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Real Business : Issue 1 2010
Real Business ISSUE 1, 2010 24 Treasurer of the Australian Chapter of ICAI, Samir Mehta, says many opportunities will arise in India s accounting industry in the near future given that the nation will adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) from 2011. " is will bring uniformity in accounting and will make this profession more mobile," says Samir. "Finance professionals can get good jobs in the banking and finance sectors. Multinational and foreign banks have offices in India and finance professionals can get lucrative remuneration and can enjoy a luxurious standard of living," he adds. Despite its growing economic clout, there remain many misconceptions about India. What is it about the extremes within India that make the country so interesting and mysterious? Tourists in India are faced with a country that is shambolic and chaotic despite an economy that has posted an average annual growth rate of more than 7 per cent every year since 1996. With its half a billion-strong labour force earning an average income of just under US$700 a year, India is considered a land of poverty, yet two of the world s top 20 billionaires are Indian. Many big accounting firms have a presence in India and, as of 2007, Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) now employs more staff there than it does in the United States, where it was founded. And India s savings rate of 35 per cent of individual income, combined with a growing middle class, also presents significant influx of investment funds that need to be managed. With the Indian financial services sector dominated by government-owned financial institutions, foreign multinationals, rural banks and private banks, finance professionals may find they can add significant value to these institutions through their skills in areas of risk management, productivity, customer ser vice, "India is a dynamic force in the global business arena and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is the second largest accounting body in the world," says Yateender Gupta, chairman of the ICAI s Australian chapter. "Coming from India, I know the real India and what is happening there and what can be done to build a successful career. Some young people go there and really find they can really make money and a career." Yateender, who has lived in Australia for the past 17 years and is a senior consultant at Sydney accountancy firm Lo Surdo Braithwaite, says Australia and India have similar legal systems, similar political systems, similar financial systems and English is very widely spoken. Among the opportunities, Yateender says, is the chance to learn the ropes in a demand- driven economy, which is in stark contrast to the supply-driven economies of South-East Asia and Australia. ere is also a chance to find gaps in the financial service sector, where South-East Asia and Australia are dominating -- particularly in financial product engineering using and mixing derivatives with underlying security or commodities. Other young finance professionals will find opportunities to hone their auditing skills. Most Indian companies need to be audited, whereas in countries like South Africa, Singapore and also Australia, where Yateender has been working, he notes there is much less auditing of small-to-medium enterprises. And as Yateender says, given the huge size of India s workforce, there is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a high level of competition to get your career on the right track. Moreover, the ICAI has recently signed a mutual recognition agreement with CPA Australia (see e road to India box). OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS Yateender Gupta, the chairman of the Australian chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), says finance professionals who have completed CPA Program have a golden opportunity while working in India to: Learn in a demand-driven economy -- where demand exceeds supply most of the time. Find gaps in the service sector -- particularly in financial product engineering. Hone auditing skills. In India most companies need to be audited. Experience an education system deep in knowledge. Be immersed in a high-level competition in India to succeed further in their career. LONELY PLANET IMAGES, PHOTOLIBRARY
Issue 2 2009
Issue 1 2012