There’s no mystery why Pasupula Ravindranath (call him “Ravi”) became a Chartered Global Management Accountant several years ago: He has an international mindset, loves to travel and wants to boost his knowledge, skills and reputation as a CPA who has experience working with clients locally and abroad.
Ravi began his career in India, his native country, and left to work in Oman, as a Charted Accountant and as the chief internal auditor for the Oman Development Bank. He met his wife — who hailed from his hometown — in Oman, and together they moved to the United States in 1995. Here he pursued accounting posts in the health care field, most prominently working 18 years as a business manager and analyst for UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, NC In 2016, he founded his own public accounting firm, PSR CPA PLLC. To date, he holds numerous certifications, most notably CPA, CMA and CGMA. He also has three daughters, two of them in college.
So how does he avoid stress and manage to run his own firm, further his knowledge and skills, travel, and balance his time between all of this and family? He meditates, practices yoga, uses learned breathing techniques — and then he teaches this to others. Ravi spoke recently about his life, and how he melds everything together:
What is your current role as an internationally focused financial consultant?
Companies have become global. I started this practice about two years ago, and I’m in the process of making alliances with people in India and the Middle East. We take care of the taxes for multi-national companies and put systems in place. We can handle any complex tax return. My focus is on finding out the means to help save some costs to corporations through my consultancy. I sit with owners of corporations and CFOs who are decision-makers and take care of their accounting. We advise them on how they can save money.
What motivates you about accounting and finance?
I am interested in how I can do things a different way to make it simple, with technology. I also conduct team-building, because you can go along faster and further with a team. I believe in that concept, and that’s what my mentors taught me. I don’t do any detailed work. I build a team. That’s my strength. I have worked so much on the legwork, and now am transitioning to the mind work. Also, people struggle so much because of lack of information or lack of knowledge as to whom to contact. I enjoy putting people in the right direction, and hearing them say, “I should have contacted you so long ago.” That keeps me happy.
What prompted you to become a CGMA?
I had pretty much reached a point with my level of skills, knowledge and expertise, that I thought I should go for the next level, because I want to learn locally and spread globally, and I believe in that concept. I already have experience with different cultures and operations and I like to travel. So that’s what motivated me. And the second thing is the information you have access to when you become a CGMA. That was attractive to me.
Outside of work, what are your biggest passions?
I watch movies. And I like to travel to see beautiful places. I’ve been in more than 25 countries and visited more than 400 cities. Also, I teach breathing techniques to reduce stress levels and am a certified program instructor for The Art of Living Foundation. That’s an organization that is in more than 160 countries and more than 300 million people follow these breathing techniques to reduce their stress levels. I’m also a certified yoga instructor.
Why are meditation, yoga, and using breathing techniques important to you?
When I was in a high-stress profession, these tools helped me to calm down my mind, become more productive and improve relationships with my family. Meditation, yoga and breathing techniques have improved my life in different ways. Meditation makes me feel calmer and happier. I meditate three times a day. Yoga helps keep my body healthy by increasing flexibility and blood circulation. It also relieves my chronic pains. I do yoga once a day for 20 to 25 minutes. Breathing techniques bring my anxiety level down and my energy level up. The breathing technique that helps me the most is called “Sudarshan Kriya.” It is based on the idea that for every change of our emotions, there is a corresponding change in the rhythm of the breath. When you are angry, your breathing is fast; when you are happy, your breathing is light; and when you are sad, your breathing is shallow. Surdarshan Kriya helps to control these emotions and the mind. All of my students are professionals, such as physicians, attorneys and CPAs, doing high-stress jobs. I have seen these practices help them in the same way they helped me to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
What career advice would you give to young CPAs based on your experience?
People say to think outside the box, but actually there is no box. That’s my concept. And regardless of the economy, accountants will never be unemployed. It’s a highly demanding profession. Also, work with a good mentor, who can help put you in the right direction, because the accounting field is so vast now. People think that accounting is entering one plus two plus three. It is not. Finally, be specific in the area where you’d like to be. You can do anything but not everything. Be specific and passionate.