In Jodhpur, it's hard to go broke. With half of the country's chartered accountants living here, making money comes with the territory.
In the results declared recently for this year's chartered accountant (CA) examinations, Jodhpur district accounted for 126 of the total 252 successful candidates. This, when the all-India pass percentage in the examinations was only 8 per cent.
Local residents aren't surprised. For in Marwar, settling account books is like learning the alphabet. "Business communities like Oswal, Agrawal and Maheshwari are brilliant in accounting," says M.L. Ranga, an eminent CA of the city. There are many families with half-a-dozen chartered accountants, says Ranga. It helps that the best tips come from home, another senior accountant M.G. Vyas says.
Money in the genes? Not quite, says Dr Kiran Singh, a social scientist. “Every generation in Marwar faces the calamity of drought and learns from it. I think this skill leads people towards such success in the examinations”.
Growing prospects in the field are also the driving force behind the high pass percentage. Rashim Mehta, who came fifth in this year's examinations, for example, is confident that by 2010, India would require around 4 lakh CAs. With MNCs angling for financial analysts, accountants will take home fatter pay-checks.
There is also a gender dimension to this story. More girls from the business community are trying to crack the CA examinations because of the big bucks the job ensures. Read between the lines: their families don’t have to pay a large dowry. "It is a defence mechanism. This degree frees our parents from the burden of dowry," says a student.