Prema Jayakumar is the Topper of Chartered Accountants Final Examination held in November, 2012. A daughter of Auto Driver in Mumbai, Prema achieved this feat in her very first attempt, while the best students of this country take several attempts before passing this examination. Prema secured an impressive 607 marks out of 800 while topping the list of successful candidates.
The national first rank is something Ms. Jayakumar had not imagined when she appeared for the examination. “I was sure about passing the exam. I would have been happy with that result. But the first rank was a big surprise,” she said.
The 24 year Prema credited her father Jayakumar Perumal and homemaker mother Lingammal for her success. “It would not have been possible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who have done so much for me, to live a life of comfort,” she said.
For her parents there was dual reason of Joy. Her younger brother Dhanraj also cleared the ICAI test. The siblings appeared for the Examination together.
Dhanraj, who worked for some time at a call centre while completing his degree course to fund his education, said, “My sister is my hero, the source of my inspiration. She had shown her academic potential earlier too when she scored 90 per cent marks in her Third Year B Com examination, finishing second at Mumbai University”
After completing her B Com in 2008, Prema appeared for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) entrance organised by the ICAI in December 2008. In November 2009 she cleared both groups of the Integrated Professional Competence Examination (IPCE) which made her eligible for two-and-a-half years of articleship. The stint made her eligible for her CA final.”
Prema lives with her family in a 300 sq ft room in S B Khan Chawl, Malad in Mumbai. Having witnessed poverty since childhood, Prema and her Younger Brother worked with Chartered Accountancy firm Kishore Seth & Company to pay for her studies.
Jayakumar Perumal, her father, moved to Mumbai 25 years ago from Periyakolliyur in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu in search of a better life. “I have been driving this auto for 20 years now. I raised my three children on money I earned from auto driving. I always encouraged them to study and I am very happy for what they achieved,” he said.
Prema added, “My father’s income was never fixed. He used to earn around Rs. 15,000 every month. We used to earn Rs. 5,000 per month during our articleship. My parents didn’t study beyond school, so they are very proud that both their children have opted for higher education.”
When asked about sharing her Mantra of Success with others, she attributed the whole credit to Dedicated Hard Work.
“I didn’t go to any coaching class for my entrance and chose to join coaching classes only for final exam. I received scholarship from my class, so I didn’t have to pay for them,” she said. “They found me cleverer and brighter than others. The scholarship meant that my parents didn’t have to worry about my educational expenses,” she said
Her brother Dhanraj was quick to add, “I have noticed that people fail their CA exams many times. We used to study from 7.30 am till 12 midnight. We used to rest at night. Sleep is very important when you are studying hard the whole day. If the person doesn’t rest adequately then exhaustion will hamper preparations. We used to take a single break for lunch. We used to watch TV for half an hour before going to bed, just to relax”.