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‘It’s the smart work that pays off’

Apeejay College of Fine Arts alumna Saher Ahuja mentions that one must explore their entire personality and not just remain limited to academics



Saher Ahuja is a Chartered Accountant by profession and is currently working as the finance manager with Zomato, Indian multinational food delivery company. An alumna from Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), Jalandhar, Saher is an absolute prodigy. She cleared her CA exam at the age of 21 in the very first attempt. She also bagged an All India Rank of 59. Moreover, when she was in ACFA, she stood first in the college and second in the state of Punjab. While she was in school at Apeejay Mahavir Marg, she was the school as well as district topper with a 97% marks in class 12 and made a name for herself in diverse fields ranging from sports, public speaking, modelling and dance. In a wide ranging interview, Saher stresses on the importance of being an all-rounder and moving from strength to strength in today’s competitive world. Edited excerpts:

Please tell us a bit about your current work profile at Zomato?

In Zomato, a new business venture has started which is called instant business where within ten minutes we deliver quick delivery food. I lead the finance aspect in that project. I look into every aspect of the strategic decision making, financial perspective, profit and loss accounts as well as forecasting of the project. Earlier, I was working with HCL Technologies. I have been associated with Zomato since the previous year.

Please tell us about some of your best memories from the ACFA campus?

Teachers at ACFA are very supportive. I used to come to the college only for a week to give my exam. During my CA preparation, one has to go through the articleship period, so I was provided with attendance and all the facilities by the college. Special treatment was given to all the CA aspirants. We were given special classes and the teachers were available for a month only for us. In the evening, we could freely call our teachers and they would always clear our doubts.

What are your future plans?

I believe in taking small steps. I wish to launch a startup of my own. I am trying to gain the necessary knowledge for the same from each of the companies where I have been working. Learning new skills is essential to advancing your career and I am working towards upskilling myself. 

What life lessons would you give to the current commerce students at ACFA?

Today, along with hard work, it’s the smart work that pays off. The world is moving so fast that one has to manage everything. One has to be an all-rounder. One has to participate in everything. At ACFA, even though I was studying B. Com and preparing for my CA exams, I still used to participate in the youth festivals. We even stood second in the Gidda competition. One has to explore one’s entire personality and not remain limited to just academics. ACFA gives you a platform where you can explore yourself as a person. Don’t only go for academics, explore your personality and your academics will come along just fine.

 What was the inspiration to become a CA?

I had earlier decided to become a doctor. Actually my sister is also a doctor. But as I just mentioned that the world now is moving very fast. So, one has to be independent from a very young age. I wanted a course where I would graduate in four years and which would make me financially independent. I wanted something in front of my name. Only for chartered accountants and doctors, the CA or Dr. prefix is added in front of their names. So, that prefix motivates me even now.   

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]