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The war to rule over the corporate corridors has cropped up in the recent days with CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS on one side and MBA's on the other. Till before such a time the general perception was that CA's were entirely to the accounting side, to give their expertise largely relating to financial matters and were hence considered to be the technical engineers of the business ship; while on the other hand MBA's were totally to the management side, meant to guide the material as well as human resources towards the achievement of organizational goals, and were hence pictured as the frontline people to steer the ship through its voyage.
But gone are those days where in such lines of distinction were drawn between these professionals.
CA's have broken out of their traditional confinements of the accounts department to play a far bigger role in corporate India. The rigorous training by itself assures that the persons clearing the course are blessed with the brightest minds ever and acquiring a tough qualification like chartered accountancy speaks of the high intellect and diligence of the person. Since CA's come with strong fundamentals in finance they tend to pick up things very fast. CA's being highly specialized professionals are not only versatile but also have the ability to bring a thorough and analytical mindset to their jobs. They are willing to do different kinds of work without the cherry picking associated with qualifications like MBA.Of late demand for professional talent among the Indian corporates has ensured that CA is now hot property, which is best reflected in their pay packets offered!! Traditionally CA's would prefer to start their career in a good accounting firm, but now a days their target is to make into the higher levels of the corporate world. The scenario has changed such that it is now difficult to imagine any core team that's driving strategy, planning, restructuring, value creation or growth without CA's as a part of it!!
MBA's are known as glamorous counterparts of CA's. The recent revolution by top B schools and its strong say in the management arena is pushing out more post graduates with specialization in almost every area where management revolves. Their managerial expertise and innovative thinking gives them a new identity among a group of professionals. As many techniques and theories of management mentors are inculcated in their budding stage that they are able to act in a more pragmatic manner in any situation. Their interpersonal and communication skills score over CA's. MBA's have a broader understanding of all areas of business i.e. "Jack of all trades". They are wizards in leadership and strategic management. MBA's shine in areas of marketing as it is their traditional custom. MBA's have the natural talent of building healthy relationship within the organization, encouraging productive conflicts and cutting down unnecessary conflicts thereby leading to unity of efforts of people. They are capable of expanding their horizons to meet the demands of a new generation financial executives.
Now getting to reality, in organizations like HLL equal number of MBA's and CA's are recruited every year and both undergo a common Business Leadership Trainee Program and no difference is seen in the area of remuneration and career development programs. At ICICI Bank 35% of the top 200 managers are CA's, but for any of the future recruitments CA and MBA are treated on par and are given an equal head start.ABN AMRO Asset management gives more preference to MBA's and hence in its recruitments are in the ratio of 4 CA's for every 20 MBA's. Aditya Birla's senior management team is dominated by CA's and the two copper mines acquired by this group are led by CA’s. In Larsen Toubro CA's are heading strategic business units and leading cross functional teams.
Thus, in this race towards glory both CA's and MBA's are moving into each other's turf, making the competition tougher and more interesting. Ultimately to rule over the corporate corridor the million dollar question is, of these two professionals,
Who is to take the HOT seat??!!!

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(Finance Pro)
Category Career   Report

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