Few people on the face of this earth have the mojo to change it forever. Since the dawn of industrial revolution, entrepreneurs have given maximum benefits to the society. No risk, no gain has been and will always be the mantra of success in life.
Be it Steve jobs, j.p.morgan, bill gates or the other, they shared one common thread. The seed of entrepreneurship. If we take the list of companies founded by Harvard and Stanford mba graduates and treat them as a separate economy together, their total worth will be as large as the size of Indian economy.
Entrepreneurship is both the toughest and easiest way to success. You will be your own boss, you can take your own decisions.Zooming into the present situation of India, we keep reading about success of flipkart ,snapdeal,redbus etc. India is slowly picking pace in entrepreneurial rankings worldwide, but has a long way to go.
One has to accept that entrepreneurship in this digital age has been limited to the domain of MBAs, Engineers (engineers are the finest entrepreneurs and nothing on earth can challenge this fact…..Sorry) and science graduates.
The sad picture is that many CAs have confined themselves either to practice or tutoring. This option is nice, worth money ….. But seeing their potential, this is something less…
But there are some factors that I’d like to outline that makes me feel why chartered accountants can be the best entrepreneurs , at least when compared to other professionals.
1) They are the ones who work most closely with the inside and outside confines of business.
As a CA, one deals with every facet of the organization as it is imbibed in the nature of his job. But a person who has a fundamental appetite and interest to learn and know more interacts with people in a far greater and different manner. Therefore CA can utilize this golden opportunity to learn and interact with honchos and key people. When we say ‘interact with top honchos’ it is not at all necessary that you get to chat with the CFOs or CEOs. One has to take a laddered approach.
The younger the CA, chance is greater that they will go into ‘deeper’ areas of business rather than looking at the financial aspect of it. Finance is the second most important thing in business, the first being an idea. An independent idea.
Now the question arises, Which kind of business can a CA start ? Well the question should be ‘Which kind of business can he not start? One great area of business and expertise opening up for CAs is that of data mining or big data. A top notch chartered accountant with enough quantitative knowledge and domain specific knowledge and with nice teams can venture into such niche emerging fields.
Boutique investment banks are another area that can do wonders for CAs. Boutique investment banking does not involve large scale M&A advisory but small niche areas. A nice team of experienced and young CAs can do wonders for them. Citing various boutique I-banks set up in new York etc , one may notice that they are all setup by ex-traders and financial sector persons.
2) Being in a dynamic economy, they are well versed to grasp the changing trends quickly.
When it comes to dynamic markets which are ever changing, Fundamental analysis comes to mind. When fundamental analysis comes to mind, one name in India that comes to my mind is that of CA S.P Tulsian. Anyone who has been following stock markets from years knows his prowess.
Although not related to this topic, it helps us know that Chartered accountants are nicely familiar with changing dynamics of the economy. This might help them to catch new emerging areas as they have been dealing with this from years.
First mover advantage used to be far greater in earlier times , but now , that advantage has been reduced to a few years or even a single one.
A chartered accountant is well versed in finance, economics and business strategy. What more is needed to grab a new emerging opportunity?
3) Fiscal prudence and discipline are must for business. When it comes to discipline, many chartered accountants are already disciplined due to rigors of articleship.
This fact needs attestation from none. No business can spend haphazardly and survive forever. Fiscal prudence and discipline is required in a business and who better can do this than a chartered accountant. Many of large companies have CFOs as Chartered accountants (though not all).
It is this discipline that will help CAs to become extremely successful entrepreneurs. An average entrepreneur might need months and years to understand the finer nuances of business but a CA already has got it. Therefore he has a certain level of advantage over others.
An experienced CA who has advantage of having worked in large firm/ company will be at an even more advantage.
4) The theoretical knowledge of a chartered accountant is much broad based than others.
Some institutes and universities have strict rule….. Teach students only that much they need. ICAI is an exception. It wants to develop its students into an all-round professional. This fact can be best judged by the variety of companies coming for campus placements at icai campus placements. Skill development of a CA is truly world class. What does an ideal entrepreneurial mind need ?
1) Sound and rational knowledge of all facts related to the idea.
2) Strong academic and practical knowledge (academic knowledge is not compulsion, but it is better than not possessing it)
3) Hard work.
Match this with qualities of CAs and there we are …… at the right spot.
5) First hands experience of practicing makes them ready for business challenges.
Many CAs have setup reputable practicing firms which earns them reputation and contacts. This entire experience can be best harnessed for developing an all-round entrepreneurial mind though this is highly subjective and can differ on a case to case basis.
Contacts are a must in business. Professionalism matters.
6) Many chartered accountants have already diversified into many niche areas. The more you diversify, the greater is your probability of success.
Just Google ‘CA CFA FRM LinkedIn India’ and you will locate many wonderful profiles of talented CAs who are in very niche areas. One may ask, how can they help us? Well this is where MBAs lead the pack. The networking that one gets at top management colleges is second to none. If right efforts are made to make a committee/pool of such people and hold guidance programs it will help long way.
What icai can do / is already doing is that they create a panel or group or committee for entrepreneurship development.
What more is possible that utilizing the power of social networks and internet, exchange of ideas with their foreign peers is also a possibility?
7) The institute is extremely aggressive in promoting BRAND CA…. No other institute seems to be involved in such brand building exercise.
Does this need explanation. Go visit icai website and the fact is proved. The institute is always busy in brand building exercise. This is where new CAs can get their first lessons.
8) Being in cumbersome areas of taxation and compliance makes them ‘good’ in dealing with regulatory hurdles.
No one needs to be told how lethargic our regulatory structure used to be. Even now, things have not changed drastically. Chartered accountants being experts in compliance can utilize this experience in smoothening the problems that other non CAs face. The path of entrepreneurship thus becomes more subtle.
India being a country with a socialist past and still a socialist mindset, has been compliance savvy. Compliance, compliance, compliance (its an overdose). Many of international entrepreneurial experts do not see much in the new companies act for promotion of entrepreneurship.
Be that the case, if CAs are compliance experts , they have certain advantage.
09) Opportunities are immense. Economy is roaring and raring to go…..Only a step ahead is needed.
Twenty years ago, when Indian economy opened up, there were few funding opportunities available and the only means to get funding was a bank loan or our own investment. New age businesses require lot of funding and expertise. Today, there are angel investors, venture capitalists and funding associations. Even crowd sourcing is emerging/ has emerged as a leading source of finance for new businesses.
There is not much that government can do when it comes to developing entrepreneurship. All its earlier attempts in the form of IFCI and IDBI have failed barring a few exceptions.
Therefore, a person who really has a groundbreaking idea or plan has more probability to start a successful business.
The new government has plans for developing entrepreneurship in india. We , having lived in an economy where plans have repeatedly failed , are less receptive of such plans. But hope is something that carries us forward.
So what are you waiting for ?
To learn 15 management lessons from Narendra Modi , read '15 management lessons to learn from narendra modi'
To know how an english teacher set up a rs 90000000000000 company read 'article'
By Rohit Jain.
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