A conversation with
Pavan Pal Sharma
3rd Rank Holder, CA Final Course
Wise thinker with the zeal of creating something new for the finance sector would describe best this well sorted Gentleman. Our All India 3rd Rank holder in CA final, Mr Pavan Pal Sharma has his own company and he would continue working there with the dream of making it big. He understands the practical aspects of life and in his inspiring words ‘once you take up something in life then you should not be looking back; one should move forward with firm footsteps and every footstep should move to go forward only’. He doesn’t give much of an importance to the rank and scores since he believes that feeling of an achievement would fade off in some time. What matters is how you justify your position. As per him knowledge is the strength; no matter what your background is, if you can’t crack the challenge in front of you then people would not value your position or past accomplishments. Strategy is again, as he mentioned, significant before starting up any task. As he rightly said “ One should make his own strategy, whatever works for you the best to get you closer to your goal should be the strategy for you” .
He suggests students looking for Articleship to search for the right place. He thinks that the right firm doesn’t mean it should be a big brand, more than that one should check what all you are learning there and what your tasks would be. There is no point of joining a big brand and then wasting 3.5 years doing nothing. He himself is a proud mid size firm product where he got the right exposure and experience, so he believes that one should get into a firm where you can prepare yourself for future challenges.
Proud member of CAclubindia, he is thankful to the experts who wholeheartedly shared their knowledge. He has the capability to motivate himself; this is the quality which would take him to the heights of success. He is happy with his simple life and feels blessed for the support he got from his parents. His celebration is due with his colleagues.
Why not! Party is always bigger when the boss is promoted!!!
Congratulations from our Team, CAclubindia!
You have got a very good score!
Tell me how are you feeling now?
When you saw your result what was
time I was happily taken aback!
Why, you were not expecting this
I did my papers well apart from Accounts. I assumed that accounts would be bit of a setback which would hamper my score, but then surprisingly I got good marks in Accounts as well.
Great! How big is this achievement
I thought of pursuing a career in CA in my 10th standard and I took up my pre university course in Kumarans. CA course is the best as far as commerce field is concerned, and I always wanted to get into commerce. Also during 2006- 2007 CA course underwent a change. CPT came into the picture, which one can write immediately after second PU. I took up CPT immediately after my second PU.
Someone guided you for this or you
knew how to move forward to become a CA?
My father was the first person who told me about the CPT course. I got all India 7th rank, and then I had joined Articleship. Nothing against the big firms, but there you have the same monotonous work for 3 years. I did my Articleship in an average size firm, Balakrishna & Co. and I got different kind of assignments which I never would have got in a big firm, it was the blessing in disguise. I wrote my IPCC, I got the 30th rank all India.
Who motivated you the most?
I find it very difficult to take few names. There are many people and I personally feel you may have lot of people who would inspire you, but you need to do it yourself. There were lot of people, my parents, teachers, friends, the CA under whom I did my articleship and lot many I might forget to mention, it’s difficult to take one name.
Are you working somewhere?
I have my own company, Equidebt Corporate Advisors Private Limited, we are investment bankers based out of Bangalore.
Great, so how did you manage everything
My lifestyle was to eat, sleep and study, that’s what I follow and sometimes take breaks. I did not have to work much since I had my exams, so that was not much of a pressure. The syllabus is quite huge, it’s not that I am nerd or something but it is difficult to waver away from books otherwise the pressure would start getting to you. You have lots to finish and time is limited.
What was the strategy which worked
I made lot of notes and it helped me a lot, which was one strategy and other was may be how to manage time. Thing is that as far as I believe, each one has to make his own strategy because my strategy may not work for someone else. At the end of the day you have to make your own strategy. For example, I would like to study morning 6 to 6 in the evening and someone might like to study from 7 at night till 3 in the morning, who knows?, that may just work for him. So that is how it is. Each one should develop his own strategy.
What were the challenges you faced
during the time of your studies?
As far as I remember I don’t think there was anything as such, but to be very frank, I found the Information Systems subject bit of a struggle. I find lot of posts on CAclubindia.com on how to tackle Information Systems, I have been very avid reader of those posts because I needed them badly. I would not term it as a challenge but there are few chapters in this subject which are unnecessary.
