Today we have with us Sripal Jain, Co-Founder of Simandhar Education – Who quit his job to pursue his passion for teaching.
Sripal is a qualified Chartered Accountant from India (ICAI) and a Certified Public Accountant from AICPA.
He has worked at Infosys, EY, Virtusa, Tech Mahindra before starting his own venture.
My Journey Becoming a Chartered Accountant
I was lucky enough to clear my Chartered Accountancy exam from ICAI in the first attempt.
It was not easy but I worked hard and gave my best. Also, my Parents supported me every single time.
I pursued Chartered Accountancy for the following reasons:
- Encouragement by my elder brother. He is an engineer and also wanted me to be a professional.
- Job in an MNC: My own desire to get a degree which could land me a great job opportunity in an MNC in India.
- To network: I love people right from the beginning so getting into an MNC would mean networking with people and learning from them. So my personal sole reason for CA (when I think of it now) was to get a job in an MNC for the kind of people I would get to meet, for the opportunities that MNC’s bring and for the environment.
Here are a few tips to clear exams:
1. Give your best
- I always believed Chartered Accountancy is a tough course hence I studied 12-15 hours in the last 3 months before my CA Final exams.
2. Meditate / Prayer
- There is one more thing which has contributed to my exam success – Prayers (In my case Jain Prayer – Samayik, where sit down in one place for 48 minutes isolating ourselves from our daily household, social, business, or school activities. In this time, we read religious books, pray, worship, recite the rosary, or meditate).
- The credit to this goes to my Parents who always encouraged me to Pray/Meditate.
- Even during my CA Final exams, I would ensure to prayer for 48 minutes.
- That 48 minutes of prayer, meditation and gratitude really made a difference in my life.
- So my advice to all – Meditate daily, prayer to whichever God you believe, it surely helps!
3. Help others
- I would guide others who were struggling with their exams by giving them – Valuable exam tips and preparation strategy, sharing my notes, teaching them a few things here and there.
- When you teach others it acts like a revision for you.
- Also, I guess the teacher in me was always alive.
- However, during the study leave, I advise students to focus on their studies first and only in the break time to guide others.
- Give your best in understanding practical things while interning.
- I did my internship from Brahmayya and Co and got exposed to various audits like Taj Group, Reliance, Apollo etc.
- I think its very important to get a good internship exposure in order to pass the Chartered Accountancy exam.
Why Did I Pursue CPA After Indian CA
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant I got an opportunity to work with Infosys.
Since there are a lot of US companies in India there is a huge scope for CPA in India as well.
This made me realize that CPA’s are not only accepted in the US but in India also.
I felt that it was important for me to have knowledge of The US GAAP and IFRS (as Infosys was listed in NASDAQ and FTSE that time.)
Thus according to me – Having knowledge that of a CPA helped in evaluating the various deals from the revenue perspective at Infosys.
Though Chartered Accountancy degree from ICAI is sufficient with CPA there was a value addition (in my case at least).
Since most Tech Companies are listed in the US, having a detailed idea about the US GAAP can never go to waste.
Post Infosys I made a switch to – EY, Tech Mahindra and Infosys where my knowledge of the US GAAP and IFRS was considered an added advantage.
Quitting my job to start my own venture
Coming back to my journey, my life was going great.
While working full time, I was also coaching students pursuing Chartered Accountancy (ICAI) at various Institutes and classes in Hyderabad.
I loved what I did – My dream of working in a good organization, earning well and teaching was a reality.
Now while teaching those students I realized:
- That many of them were struggling to clear their Chartered Accountancy exams from ICAI. They were like a ‘Dejected Group’.
- Many of them just wanted to be Chartered Accountants / Professionals and have a good job.
- The worst part was they were getting paid peanuts as semi-qualified Accountants.
- That made me realize that CA students from ICAI don’t have a backup option if they keep failing.
- As a society, we have created such pressure that – Quitting seems like a crime, a sign of weakness.
