We recently got a chance to meet Young & Dynamic CA Lalit Bajaj who has been elected as a Regional Council Member of WIRC, ICAI. CA Lalit Bajaj has more than 18 years of experience in the field of Statutory Compliances, Management Audits, Valuations, Fund Raising and is actively involved in ICAI’S activities since 1998.
CA Lalit Bajaj has also served as chairman of Vasai branch of ICAI and was awarded by ICAI for his highly commendable performance during his tenure as Chairman of Vasai Branch.
He is also Founder and Chief Editor of “Connection” which is a monthly newsletter and covers the latest trends and development on various topics in the field of Accounting, Law, and Taxation etc. This newsletter is regularly circulated among friends and colleagues since 2012.
He also participates in social activities and is a Founder Member of Bharat Vikas Parishad – Bhayandar Branch; he was Finance Secretary of Maharashtra – I Coastal Prant in the year 2012-13.
Our Colleague CA Purva Somani grabbed this opportunity to interview him, to bring in front of all our readers, his Journey to success, his vision for the benefit of Professionals, emerging opportunities for Chartered Accountants, and lastly to illuminate a good amount of motivation for all those who wish to conquer their dreams.
Welcome Mr. Lalit Bajaj,
It is our pleasure to have you here with us and to have a healthy talk with you. To start with,
1. Please share your experience with us from being a Chartered Accountant to becoming a Regional Council Member and any highs and lows of your life.
First I would like to Wishes Happy CA Days to all my Professional Brothers and Seniors.
Further to Your Question By all these years, I have understood that life is very simple. God is great to give us ample of opportunities to design our own life and enjoy it. I have always been a shy person, who was afraid of public speaking and also I have always been dependent on my family members. In the year 1998, the year of becoming CA and me starting with my practice, I fortunately found a very good circle of friends and specially Arvind Pansari. All of us together formed ‘Bhayander CPE Study Circle’. Then in 2005, The Vasai Branch formation was approved and I was one of the founding Managing Committee members. Here we got an opportunity to explore and present ourselves before larger number of audience. We were a team of 10 members who used to have the best of our times; we used to enjoy working in a team, address concerns of other members, and perform various activities together. An ambition of me getting the current position was quite a distant thought for all those years. Later in the year 2009, the atmosphere around was such that it compelled me to contest branch elections in the year 2010. I got maximum support from the members and I can term it as one of the turning points in my life. Then later I progressed to contest the WIRC Elections.
My life has always taught me some lessons and also given me surprises. I cherish every moment of my life and I would like to mention that I have enjoyed my childhood in the institute with brotherly warmth showered by Pramod and Arvind. On becoming the Chairman of the Vasai branch, I came to know about my capability to lead and execute. I have defined and differentiated my personality through this magnanimous forum of Vasai Branch.
2. So what were the main goals in your mind for which you desired to become the Council Member of ICAI?
Frankly, the goals were not so clear till the time I started with the humongous task of preparation for elections one year in advance, but as we started moving ahead and came across so many concerns of members and students, I started thinking more about them and tried to organise myself to come out with more clarity of thoughts.
My idea is that the Indian firms need to enrich themselves with right understanding of networking, improved knowledge base and functional capabilities. I believe we should have a dedicated help desk for networking issues.
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The executor body must be given more powers to reduce the gap between decision and implementation, and the larger elected body must have a focus on widening the scope and avenues for the professional fraternity. The Industry participants should be connected with the Institute through various research based activities.
There are a large number of students who have cleared their IPCE and are appearing for their finals, so a systematic placement programme for such students can be initiated, this will also serve the SME sector, which is booming in the country.
Flexible working hours for married women are advisable and the CA course to be more inclusive and adaptable.
3. Now in this capacity as a council member, how are you aiming to increase the job opportunities for the freshly qualified Chartered Accountants?
It is more about awareness of the role and functions of Chartered Accountants among institutions, corporate SMEs, etc. We are in continuous negotiation with the management in this relation, and I am really happy to say that things are moving positively. We have planned various events with industrial bodies and SME associations as well.
4. What things should be kept in mind by a fresher at the time of appearing for a job interview?
The two most important things to be kept in mind by any interviewee are:
First is, try to know as much as you can about the interviewing company and second is to be determined about the area of your interest and be firm with it, because I believe each one of us has our own interests and we can perform brilliantly in the works related to our area of interest.
5. ICAI every year organises campus placement for freshly qualified CAs, but recently it had organised a campus placement for CAs with 3 or more years of experience. Can you say few words on this great initiative taken by ICAI?
This was a great initiative taken by our Institute; in fact we are having one more event in July, “Career Ascent”, wherein we will be having series of companies participating for the placement of experienced CAs.
6. Are you taking any initiative like this for betterment of the Chartered Accountants and for the CA students, as well, or any ways to enhance the participation of members in the industry?
Industry is always in hunt of better knowhow and we are helping them to participate in research activities. For Chartered Accountants, who have cleared in last 4-5 years and have not completed GMCS, we have started an option of weekend batches for their convenience, so that they can get themselves registered as members and can be involved in activities as members.
We are creating awareness among our members about the benefits of networking by providing all the required information and assistance; we are also encouraging them to provide more versatile training to the CA students.
7. As we know that our PM Mr. Modi has started with the ‘Start-up India Campaign’, so how do you see this campaign as beneficial for our members of the CA fraternity?
Large number of seminars is conducted all across the institute and we are getting good response from the members. This shows that we are prepared to provide consultancy to any entrepreneur with the Start up Idea.
8. Bajaj, you are engaged in your own practice too, so what are the major skills that you look for, while hiring Chartered Accountants, for your firm?
We look forward to a candidate who is adaptable to change, having diversified work experience, and also has enterprising skills.
9. Is there any specific zone in the Western Region which you aim to explore for creating more job opportunities or any zone which you think should be promoted to encourage more professionals to qualify from?
As such geography now a day is not a limit, but generally I believe that SME is one of the niche areas wherein proper awareness about a Chartered Accountant’s service is still not there, and that’s the basic reason for its financial planning failure. I am strongly trying to take forward and enlighten the SME associations about services and functions which we can deliver and how we can help them to grow in their endeavours. I believe that a fresher can get a good amount of exposure by working for few years in a SME and then they can be placed in a bigger organisation.
10. Are there any current avenues being taken up by The WIRC for the professional fraternity?
There are many activities being carried by WIRC currently. The present team at WIRC is very coherent and open with new ideas and all the members work hard for the benefit of the profession. The present team has a strong background of professional expertise and at the same time of performance on institute’s forum. Lately GST is very seriously thought topic among professionals. Thus we have formed a group for organised and time bound study on GST. The group will make representations for changes and also design a method to share knowledge among the members.
11. Now you would be having a very hectic schedule, so how do u maintain your work-life balance?
Well, I am used to this lifestyle since I became a CA in 1998, therefore I don’t face much of a problem. But yes I am very grateful to my family and specially my wife who takes care of all other matters, which are sometimes not even brought into my notice. My family has always been co-operative and have never ever stopped me from spending all my time with the institute.
12. So, not taking more of your quality time, Can you give any advice for our young Chartered Accountants?
I think youngsters are full of energy and ideas which needs to be channelized. You are the future of our profession and seeing the way things are changing, you have a much dynamic role to play. Be open for opportunities, put in your 100% in whatever you do, bring clarity in your thoughts and ideas and the world will be all yours!!
Mr. Bajaj, you really make our CA Community proud. Thank you so much for giving us your esteemed time. Wish you all the very best.