After completing M.Sc from National college, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, like any brilliant student of my times, I joined Punjab National Bank, New Delhi as a management trainee among 19 who joined the bank. Almost every one of us had another offer or were working in similar position before joining the bank.
Among the important projects handled during my training was one on study of inventory management of leading industries financed by my bank. I fondly remember the lead given by my Chief Manager Guptaji who encouraged me to study the operation of industries in depth particularly in inventory management. This was in response to Tandon committee recommendations on inventory management which scientifically unravelled the locking of bank's funds in working capital without really contributing the profits of the companies. Lack of computers, modern management and sheltered economy contributed towards the inefficiency of the industries.
After getting selected as an officer in charge on national level competitively by NIBM,( I was the only one to qualify from whole of U.P.), I got carried away by Indira Gandhi's rhetoric and fought with a central minister by strongly complaining about political interference in banking. I was told that I would have been chopped off but for the timely interference by my regional manager K.C.Berryji who treated me as his son. We called him as a man with golden heart.
After Shah commission's interference, I got back my position which was reverted during emergency. Yes, I stood against emergency excess and suffered. The value of democracy was amply understood by me.
My travels in PNB included working with the two chairmen of the bank through the coordination department which was very powerful and contributed towards various changes in the bank. PNB tallied with various management forms, a rarity among the socialised institutions of our times. I was allowed to work as manager of Research& Development cell, something unheard of in those dull days. Mr S.L.Balujaji was a source of inspiration and allowed various changes in the procedures and new systems were incorporated towards the efficiency of the bank's operations.
Later during the next 15 years, I worked in Audit department at regional, zonal and at corporate levels. I also handled foreign exchange operations branch at Bara Kamba branch dealing with foreign trade, forward booking, currency operations, nostro/vostro accounts and dealings with FEDA audit etc. My AGM Mr S.K.Sharmaji guided me through various roles.
It was the end of year 2000, alongwith thousands of other PNB officers, I opted to take voluntary retirement. It also helped my going to USA where I got my Certified Public Accountant credentials. I vividly remember working nearly 19 hours a day towards achieving my certification. I reached a stage where I had already read everything under the sun. One gets to answer various questions based on intellect and not by memory. First computerization of the examination lead to unchartered territory. The unpredictability of the examination decimated the age differences, experience levels and new experimentation. It is like walking on fire.
I still remember requesting my software preparers of the exams, Gleim publications for good luck. They said only hard work and hard work would see me through the exams. Even god would sympathise only with merit. Like CA in India which is sadistic in its approach for its students producing the best among the Indian accountants, CPA is a prestigious certication meaning integrity in real sense.
We celebrate each CPA with a grand party and vast celebration with champaign. When I entered the hall as a young CPA, the reception girl repeatedly asked where is my daughter or son who is getting the credentials. But at 57 years, I said it was mine the young CPA. There was pearls of laughter among the girls with total shyness on my part. It was sad no one of my family was in Minneapolis when I attended the party. In our times, when I got my MSc with 8th rank in the university, there was no celebration or any photo. Even I could not get time to receive the prize from my college. We were busy with our career.
In USA, I am currently practising as a CPA in my own firm and got a couple of seasonal experiences with IRS and also registered for e filing of tax returns. I am learning every day. American CPA has got to have minimum 40 CPE hours every year for maintaining the credential as CPA. It is painful and strenuous.
I am here to come to India to specialize in IFRS, auditing and international taxation. Though 62 years of age with my loving and highly qualified wife and two brilliant children and a son in law, I am ready to change the world, as C.Gopinath, the most promising young TV anchor of Vijay T.V. from Madras would inspire me to do.
I appreciate and welcome any criticism with deep research. Young Indians as well as the whole globe, is a knowledge society. Age does not matter. I am not surprised if a 5 year old question me with the latest budget or SEBI guidelines. CBSC in India has revolutionised Indian school education in art, science and accounting fields.