Top 5 Jobs for CAs

Investment Bankers

CAs fit very well in Investment Banking teams, whether it is M&A, Equity Capital Markets or Debt Capital Markets. Investment Banking requires knowledge of Taxation, Corporate Laws, Accounting and Finance as well as an ability to analyse a situation / transaction from all these angles.

If you can understand as well as build Financial Models overnight, can easily pull all-nighters, meet extremely tight deadlines then this is the job for you.

As at entry level analyst you will do most of basic work in building models and preparing pitch decks. But once you complete a couple of years, you can look forward to being part of transaction structuring, meeting who is who of corporate India and being part of large IPO / M&A mandates.

By the time you become a Senior Associate, you can add Ph.d in power point and excel as your academic qualifications in your resume!!

PE / VC  roles

PE / VC firms are into making investment bets on businesses. While PE firms look at more established and large business, VC firms look at start-ups that are yet to build or are building business models. While both have slightly different approaches to investing, the fundamentals of investing remain same. Ability to grow, generate cash flows and finally of course exit.

Chartered Accountants with their ability to understand numbers are best suited for entry level roles in these firms. However, for CAs to grow within such firms , they need to build networks, understand business better and start looking at the big picture than just financial aspects of a business.

If your bets pay off, not only will you be well rewarded financially but it will also provide you with the satisfaction of having identified and built and scaled an organisation

Traders in Currency / Commodity / Equity  markets

Quick with numbers, ability to track multiple variables, make bets, advise people on risk management and a high adrenalin environment excite you, then currency markets are the place for you.

Tracking Euro performance overnight to movement of Dow, RBI Policy, FED Policy, North Korean Crisis, Indian Bond markets, inflation numbers will all be part of a day’s work.

CA’s with their ability to quickly churn numbers and with understanding of Economics and Financial markets are best suited for these roles. To stay on top of your game you must be prepared to track events and data releases across geographies and markets continuously, day in and day out.

Sell side Equity Analysts

If you have been investing your stipend into Stock Markets, constantly followed business news channels from the time you were 17, your favourite anchors are all from CNBC TV 18 or Zee business, you think Rakesh Jhunjhunwala should be the next prime minister and you constantly wonder whether Sensex is a Sensitive Index or Senseless Index, then this is the job for you.

Right from Quarterly earnings, Meeting FIIs, tracking Large caps, mid-caps and small caps, identifying multi baggers, you can be the next Gordon Gekko of the Dalal street.

This job not only requires you to understand and decipher periodical financial reporting of large corporates, but also understand very deeply the sectors in which such companies operate in. CAs fit very well both in Equity Research side as well as in Equity Sales teams.

Ability to build Relationships rather than being just a numbers person, above par written-English skills are as important as one’s ability to identify trends in advance, to build a successful career in Sell Side equities. If you make it big, you can make frequent  appearances on business news channels.

Start ups

Start-ups are the flavour of the decade across the world. If you can deal with unmitigated Chaos, operate in an environment that prioritises growth and scale over systems and controls and are not bogged down by numbers alone, then start-ups are the ideal place for you.

The culture in start-ups is really energising, you get to interact with techies and designers; you get to learn about stuff that cannot be more diametrically opposite to what you had learnt in last 4-5 years while pursuing CA

CAs can add tremendous value to startups right from enabling entrepreneurs in building businesses to raising funds. The experience and joy of being part of something new can get you really pumped up and excited. If you are lucky you get to be part of a unicorn.

Start ups are risky and where there is risk there is reward. Everyone is working for ESOPs. You can become a multi-millionaire if your join a start up early, ride through the years of vesting and your start up becomes a unicorn.

Conclusion:

In all these jobs CAs will be competing with ivy league MBA graduates from abroad, graduates of IIT, IIM and such other top engineering colleges and B Schools. These folks have a lot of drive, energy and are of high IQ. One must be constantly on top of the game to make it big in these places.

 

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