CA Kriti Chadha has defined the meaning of ‘PERSISTENCE’ for us – She fought all ODDS and pursued CA, passed 1st two levels in the 1st attempt but failed multiple times in CA Final. She now has her own CA Firm.
“I am born into a typical business family wherein each daughter is provided with minimal basic education. But my grandfather thought differently and made it a point that all of his 3 daughters complete their post-graduation and his 3 sons only graduation. He always BELIEVED – If you educate a Daughter you Educate a Family,” says CA Kriti Chadha from Chandigarh, India
“My CA journey began after I read an advertisement in the newspaper for CA Foundation (1st level CA exam now known as CPT ) after class 12. Researching about CA was just a good way to spend my summer vacations but after a week everything changed and I realized CA was my calling.
Pursued CA in spite of Resistance from Family:
My grandfather who was supportive of women being educated expired that very year. The elders in my family did not want me to pursue CA as they thought it was ‘A boys thing’ and as a girl, it would be too hard on me. It may sound funny but they were concerned that I might ‘start looking ugly’ due to the stress!
CA Foundation Journey (now known as CPT):
My mom was very encouraging. She said you clear CA – Foundation and everyone will be quiet. In the meanwhile, everyone thought I had forgotten about CA as I stopped talking about it. After my FYBcom exams were over I had just 15 days to prepare for my CA exam. I prayed to God to guide me and YES I cleared with excellent marks and gained confidence. I was dancing with joy as I proved myself but again the elders never congratulated me. They all told me if you have started CA don’t leave it midway. I knew I had made a mark.
Articleship and CA – Intermediate Journey:
I started my Articleship under CA Vivek Kumar Arora and CS Puneeta Arora. Then came CA – Intermediate ( 2nd level CA now known as IPCC) which I cleared again in the 1st attempt. Having good mentors while pursuing articleship is very important.
CA Final Journey & my Marriage:
I was now confident and life was smooth. I was sure of clearing CA – Final in one go. With only 4 hours of sleep each day for 6 months of preparation, I failed the 1st attempt. Life was not going as expected. I started getting depressed. I wondered what went wrong that I did not clear. The words of the elders in my family started playing in my head, at one point I felt I should have just listened to them and not pursued CA.
Mom had already fought a lot for my dreams but now it was my battle alone. She had left all her social commitments as she wanted to be there for me and lived her dreams through me. I felt even more guilty. The elders at that point asked me if they could start looking for a suitable match for me. In that state of mind, I said YES.
Months passed and on my mom’s insistence, I gave CA Final Group 2 (CA FINAL has 2 groups, GRP 1 & GRP 2). I got an exemption in Indirect Taxation. But CA still seemed like a distant dream.
During the same time, I met a guy through my family for marriage and things worked well. Our wedding was fixed for the following year in February. Now this guy, now my Husband Ravin believed in me and my dreams of becoming a CA. We got engaged in October and after a month I had my CA exams. Ravin motivated me by staying awake all night each day encouraging me to study. He said – Believe in yourself because I Believe in You. That worked as a miracle. Results came in January and I cleared GRP 2 with excellent marks. I was really happy.
Now 1 year passed since we got married. I had Group 1 pending, so Ravin made it a point I attend coaching for certain subjects. However, I failed 2 more times. The pressure of not clearing post-marriage was even worse. Everyone had written me off. In one attempt I scored 59 marks in accounts. Ravin quietly filled my revaluation form and after a month my marks were 60. It was a miracle. So now I had only 3 subjects to give. I was a little relieved. By next attempt, thankfully I cleared and became a Chartered Accountant (CA).
Life Post CA Qualification and Motherhood:
The confidence came back. My elders beamed with pride in telling our daughter is a CA. But I was quick to tell everyone it was due to Mom and Ravin. The next few years I could not do anything professionally. Tried getting a job but nothing worked. The struggle was there, but I always thought – Mera time bhi aayega.
In the meanwhile, I was blessed with a son and like always I went to meet my mentor CA Vivek. While accepting sweets he said – Your son will never respect you, as he will always question you what did you do after studying so much. That hit me really hard. It pinched me each day. With my child, just 40 days old I vowed that I will do something professionally. It was then that I joined a CA firm and gradually as my son grew I started as a practicing CA.
Advice to All:
It was really difficult managing a little son and work but again Ravin helped me and managed our son when I was away on audits. The struggle is there each day but I have that smile and confidence. Till date we manage like this,” she concluded