- Now I was working in these Tech companies and I knew – Knowledge about Block Chain, Data Analyst, CPA, CMA USA could be a solution for them so I started guiding them about it.
- I knew there was a market for CPA’s/ CMA’s / Data Analyst etc in India and was sure that they would get a job immediately. So I encouraged a few of them to go for alternate career options like CPA from AICPA or CMA.
- I felt I would be contributing more if I chose to help those CA students who are struggling – So that’s when I decided to privately coach for CPA and CMA.
- I also networked with various companies and saw to it they got placed.
- I still remember my first students – Mani (CMA Student) and Varshitha (my first student in CPA). They both came with a feeling that they wanted to achieve something which they couldn’t in CA career and today both are confident and Varshitha is also working in Deloitte.
- Thus I started branding CPA and pushing the students for CPA and CMA – USA which are easier to complete and for which jobs are available in India.
There came a point in my life where I felt other – Coaching institutes were forcefully pushing me to enroll students into Chartered Accountancy ICAI course.
It was something I did not like and thus I thought – If I have complete ownership and I am my own boss, I would have more control over my teaching and my guidance too.
Now here the twist is – I was just engaged to Poonam and was to get married in a few months.
Luckily I discussed this with Poonam, my brother and sister in law (who stood by me in every way) and they all encouraged me to start my own.
In fact, I started Simandhar Education during my courtship period. During our courtship period, the only thing we discussed was – How to build Simandhar, what is the next best thing for students etc.
Poonam supported me by handling all the compliance and incorporation work.
A lot of other girls would have expected so much from their to be husband but not Poonam. I guess that is the beauty of our relationship.
During that phase when I was starting my own venture I had lots and lots of – Challenges. To name a few – Initially, when I started my own venture I was working full time at Tech Mahindra.
There were days where I would rush to work after class or where I had an office meeting come up and already had a class schedule.
So I had so much to deal with.
Later on, when I decided to quit my full-time job to start Simandhar I was confident but so many thoughts were running through my mind.
Honestly, Poonam was the turning point in my career.
My brother and sister in law had always pushed me to pursue teaching but eventually, the much-needed support in terms of partner came from Poonam.
So with the support of family, blessings of my parents, savings of a few years and a Dream I started – Simandhar.
Advice to Students / Professional:
There are many students struggling to clear Chartered Accountancy my advice to them is –
- I REQUEST you all to pursue courses like CFA (US), CMA, US GAAP Certification, IFRS Certification, Cyber Security Certification, Data Analytics.
- Do not get scared to look at Alternate Career options. There is a huge demand for these courses.
- If you want to start your own CA firm then Yes – CA from ICAI is what you should chase else keep your options open if for some reason CA from ICAI is not happening.
- With certifications from AICPA, you will have opportunities to work anywhere in the world as US companies are everywhere.
- Even if you are a qualified professional – Enhance your career with Block Chain, CyberSecurity, Data Analytics etc.
Advice to all starting their own venture:
- To all those starting their own venture, it may sound clichéd – But when we put our clients first (in my case students) SUCCESS WILL FOLLOW.
- Money can be an issue initially but do not block yourself keep small targets (yes, small) and take your first step.
- While working full-time experiment with what you want.
- Sometimes you might quit your job for something you no longer want, so be at least 70% sure if not 100%.
At Simandhar he provides coaching (Live/ Recorded) for – CPA, CMA, Blockchain and its impact on Audit, US GAAP Certification, IFRS Certification, Cyber Security Certification, and Data Analytics and other certification courses.
Sripal is working with various corporates like – Virtusa, Deloitte, Invesco, Wells Fargo, Hitachi, Qualcomm, Microsoft and Synchrony Financial etc and is helping students to be placed in these companies.
He has also officially tied up with AICPA for 25 certification courses and has recently done an event with The Telangana Government IT secretary– Jayesh Ranjan and with Snapper technology on Blockchain which had big cryptocurrency heads like Per Lind from IOTA crypto.
If I could ever be of any help you can reach out to me at – firstname.lastname@example.org or fill this form – Contact Me.
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