CA Nandan Gandhi is currently a Business Analyst with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). For all those who question the ‘Importance of ISCA’ in the CA course, this story is a MUST READ. He also holds a certification in SAP-FI (Finance).
“I had converted from PCC (old course) to IPCC (new course). This kept my articleship going even during IPCC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups – Group 1 & Group 2). I had my IPCC exams in Nov’09. With much vigor and good competitiveness, I was managing my studies and articleship decently well while keeping cricket, movies, and socializing along. I come from a business family so everyone is not very educated, it was my high school group that gave me the push at every stop. Owing to good results in HSC, college exams and CA entrance I had a lot of expectations riding on me,” says CA Nandan Gandhi from Ahmedabad, India.
An Accident that Taught me a Lot:
“I had recently turned 18 and was allowed to ride two-wheelers, thus using my bike to commute to class and back. On 15th of May’09, I was returning home for lunch from class on my bike, it was 1 in the afternoon and the roads were almost empty since the summer heat was at its peak.
I could see a distant scooter being driven by an old man on the left going pretty straight. While I tried to overtake him from the right, his scooter turned right out of no-where to enter a lane in the front. No signal from his hand or sidelight and my bike bumped hard into his scooter. We fell and got dragged for a few meters. The bike’s body was on my right knee and the old man laid motionless on the road. While I was asking people around me to help him get up, I saw his family come out from the lane while his wife cursing me for the ‘evil deed’.
The Ortho suggested for an immediate MRI of the knee that had blood-clotting and suggested to wait for a week to decide whether to go for surgery or not. I had just two thoughts in my head – Hope the old man is fine and will I be able to cope up with hectic schedules and appear for exams in Nov’09?
I had a few bruises on my hand but feared something major on my leg since I fell down twice while trying to get up. It turned out to be a ligament break. On the fourth-day post-accident, the police rang the house-bell searching for me; thanks to a pedestrian who suggested they should file a complaint against me under rash driving. It was a warrant to an 18-year old with a damaged knee to be present in the court in defense.
Meanwhile, the doctor had suggested for a ligament surgery post which I had to take complete bed rest for 2 months. While I was missing onto critical lectures for plenty of hours every day, I had threats to face legal consequences getting my passport seized till the case was over. The circle of police station-court-lawyers-insurance-hospital begins and all these put together had created a very negative impact on my mindset.
I was being advised to skip IPCC Nov’09 attempt. Yet the only thought that haunted me is that not appearing would itself be a failure in my mind if not on paper. I had decided that I rather appear and fail. I sidelined all the stuff that had crippled my body and started self-study giving my best. My family and friends supported me greatly.
I had missed 2 months of classes and when I could walk with a walker I appeared for a Law-mock test in August. I didn’t expect a good result but I just had a target to attempt 120% and complete the paper in three hours. I ended up getting 78 /100- Highest in the class of 130 students. It was a strange surprise that boosted my confidence sky-high but there was much more to go on the ground as yet.
I could learn how it all works when everything is against you; you not being at fault!
I could learn how our legal system works!
I could learn how the insurance company would try to tilt stories to have a case in their favor!
Anyway, by Sep’09, I could stand on my legs and that mattered the most. I was out of the legal stuff, hospital mess and was able to give the best for 3 months until exams. The incident had made me grow wiser and a hard worker. That attempt I cleared IPCC all the subjects with short of 9 marks for AIR!
For CA Final, I worked really hard and managed to clear in the 1st attempt again.
I appeared for campus interviews and got selected in TCS as an Associate Consultant. At the interview, I was offered a range of roles. I had 2 options: Corporate Finance and look after Audit or get into Consulting to help TCS clients with Process Optimization, ERP Product Evaluation and Business Framework Reengineering in the Finance Domain though. At 21, I wasn’t sure what will lead to where but I chose the latter one.
It was here that I realized the Importance of ISCA in the CA course.
Perks of following my Intuition:
In 5+ years of my experience I could travel to 5 countries, conduct workshops with clients’ management, be a part of 16 projects working with different teams and industries, get decent accolades and above all – Work Satisfaction.
My suggestion to all is :
- Be Vulnerable and Open to all Experiences. The CA journey is not just limited to your exams and results. It involves evolving us as an individual with all sorts of happenings and experiences. Keep an attitude to embrace each of them and grow to your best
- Balance. It is an age where you’ll be facing many confusions related to your career and I’d say that is good. Confusions make you think better and in fact are a route to clarity. The key is to balance discipline among your studies, hobbies and not to deviate from your goal
- Exam candidates attempt 100 marks for every paper, no matter what
- Try writing mock papers
- Friends who’ve had many attempts let me tell you from the limited world that I’ve seen: CA’s with many attempts are doing better than those with 1st attempts. This is a strange truth, so NEVER GIVE UP,” he concluded.
P:S: He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com. He is the best person to reach out to for a practical understanding of ISCA!