A chartered accountant dropout at the age of 17, Vivek Jain, created CAclubindia— the largest online knowledge sharing network for finance and tax professionals in the country. Recently, the company ventured into e-learning space by launching CCI Online Coaching that distributes more than 1,500+ hours of e-learning content. For the last 15 years this platform is serving its community by providing holistic learning environment with high level of flexibility and good quality education. Jain, founder, CAclubindia, shares about the recent developments.
Q What is CAclubindia all about? How does it function?
This is a network for financial professionals. With its potent reach of 2 lakh visitors daily, it seeks to create an intellectual and powerful community. It gives an opportunity to get in touch with the who’s who of the financial world to achieve excellence through interaction by sharing new ideas and opinions. The initiative is to create a community where people share their knowledge directly without any hindrance.
Q W hat were you looking for when you dropout of chartered accountant? Why did you not want to continue?
CA is one of the finest courses and I am deeply connected with this community. My father was a chartered accountant and as a matter of coincidence my wife is also from the same field. My dropping out was more to do with my passion for technology and the entrepreneurial spirit for building something up from zero to one. I started CAclubindia back in 1999 and the idea came after I had formed a Yahoo group. When I was pursuing CA side by side with my graduation from Bengaluru I got the first kick of excitement when we reached 80,000 members. That’s when I started focusing on the website more. I was in CA finals by then. Seeing the result and the response, I could see that Internet with its potent reach has the power to influence millions of lives which a degree alone could not. I had to choose between becoming a chartered accountant or to create a platform for finance professionals. I chose the latter. It was a tough choice as I had to face many issues which any student faces. It was a huge risk but I strongly believed in what I was doing, the support of my family played a pivotal role.
Q Do you think institutes fail students in terms of preparing them for work?
India is a complex country in terms of its demography despite that I believe we have one of the finest education institutions in the world. We have IIMs, IITs, NITs and bodies like ICAI, ICMAI, ICSI, which are working really hard to train the next generation. Our schooling system is quite robust too. The corporate and entrepreneurial world today, is really competitive and merely theoretical knowledge doesn’t suffice when it comes to work.
Q With Indian students showing more interest in studying online than ever before, what would you like to say about CAclubindia?
This is one of the oldest platforms in the country where we could connect people with the objective getting inspired. We started CCI online coaching for CA students followed by CS and CMA after understanding what problems students of these courses faces. There were many students who could not take coaching due to lack of facilities in their native places.
Our objective was to provide best quality teachers at affordable cost to all aspirants with an option of high flexibility. We made the coaching personalised where one could ask queries without any hesitation via emails and Internet calls. All of this happened because of the revolution India is going through.
Be it digital India campaigns and efforts by the government or telecom sector, students are more empowered than every before. This as a blanket to CCI online coaching completed the ecosystem of digital learning where one could reach to their seniors.
They could read stories of others who had similar issues what they were facing. We have trained more than 35,000 students so far and database contains more than a million plus members.
Q What are the various courses one can expect from this platform? What sets this service provider apart from its competitors?
We are providing online classes for test prep and certification courses in finance sector by expanding the commerce ecosystem. Our focus is to reach out to students post K12 while they are in college and continue the relation even when they become professionals. We have not faced any major competition as such. What makes us unique is our niche reach and the engagement among the members.
Q Would you like to share any recent developments?
We have launched new mobile applications to create more members like GST app, income tax app, companies act app, separate app for students and CCI online coaching, and Main CAclubindia app. We are trying to bring more ways by targeting particular areas of interest.