Seven years ago, at age 27, Mandar Dixit became the youngest person ever to be accepted into the Reliance Accelerated Leadership Program. This prestigious scheme gave the talented, Mumbai-based accountant the opportunity to spend two years working directly with the executives of Reliance Industries, the biggest private sector company in India.
However, as the company’s Senior General Manager of Corporate Strategy, Dixit still needs to be one step ahead at all times — whether leading the development of digital platforms for Reliance’s many businesses or researching new possibilities for renewable energy. How does he stay on top of such a demanding and complex role?
The secret to his success began in 2014, when he completed an International Degree in Management Accounting with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in the UK. That degree, through a mutual recognition arrangement, enabled him to become a member of CPA Australia in 2016.
Dixit says CPA Australia, which has over 164,000 members and a rich history of over 130 years, is one of the most respected academic brands in the accounting fraternity.
“The content and quality of the CPA Program are dynamic and have kept pace with the changing business environment, hence, newly qualified members are highly relevant to employers. It’s also one of the most rewarding accounting qualifications in terms of return on investment. The fees are very competitive.”
The global perspective instilled by the CPA Program has been vital to Dixit excelling in his role, in which he oversees strategic initiatives across multiple sectors, including energy, transportation, agriculture, education, healthcare, and fintech. He works with stakeholders at all levels — from well-established Reliance-owned businesses to start-ups.
I’ve been witnessing the massive change unleashed by start-ups through the deployment of innovative business models, in combination with new-age technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and 3D printing.
He identifies healthcare as one of the fastest-changing sectors, given the increased connectivity of medical devices, continuous monitoring of medical data, digital consultations, e-pharmacy and personalized medicine.
These technologies, when combined with the global reach of the Internet, also mean markets for healthcare companies will become less and less restricted by geography. However, that doesn’t mean regional and national rules, regulations and specifications will disappear – in healthcare or any other industry. “Understanding local financial taxonomy and compliance requirements will remain critical,” says Dixit.
In maintaining, developing and deepening this understanding, Dixit finds his membership of CPA Australia invaluable. The organization provides a powerful, international professional network, thanks to its presence in more than 150 countries.
Dixit attends regular member events, participates in discussion groups, and enjoys CPA Australia’s monthly magazine, INTHEBLACK, which he describes as “very useful for staying in touch with relevant developments in the business and accounting domain.”
As the next decade brings more and more change, Dixit’s CPA designation will continue to be crucial to his success. He foresees “profound disruptions”, as mobile and platform-focused businesses thrive, challenging traditional behemoths. Accounting professionals should prepare for end-to-end automation, from the robotization of record to reporting (R2R), purchase to pay (P2P) and cash to conversion (C2C cycles), to the triple entry systems based on blockchain.
For this, a two-pronged approach is needed. On one hand, it’s important to remain realistic — every market has its limits, even if it encompasses the entire world. But it’s as important to consider the unlimited possibilities allowed by unconstrained thinking and the endless scale of digitization.
Dixit advises young accountants to commit themselves to “lifelong relevant learning, since, in today’s dynamic world, skills become obsolete so quickly and remaining relevant is a tough task."
Find out more about the benefits of the CPA Program with stories from The Competitive Advantage.
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