So CAclubindia been helpful for your
Your team is doing a commendable job. I found few notes on this website which helped me a lot. Best part about CAclubindia is that we do not have any other informative website for CA students, second people are very generous, lot of experts are willing to share the knowledge that they have, that is really nice.
Overall, how your journey has been?
I think by God’s grace it was very smooth. It was not that challenging; you have to study that is one, need to buckle up and need to work. That is a part of your curriculum so you cannot call it a challenge.
So it is very important to get into
the right place?
Apart from that I don’t think there was anything else; since I have my parents here I did not have the trouble of going to another city to study. Bangalore is a wonderful place to study so you do not have to go to cities like Chennai or Delhi. My parents are very supportive and I have great friends so I can’t ask for a better life.
I decided against doing my B.com from a regular college. I gave it all for Articleship. I am reaping the benefits of it now, my future settled in the same office where I did my Articleship. Articleship depends on the office you get into, I can be blatant right now saying that Articleship will help you only as much as the office that you are in and I do not mean the big firm and I am not even a big firm product and I am glad that I am not. The thing is that, I have got many friends of mine who have not had very pleasant journeys during their articleship; they had to go through a lot of struggle and that is the practical aspect of CA. I would not go by the same path saying that the Articleship is very helpful. But you need to take it very seriously because it is a part of the curriculum. To be a CA you have to do Articleship and it can’t be a run-of-the-mill affair. You cannot have it as a 9 to 5 stopgap; that is not CA . If you are in a good office then future is made but if you end up in a wrong place that makes your job even more difficult.
Yes, and I find lot of people after their IPCC asking how to approach the big firms, I would really like to tell them that it is not important to get in to a big firm, believe me it’s not important at all. It is good they have their name, you have the brand value, you can quote it on your resume but it is as much as it is. You will not know what you were doing for 3.5 years. At the end of the day what you were doing matters more. You might end up signing vouchers or just auditing them in big firms. This is not a big firm bashing interview, but the thing is you go there and you spend 2 years doing vouching; and in my second or third year I handled due diligence, there is a big gap there. And after my CPT results I could have gone to a big firm (which I wanted initially); then that changed and I am thankful to god that it changed!
That is a very good suggestion for
the students going for Articleship. Also what is the most important
thing that one should keep in mind while preparing for CA?
For CA students one important advice; there is lot of hype created around CA exams. We are one of the elite professionals in commerce. The hype created around is that, if you do not clear the first or second attempt then your life is ruined; I feel it is very wrong.
What you said is very inspiring,
so what is the next step for you?
As far as students are concerned, I feel if they believe in themselves - forget the attempt, they can become a good CA. It does not matter which attempt it was and how many marks you got or what rank you got. Believe me in another 2-3 days, the feeling of being a 3rd ranker would fizzle out as far as I am concerned. If tomorrow someone would ask me a question and I can’t answer, he won’t bother to know which rank I got. CA students should believe in themselves and think that they would clear and then nobody can stop them. My friend used to tell me that if you get into CA course you should not think after entering the course that you would pass or not, you think before entering the course that you would pass or not. Once you enter the course then there is no question of passing or failing you have to pass or else you should not have taken the course, so think before hand and once you have entered in it I am sure everyone is smart, everyone has the same brains - what matters is how much you use it.
I have my own company so I will be working here, maybe I would continue working here and make it a big company. We cater to the SME segment and I do not think that there are many investment bankers in SME segment, so this would be an exciting experience because you get to work with the ground reality. You talk to an investment banker and they always say 100-200 crores that’s what they talk and people who work in the SME segment they are usually looking for 10-20 crores and nobody bothers so that is the gap that we want to fill. I will be working for my company and make it big.
Do you have any message for aspiring
I just repeat the same thing that think before you enter the course but you shouldn’t feel that you would fail after entering the course. You are going to clear the exam no matter what and just believe in yourself and I think that is enough. I am not well placed to give exam tips, I just restrict myself by saying that believe in youself and crack it.
What about the celebration part?
celebration, I think there would be few plans from office that’s
It was great talking to you and we
wish you all the best from CAclubindia.