From an average student to getting through all the CA Exams in the first attempt: Meet Vikash Agarwal, Practicing Chartered Accountant
- Hello everyone, my name is Vikash Agarwal. I am a qualified chartered accountant and also a company secretary.
- Despite being an average student I had a vision mind to become a successful person one day. After all, one simply can’t stay motivated without having a vision.
- Since I did not have the courage to go all the way to Delhi, India to pursue IAS I decided to take the CA route after researching the subject.
- And finally in 2009 after a lot of struggles and The Right Guidance of my seniors I qualified as a chartered accountant by clearing all the CA exams in one go. This was certainly an ecstatic experience of my life as I also became a Qualified Company Secretary (CS) in 2010 as well.
This is my story of how having a vision in my mind helped me transition from being just an average student to becoming a CA in practice, member of GST Support Committee, Government of NCT, Delhi, and adviser to MSME Chamber of Commerce.
I actually belong to a middle-class business family, and was born in Kotputli, Rajasthan but raised in Liluah, West Bengal.
Being the youngest, I was pampered by my parents and siblings. My brother was in dad's business. He always said - Business is ultimate. So keeping that in mind I started with normal Commerce and at the same time used to go to my father's shop at Poasta market.
In spite of being an average student, I always had a vision in mind of being a successful person. Suddenly my dad's business started going downhill. I wasn't aware of how to stop the losses. Life was getting tough. By now I was in my last year of graduation.
One day while I was leaving to go to my dad's shop, my elder sister randomly came and snatched the shop keys from my hand and told me – “There’s no need for you to go to the shop anymore” This incident changed my life for good. Since I did not have a shop to go to, I decided to study further.
Preparing for CA
My childhood friend PN Jha was preparing for IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and he motivated me to pursue the same. Being a very average student I did not have the courage to go all the way to Delhi, India to pursue IAS. So I decided to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) instead and then chase my IAS goal.
Now I had no guidance on 'How to prepare for CA' and back home nobody was educated enough to guide me. So I researched a lot all by myself to understand whatever I could on CA.
With no computers and internet facilities, acquiring details was really tough. Somehow with a lot of hard work, I understood what CA is all about and registered for the same. I gave my best and cleared all the CA Exams in the 1st attempt itself.
Challenges faced during the CA journey
I did face a lot of struggles during this journey. CA required long hours of studying. I used to work at my dad's shop, so getting back to my studies was very tough. It was difficult for me to just sit and study. But with dedication & determination, I managed.
The other struggle was - Finances! My dad could only afford the CA enrollment fees, but not the fees of the coaching class. So to pay the class fees all by myself I used to work and study. I used to work on a part-time basis even after my articleship was over in the evening.
In fact, after my CA Final exams, I was so exhausted and sleep-deprived that while riding my bike I dozed off and met with a serious accident.
But the main struggle of all was 'Lack of Correct Guidance'. In order to get the guidance, I started to speak to as many people as I could. This made me very sociable, I was no longer shy. Interacting with different people I also developed a mind of my own thus believing in – Listen to everyone but do what your mind says. To date, I follow my own heart.
Clearing CA exams in the first attempt
The main reason for me clearing all my CA exams in one go was - The Right Guidance of my seniors. I followed whatever they told me and focused on becoming a CA. The motto one should always keep in mind while preparing for any career is- Associate with the best and leave the rest.
Group study worked for me. We were a group of 4 people and always studied together. It helped us motivate each other and solve our doubts.
In 2009 I was a Qualified CA and in 2010 a Qualified Company Secretary (CS). Being a CA and CS boosted my confidence and then I decided to move to Delhi and pursue my IAS dream. That's a different story that I did not qualify for the exam but the IAS journey was again life-changing and definitely worth it.
My advice to other CAs
Balance is life or life is Balance - meaning we all should maintain a balance between work and life. We should manage our time for work, family, and social activities.
Networking is a must for CA's, so it's better to start networking while you are preparing for CA.
Articleship is another area every CA should focus on. These days, questions are designed on a practical approach and a practical approach comes only after articleship. Never ever opt for Dummy, this will destroy your entire career. Also at campus interviews, practical experience helps.
Nobody in the world can motivate you if you don’t have a vision in mind for yourself. In my mind, I always visualized myself becoming a CA. This helped me stay focused on my goal.
Like all CA aspirants, I also took coaching but later realized coaching is just to give you an idea about the subject - You have to work on your own. So work hard.