Yes, CA after B.Sc. is possible, because I did it! – says Kailash Badoni

Kailash Badoni (General Manager in Finance at Zim Laboratories Company)

Insights

  1. Most importantly, in this line of work if you are quick to learn and adapt you are rewarded handsomely for your efforts.
  2. Given that India is one of the largest emerging markets and is attracting investors from all over the world; finance is a profession which will always be in high demand.
  3. Due to the lucrative nature of the profession, financial frauds are all too common. Therefore, I recommend that people joining this profession have a high moral code, else it can be detrimental to them in the long-run.
  4. This is a profession that allows you to comfortably maintain a balance between your domestic and work life.

Profile Details

Name – Kailash Badoni

Profession – General Manager in Finance at Zim Laboratories

Age – 43

Gender – Male

City – Nagpur

Industry – Pharmaceuticals

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Dehradun, Uttarakhand and completed my graduation from there. After which, I moved to Mumbai in 1994 and stayed there for the next 20 years.

What is your family background?

My father passed away a few years ago and my mother retired as the principal of a government school in Dehradun two years ago. My sister lives in Haryana and my younger brother is in Dehradun. He also works for a pharmaceutical company. I’m currently living with my wife in Nagpur and we have a daughter who recently turned 4.

Please describe your transition from science to finance.

As I’m actually from a science background, my initiation into the field of finance was somewhat accidental. It was only after doing my B.Sc. and moving to Mumbai that I decided to do CA (Chartered Accountancy). Because Mumbai at its roots is a commercial city and I had to find a profession that would allow me to earn a proper living. That is how I came to do what I do today.

Please give us a summary of your career, chronologically, including company names and your role/designation.

I did my B.Sc. from H.N.B. Garhwal University in Uttarakhand. After that, I moved to Mumbai where I did my Chartered Accountancy, following which I joined a chemical company called Sharon Biomedicine Ltd as an assistant manager. I worked there for about 8 years and learned a lot about finance in terms of income tax, accounting. I even got an opportunity to the public listing of that company.

Thereafter, I joined Riverside Industries Ltd. I only worked there for a year as the company was already hugely indebted to the banks. So I worked hard, fought with the bankers for the restructuring of the debt. We did make some headway but ultimately it just didn’t work out.

After that, I joined Conros Steel. They manufactured pipes which were used by oil and gas companies. In this company, I learned a lot about the banking sector like how to start a Greenfield project, documentation and licensing for the bankers, how to present the company to banks etc.

After this, I joined an MNC in Mumbai which had just started their operations in India. I was able to procure 20 crores worth of loans for them in the next 6 months from SBI which was a huge achievement. I also visited their Ukraine and Dubai divisions to set up their credit facilities. Then I moved to Saudi Arabia because we had a joint venture with Aramco. There I handled 250 million in guarantees and loans but because of the very conservative nature of the country, I decided to move back to India. After I came back I joined Zim Laboratories, Nagpur.

Which institutes are best for the education/training for becoming managers in Finance?

If we are talking about CA, then there is only one, and that is ICAI.

If we are talking about a management degree in Finance, then the very best ones are IIM’s, but other than that I do not know of any specific colleges that I could recommend.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of CA and management?

CA education is very cheap.

For MBA from the top tier institutes, I’d say the tuition fee can easily go up to 10 lakhs per annum.

What are the typical entry-level jobs for a CA?

For beginners, there is a certain training period for any company. They start off with basic things like reading the proposals made to banks, examining balance sheets and then raising their questions. They are urged to take seminars, talk to bankers, accompany senior officials to meetings and observe the process etc. This ensures that within 6 months, an individual acquires a significant amount of practical knowledge. They can then apply for positions such as assistant or deputy manager, accountant etc. and based on their performance they can improve their position over time.

What is the average salary of a CA?

5 years – INR 15,000–30,000 per month

10 years – INR 1,00,000–2,00,000 per month

15 years – INR 2,00,000–2,50,000 per month

20+ years – INR 3,00,000–3,50,000 per month

 Please describe your work. What do you typically do on a normal workday?

In the morning, I go through my notebook and prioritize the important tasks of the day. I then proceed to answer my emails which mostly pertain to banker’s queries.

Throughout the day I get calls from bankers, attend meetings with colleagues, department heads and account managers to assess the financial situation of the company or to address any concerns. Basically, my job entails managing the finance and procuring credit for the company.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider a career in Finance?

India is one of the biggest emerging markets in the world and finance is needed everywhere be it in terms of infrastructure, FDI, sales, and production etc. Any company be it private or the government will require finance officers to handle their finances. Finance is the backbone of any business; therefore, it offers really good job prospects.

Furthermore, this job allows you to maintain perfect harmony between your work and personal life. I work 6 days a week from 9 to 5:30. Only during critical times like audit, that my work-hours stretch beyond their usual time.

Most importantly, in this line of work if you are quick to learn and adapt you are rewarded handsomely for your efforts.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering finance as a career?

These days procuring credit has become particularly challenging, because our country’s public-sector banks are weighed down by bad loans. The thing is that the public-sector banks are the only viable option for large loans because private banks will give you very good services, but their interest payments and penalties will drain you.

Keeping this in mind you can say that there are times when your job can become easier or more difficult depending on the economic conditions prevailing in your country and the world at large. You have to be versatile enough to navigate them to do your job.

Another important challenge is the ethical aspect of the job. In one of the companies I previously worked, the management diverted funds from loans taken for the company to buy properties. When the due date for payment came the company was at a loss as to what to do. You have to be vigilant and have a morally sound mindset to ensure that such mishandling of funds is not done by you or under your authority.

The financial fraud I mentioned earlier is the same one that Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi pulled off except on a much larger scale. The government has now passed the “Fugitive Economic Offender’s Bill” that gives them the authority to seize the personal assets of such offenders who leave the country to avoid due process and sell/divest them to give the creditors their money back. This is certainly a step in the right direction and was long overdue.

What kind of person would be happy in finance?

People in this line of work have to be really adaptive and innovative because the way you present your proposals to a bank determines whether or not you will get the loan more than the actual financial state of the company.

You should be able to use all the government and tax policies to your benefit. You should be familiar with the minutiae of the proposals and if necessary do the quick thinking on your feet, because that’s just how the financial world works.

Someone who possesses the aforementioned skills will definitely rise in the ranks of their organization.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I have a natural deep-seated curiosity for all things. So I think I would have liked to go in a field that requires more creativity, where people earn their bread and butter by way of inventing new things because finance certainly doesn’t cater to that part of my personality.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

Be logical, learn to understand the situation because 90% of the problems you face on a day to day basis do not have their solutions written in a book somewhere. The theoretical knowledge about the rules/laws of banking and finance are merely guidelines, learn to use that knowledge in real time to get results.

Also, check out – CA education is one of the cheapest educations in India says Chartered Accountant Surinder Arora