Raveena Mital CPA stares down challenge and stereotypes and is determined to keep on blazing her own trail while inspiring others to do the same.
Raveena Mital CPA likes to challenge convention and prove people wrong, especially when they tell her that she can’t or shouldn’t do something.
Mital works as a principal consultant at professional services firm Mazars in India.
Her long list of achievements begins with her qualifications in accountancy and law and extends to success in a number of other spheres. She is a successful model, business columnist, children’s book author, tutor and founder of her own social enterprise.
Unsurprisingly, Mital acknowledges that her schedule has very little down time. She admits to having pushed through many nights with little sleep in order to keep up with all the demands on her time, but says this is how she likes it.
She is driven to succeed by the joy it gives her to bring about positive change – whether that be for herself, for her clients or for her industry.
As a child, Mital lived an international lifestyle. Her father’s job as a chief risk officer moved the family from India to Hong Kong, the US, Canada and Singapore. She says being raised in an environment where costs and ramifications were part of the everyday conversation influenced her decision to study accounting.
“I always had this entrepreneurship spirit inside me, but I knew I couldn’t venture into the business world without having expertise in finance and accounts,” Mital says.
“Just as we use languages to converse, accounting is the language of the business world. It enables you to understand where a business has come from and where it is headed.”
Mital completed her bachelor of business administration in accounting and finance at the University of Hong Kong in 2013.
Yet while her peers embarked on their careers, Mital wanted to learn more and signed up for a Juris Doctor postgraduate degree in corporate law through the Chinese University of Hong Kong, specialising in international taxation.
Proving the naysayers wrong
At first, others questioned Mital’s decision to forgo starting her finance career for the sake of her legal studies. Their uncertainty planted seeds of doubt in her mind, but Mital remained committed to her ambitions and says she has been rewarded for staying true to her own goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on her clients, but her knowledge of finance and law has proven valuable when helping them navigate the challenges imposed on their businesses.
At Mazars, Mital’s role involves helping to manage the company’s Global Knowledge Centre, a service line that specialises in management consulting and thought leadership.
Outside of the corporate world, she swaps her focus from financial modelling to the focus of a camera as a fashion model.
This was another unexpected line to cross. Mital was discouraged from modelling by family and friends who feared she would not be respected as a financial professional. They also worried she was taking on too much.
“Everyone was doubtful that I would succeed,” Mital says.
“They believed that, when you try to put your feet into two different pools, you end up in deep water. But I believe if you have the determination, the patience, the perseverance and the ability to work hard, you can do anything you want, so I did.
“I used to do photoshoots in the day and stay up at night preparing for my exams, and I surprised everyone by completing my degree with first class honours.”
CPA Library resource:
Career courage: discover your passion, step out of your comfort zone, & create the success you want. Read now.
While studying for her bachelor’s degree, Mital won the title of Miss India International – Hong Kong.
She went on to complete her doctorate with distinction, and concurrently achieved her CPA designation on her first attempt with high distinction.
Mital says she has been confronted by discrimination in both industries, and hopes her success in each field will help break down social stereotypes.
It has taken time to put the criticisms and negativity behind her, but Mital has come to be proud of who she is and what she has accomplished. Last year, the nonprofit GISR Foundation named Mital Style Icon of the Year at its International Inspirational Women Awards.
“When I am modelling, I proudly tell everyone I am an accounts professional as it helps people to see how diverse and versatile accountants are and what good communicators they are,” she says.
“And when I am doing accounting, I am fully focused on the accounts, and that’s what matters.”
Using her public profile as a platform, Mital advocates for change in the fashion industry. She is concerned about the prevalence of eating disorders within the modelling profession and the firm parameters that dictate what beauty is.
She lobbied to have the height requirement changed from 1.68 metres to 1.60 metres, and has set up a social initiative Beauty with a Change, which aims to transform the definition of beauty and encourage every girl to feel beautiful and confident from within.
“I want women to have confidence in their interests and their beliefs,” Mital says. “As long as they can admire that person in the mirror, that is the only person they are accountable to.”
She says while she’s had many goals, her life has taken her down different paths.
“Life has taken many twists and turns but taught me lessons that have made me an even stronger and vibrant professional than I had believed of myself,” Mital says.
One piece of advice
Life, like accountancy, is a double-entry system. For each problem in life there is a corresponding solution. It is up to us to strike the match.