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By Vinay . 27 August 2020
Chartered Accountant with Hindi-Medium Schooling to Now Working in Singapore

From a Small Town to Pursuing Chartered Accountancy 
I was an average student in school but thanks to my dad, I developed a keen interest in studies as he would promise me a gift if I scored well in the exams. With the desire (or rather greed) to get new things, I started taking my studies quite seriously which led me to do well in school. That was the time when I started to dream and had this desire to do well in life. Since I belong to Rajasthan (this state in India is known as a Chartered Accountants hub), a lot of my relatives & friends were either qualified CAs or pursuing CA. So, at a very early age, I knew that I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant! Before passing my 12th standard exam, my father sent me for career counselling which reaffirmed that Chartered Accountancy is the right choice for me. The session also suggested that I opt for English as the main language in my further studies. After completing my class 12, I decided to move from my hometown to a bigger city to study further and pursue my dreams. While pursuing CA, I also enrolled for graduation in B. Com (Hons). Being from a vernacular medium school (Hindi medium), this was my first time pursuing my further education in English so it was very challenging. I had no option but to overcome it. #What I Did: I put in extra efforts and time, tried communicating in regular English with my friends. I even joined an English-speaking course, thinking this might help in improving my English communication and in building my confidence. However, it did not help much and I dropped out within a week and started learning all again by myself. I did everything people around me suggested – reading newspapers, dictionaries, listening to English news channels, etc.

I graduated in 2010 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2012. (Finally!!!)

My journey wasn’t easy as it may seem. I have had my fair share of struggles and failures in every aspect of my life. Slowly and steadily I overcame everything. Moving away from home was really a big decision for me and my family. But luckily my parents supported and understood my dreams.  While I speak about my struggles, I must mention my super supportive sisters – Seema and Pooja. Also, my uncles who stood by me whenever I wanted to give up and always motivated me.

Quitting my job in India to Find a Better Opportunity Abroad

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, I got my first job after 2 months in the capital of India – New Delhi. Life was good –The company, the manager and the pay were all good – within a year I was also promoted as a controller; but I wanted more in life! I wanted to work with multi-cultural and diverse teams and learn about different geographies. So, while still working, I started applying online for opportunities in Singapore, Dubai & Hong Kong. Luckily, I got shortlisted by a company in Hong Kong. (I was so excited!) I cleared the final interview rounds, received the offer letter, and even joined their Mumbai office for a month-long induction after which I was to move to their Hong Kong office. But as luck would have it, as my dream to move abroad was about to come true – I had to drop the option of moving abroad owing to a personal circumstance. I was totally shattered. This not only left me jobless but also completely ‘clueless’ about how to start chasing my dreams again.

BUT I NEVER GAVE UP.

I believed in the mantra “Keep Your Dreams Alive” and started my journey again. Now, I had two options – either to go back to my previous company or to start looking for a new opportunity. I chose to go with the latter. And with this started another phase of struggles, depressions, and failures! Searching for a job in a competitive city like Mumbai was not easy. I was struggling to find the right opportunity. I used to spend nights searching online portals of MNCs and job portals to find the right opportunities. I used to connect with people I knew, share my resume with them, and wait for their calls. My best friends Vivek, Shilpi, and Lokesh helped me during my hard times in Mumbai. They looked after my stay and meals and helped me get through this depressing and tough phase. It took a long time for me to get through again and restart my career as there was a gap in my employment and there were other constraining factors like schooling from the Hindi medium. Finally, after job-hunting for 4 long months, I joined Welspun (a well-known textile company in India) at its plant in a small town. This was in 2014. It was a tough decision to move from a big city to one small town but the job role was very lucrative. In hindsight, this role set my path for the future. I would advise all the CAs who are at the start of their career –Give equal importance to the role offered, as much as you would give to a city. #WhatIDid when I was jobless for 4 months? When I reflect on it today, I consider the gap as a blessing in disguise. In those four months, I worked on myself, learned the value of networking, and was able to focus on what was needed. Most important of all, I learned how to bounce back on hitting rock bottom in my career.

Moving and Living in Singapore – “A Dream Come True.”

In 2017 I got an opportunity with Essilor Luxottica at Bangalore, India. This company owns various famous eyewear brands like Crizal, Varilux, Bolon, Ray-Ban, Oakley, and many more. After working for almost two years, in early 2019 I was internally offered a new role at Essilor Regional HQ in Singapore a dream-come-true moment for me. (Woohooo!!!) my mother and my wife (is presently pursuing her Ph.D.) encouraged me to follow my dreams. Once I was shortlisted for the role, I went through multiple rounds of interviews with my manager(s) in Singapore and HR representatives. The interview involved a series of questions on technical and business acumen. The interview went really well and in early Feb’19, I was selected for the new role in Singapore! My role was to partner with the business teams on their annual plans, reporting actual performances, profitability, and cash-metric enhancements, setting up new business models in various geographies, and assisting in the global expansion of the brand. In a few months, we gladly packed our bags making Singapore our new home.

To Sum it Up
If you dream of it, you can achieve it provided you work on it, you work for it. Always remember that with consistent hard work, everything can be achieved. If things are going hard, introspect yourself on what went wrong and how can you improve it. Solutions to most of our problems are within our consciousness. Stay Confident, Stay Positive. What really matters are inside; trust your instincts. I strongly believe in Karma. Be nice to people, eventually, it shall come back to you.