An Inspirational Story of CA Deepti who is pursuing her career as a Singer and as a CA, specializing in Forensic Auditing and Data Analytics.
“I pursued CA with an open mind. I never allowed any external elements to overpower my self-confidence. I always believed in following my instincts and moving ahead with the flow,” says CA Deepti Balachandran from Hyderabad.
“People do dream about certain things and they set plans to achieve them, but for me, too much planning for the future did not work. Hence I always focused on what I have right NOW and how I could get the best of it. The combination of – Hard work and Luck (to an extent) worked for me.
Coming from a family where studies were given the topmost priority, I used to be brilliant at studies and was a topper. At the same time, I loved singing and was good at it too. Be it school prayers, competitions or any other event, I was always around to sing. Unfortunately, I lived in a place, where I couldn’t get an opportunity to learn music. So, neither I nor my family was very serious about my singing dream.
My CA Journey:
Coming to grade 10, I never liked Maths or Science and thus decided on – Commerce. My parents did some research, consulted few people and found out that CA or an MBA will be the best career options if I take Commerce. So, I wrote CPT (1st level CA exam) and cleared in my 1st attempt. I cleared PCC (2nd level CA exam now known as IPCC) and CA – Final also in my 1st attempt. I am not trying to portray here that it was a cakewalk for me – I literally had a lot of stress during that phase. Studying those bunch of big books is not an easy task for anyone but yes, I worked very HARD.
I also did a little bit of SMART WORK for CA:
- Analyzing the pattern of questions coming in from the last 5-10 years
- Working on areas where chances of fetching marks are more likely
- Targeting areas where you can definitely score some good marks etc.
And it all worked really well for me. So, this was my journey towards becoming a CA (Chartered Accountant).
My Music Career & Life Post CA:
While pursuing CA, I was under the impression that it’s just about getting through the exams and once it’s done, I will have plenty of job opportunities coming my way. But it was not the case! Another stressful phase started. I wanted to get into Investment Banking (IB), I tried hard but I failed to get an opportunity. So finally, I ended up joining one of the Big 4’s in the Audit team. I started developing an interest in my work and learned so many new things. I started identifying my ‘strengths’ and worked on them harder. Suddenly after 3 years in audit, I started getting so many calls for Investment Banking profile and guess what, I was no longer interested.
On the other hand, my passion towards music was intensifying. It was then that I decided to learn classical music. I started recording my songs and uploading them and later joined Shankar Mahadevan’s Academy. Gradually I started getting an intuition that I need to give more of my time to music. With the kind of job I had, it was difficult for me to take my singing to the next level. It was then I decided to quit my job. However, it was not an easy decision for me, because I always wanted to be independent.
My husband was very encouraging towards my singing passion and was supporting my decision only to pursue singing but I still did not want to leave my CA career behind. Finally, after all the self-questioning, thinking etc I got my answer. I decided to specialize in one of the audit areas where I can create a niche for myself and that was – Forensic Auditing and Data Analytics. So I got certified in this area and gained practical exposure. Later on, I joined my husband’s firm as a partner. This option gave me enough flexibility for my singing career.
I have no regrets about the decisions I made. Every decision was the outcome of what I felt was the right thing to do. It’s all about priorities. Initially, CA was my priority, I pursued it with 100% dedication, now it’s about music. I may or may not be successful, I may or may not earn so much of money or fame out of it, but all I will be gaining is wonderful learning experiences and that’s the biggest success for me.
Takeaways from my story:
- In CA or be it any other professional course – Passing/ getting a certificate/getting a job is not the end of the story. One needs to identify his/her strengths, work on it and build a niche/expertise. This is very important in today’s cutting-edge competition.
- Don’t allow “social pressure” to overpower your self-confidence and capabilities.
- Work hard. Work Smart.
- Follow your instincts,” she concluded.