to become CEOs, and the pathway to that would be through an MBA.

Had I not done an MBA and taken up a job, my salary would’ve increased 10-15% per annum. But because of this 1-year MBA now I can switch roles, industries, functions, etc.

MBA Candidates from the IIMs 2022 batch received a median package of INR 35-40 lacs per annum. The 2022 batch at the Indian School of Business received a package of INR 28-30 lacs per annum.

A lot of my peers got selected at BCG Malaysia, or BCG Singapore and received a salary package of INR 35-80 lacs per annum.

A majority of the candidates can go from getting a salary of INR 11 lacs per annum to INR 50 lacs after a 1 year MBA.

You can check out IIM Ahmedabad’s PGPX placement report for 2022 here.

But don’t do it for the sake of money. You should pursue an MBA if you want to gain amazing knowledge of business or want to start something of your own.

An MBA will give you the credibility and brand value of that institution i.e. IIM. And most importantly you’d get the opportunity to network and create valuable long-term connections.

I have access to almost 50,000 IIM Ahmedabad alums and they are very responsive and helpful.

Also Read

After an unplanned career break, this CA & her MBA batchmates co-founded a Startup to help women restart their careers


Q. Who Can Apply for the MBA-PGPX at IIM?

The MBA-PGPX is meant for working professionals with a Bachelor’s Degree and at least 4 years of work experience. You can visit their website to learn about the basic criteria.

Q. What GMAT score is required for IIM?

It ultimately boils down to your profile, your essay, and the interview. Anybody with 5 years of work experience should aim at getting 680+ on their GMAT. This will surely get you the interview.

 Q. What are the fees for 1 year MBA in India?

The IIMs are central government-owned public business schools. The current batch has to pay a fee of INR 32 lacs. IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Calcutta have a similar range of fee structures. Other IIMs cost less.

At the Indian School of Business, you have to pay a fee of INR 40 – 41 lacs.

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