Nitish Uday Kirtikar ACMA, CGMA has efficiently worked his way up the career ladder, taking in a number of high-profile Indian companies along the way, to become senior manager for transaction processing at Total Oil India Pvt Ltd. In this important role, he manages a team of 16 accountants in the organisation’s shared service centre.
A CIMA member for three years, in this interview he describes how completing the CIMA professional qualification has rapidly enhanced his skill portfolio and enabled him to achieve his career success.
Why did you choose CIMA as your financial qualification, and how did you hear about it?
I knew about the qualification from an early age, as my father is an ACMA. He encouraged me to study for this course, as he benefited professionally from it and believed, correctly, that I would do likewise.
I was already a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) when I started CIMA, but having an internationally recognised qualification has greatly enhanced my career prospects.
What skills have you gained or developed through studying CIMA?
Two main things stand out: firstly, an ability to express clearly, using the correct accounting language and terms, and secondly, a capacity to think strategically in a practical business environment.
In what ways have you helped add value to your companies over the years?
Five major achievements at the various companies I have worked for are:
- Total Oil India Pvt Ltd – successfully managed the vertical transaction processing of the shared service centre
- Total Petroleum India Pvt Ltd – successfully completed SAP implementation for two out of the four Indian subsidiaries
- TotalFinaElf India Ltd – improved the level of compliance with the group insurance manual and carried out a risk evaluation exercise which has successfully influenced the risk management strategy of the senior management team
- Grant Thornton, Mumbai – conducted a training programme on the key differences between UK GAAP, IFRS and US GAAP for Morgan Stanley, Mumbai
- AF Ferguson & Co – detected a fraud at one of the clients at the Dubai practice of the firm.
How has CIMA membership helped you professionally?
Professionally, I have a lot of options for career growth and progression in my current organisation as a result of my membership of CIMA.
CIMA membership has made me versatile in the sense that I can deliver in many different roles. Furthermore, since some of the members of the senior management in our regional headquarters [Singapore] have worked in the UK, they recognise the value of the CIMA qualification.
How is CPD of value to you in keeping your qualification relevant to the constantly changing business environment?
CPD provides training and updates on the latest developments, not only in management accounting but also for developing higher level behavioural skills like strategic thinking, strategy execution, leadership development and motivational skills while managing a team.
How have your family and friends benefited from you having a CIMA qualification?
My family has definitely benefited from me having a CIMA qualification. I now have better career progression prospects compared to those I would have had if I didn’t have an internationally recognised qualification.
How did getting your CIMA qualification make you feel?
It was a great sense of achievement and fulfilment. I was even happier after hearing from CIMA’s Mumbai liaison office that I had secured the highest marks in TOPCIMA in India.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Managing a team of 16 accountants has helped me to develop leadership skills. In addition to managing people to achieve day to day targets, I have learnt the art of motivating them to carry out their jobs.
In one sentence, please summarise how CIMA members add value to your business.
CIMA members help businesses to succeed in a challenging business environment and are instrumental in preventing the type of failures that occurred during the financial crisis of 2008.