First Kashmiri cost accountant

He chose a career quite different from the rest. He excelled. Today he stands as an inspiring example. Ibrahim Wani reports
In 1983, Bashir Masudi became the first Kashmiri to become a Cost Accountant. Today he has reached the position of Deputy General Manager (DGM), Finance, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
But as a student, Bashir faced a similar dilemma as faced by most of the students. After completing his graduation in commerce (B.Com) from Islamia College, he did not know what career to pursue. “As there was hardly any awareness of career options, I was not sure of what to do,” he says.
It was at this time he came to know of Cost and Works Accountancy. With a loose idea about the career he headed to The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), Delhi.
To his surprise he was granted admission into the institute without any exam. But it was only later he came to know that mere securing the admission would not make him a cost accountant. “I came to know that to become a Cost accountant you had to qualify an exam after completing the course, which was unlike medicine or engineering where you have to qualify an entrance exam for securing admission.”
Initially Bashir took it easy, but when class work started, he was in for a shock. “Almost all the people in the class had already attempted the exam two to three times and had failed.”
By the fourth day, Bashir was disheartened to such an extent that he had thoughts of leaving the course. “I saw that all the people in the class were hardworking and intelligent people,” says Bashir, adding, “I thought that if they could not qualify, how could I.”
When he had almost made up his mind to quit, the institute organised a function to facilitate those who had qualified the exam. This proved a decisive day for Bashir.
Among those who had qualified was a person from Kathua. He had qualified the exam in his first attempt. He gave Bashir valuable advice and proved a source of inspiration. From then on, he became Bashir’s role model.
Masudi changed his mind, and left all thoughts of quitting. Now thinking that he too could qualify the exam, he put all his effort into the course. “I studied as hard as I could,” he says.  
His work paid off, and Bashir qualified the exam in the first attempt. With this he became the first Kashmiri to become a Cost and Works Accountant.
But this was just a start. He was offered a job in the J&K bank which he accepted. After working with the bank for sometime, he landed a job SAIL as a Junior Manager (finance). He left the bank and joined the steel major.
With SAIL, he worked in a number of places like Jaipur, Delhi, Chennai and Chandigarh to his present location, Mumbai, where he is posted as DGM finance.
Bashir feels that more and more students from the state should opt for careers in accountancy. He says, “There is a huge demand for Chartered Accountants and Cost Accountants through out the world and not just in the country or the state.”
Exemplifying the case, he says, “My friend’s son in Mumbai who recently qualified the Cost Accountancy exam, got a starting package of 10 lakh rupees.” He adds that the packages are even better in the international market.
“For many students outside the state, careers like cost accountancy and charted accountancy are the preferred career options,” he says, adding, “but the situation is different here. People desire other career options only after they are not able to qualify MBBS or engineering exams.” He says, “This needs to change.”
Bashir thinks that a major drawback with the Kashmiri students is the lack of awareness. He says, “The situation is not much different from when I was a student. People here still have not woken up to the diverse career options available.”
To some one who wants to become a chartered accountant, he has valuable advice, “Start just after 12th class and not after completing graduation.” He adds that another requirement is strong mathematical skill and “the last requirement would be hard work”.
In a general advice to the students, Bashir says that they should believe that they can achieve any thing. “I belong to a modest economic background and I did not have many facilities. My father has not even gone to school. When I could do it you can too.”   


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