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‘Don’t choose a career based on what your peers are doing’

Pratik Jain, (22) is a Chartered Accountant who cracked the CA Final papers in his very first attempt with 4 Distinctions. In an interview, the Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park alumni gives key tips for students

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A super scholar in school for three consecutive years, captain of the cricket team, MUN delegate and a high academic achiever – Pratik Jain aced it all with his hard work and sincerity. His ability to excel didn’t just end at school, rather it was the beginning of a new journey. He chose to work towards his family’s company, Zingysip, a B2B firm known for tea and coffee and gave Chartered Accountant (CA) examinations a shot. Soon to be starting a new role as Deputy Manager Financial Due Diligence at EY, Aerocity, Gurugram, the 22-year-old shares his memorable journey in an interview.  Edited excerpts:  

Mr. Jain with Ms. Ritu Mehta, Principal, Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park at a ceremony in New Delhi

 Please tell us about your educational background.

I finished schooling from Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, in 2017 and then pursued a degree in B.Com from the School of Open Learning at University of Delhi. Simultaneously, during my undergraduate degree, I was preparing for the CA examinations. With consistency and hard work, I was able to secure a Distinction in my undergraduate course and also cleared the CA Final with 4 Distinctions in 2021 at the age of 22.

You qualified CA Final recently. What was your preparation strategy?

Examinations such as these are a test of patience and constant effort. It does need a lot of moral support from your family as well. Studies make 50% of these papers and the rest is confidence. I do not mean that one should stop fearing because I too went through this process. In the last month of my preparation, I got down with dengue and was hospitalised. It did shake my confidence but I still went ahead and cleared the examinations. For my preparation, I consulted the best of the faculty from several coaching institutes, then relied on one.

What have been the learnings at your business?

Major learning has been at customer dealing and how to increase your business to a larger scale. We are looking to popularise Zingysip through advertisements rather than a cash burn model. My strategy for it is to make it self-reliant in the coming years.  

For new entrepreneurs, what would be your advice?

Each business is different. These days, people are able to draw out brilliant business ideas out of the most unthought-of things. To create a long-term strategy, one has to really deep dive into a lot of factors. In the B2C segment, it is more about brand building and one has to know their market to attract customers. In B2B, the focus is to enhance the quality of the product and supply it.

For Zingysip, we offer more than 50 variants in tea and 30 in coffee. Therefore, we are looking at innovation, creativity and brand-building at the moment. We are tapping into Google AdWords and popularising it on portals such as India Mart and Just Dial, to name a few. We supply in hotel chains, cafes, and restaurants mostly in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

What tips would you like to give to students?

First, plan your college years, right after you finish schooling. Many times, students tend to choose a certain college instead of going for the desired course. This must stop because after those 3-4 years, you would be confused, as to what to pick in your career. Secondly, do not follow your peers in choosing your career. In school, my best of friends were opting for the Science stream but I wanted to opt for Commerce. Of course, it meant that I lost touch with them and I did miss my friends, but as I look back, it was the right thing to do for me. Thirdly, experiment with your skills and try a hit and trial method to explore them till you are 25. It is a vital period where you can afford to make mistakes and re-do them all.

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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