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ACCA Prize Winners Spotlight: Mahir Pankhania on Finance and Accounting excellence

Mahir Pankhania was named as the top Financial Management (FM) student in Kenya and 24th globally for the July ACCA 2020 exam sitting.


Recall growing up; when you’d be sent to the shop to buy a couple of items, but because we were all baby geniuses, we more often than not did not write the list of “shopping” down and even for those who had a list, they’d lose it somehow along the way. The excited jumping and hopping to the shop was filled with symphonies of you singing the list. By the time you got to the shop, you’d have mixed up the list of items you’d been sent for and the story back home wouldn’t be a very interesting one. Classic memory?

Some of us weren’t very “blessed” with numbers and arithmophobia was real. The anxiety was so intense for some that even basic sums felt like rocket science and our mathematics books would be soaked in sobs as our parents breathed heavily down our necks dismayed by our lack of basic comprehension. For Mahir Pankhania, these sentiments come off as rather amusing.

He says that numbers were among his first love from a very tender age. With all the energies of childhood, his weren’t spent on piecing legos together but on trying to understand how corporates worked. At an advanced age, his curiosity had ferried him to multinational companies’ research. He’d go on to discover the big role played by finance and accounting in a corporate entity. “I knew then that I had to pursue finance and accounting at a professional level, and put my passion to work.”

Excellence and quality

Making the decision to pursue finance and accounting at Strathmore University’s Institute of Management and Technology was easily the quickest decision I’ve ever had to make. It’s a brand that comes with excellence and quality and the fact that Eduniversal ranks Strathmore as the best university in the region offering business-related courses, I wanted to be associated with the institution at all costs. I called it craving the Strathmore Experience.

I was quite particular on the path I wanted to follow and my choice of pursuing the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was in line with my dream, strength, and passion. Being named as the top Financial Management (FM) student in Kenya and 24th globally for the July ACCA 2020 exam sitting was quite the icing on the cake. It was a dream come true. I was so ecstatic and remember calling my parents immediately to break the news of this achievement and the pride in their voice. It was a breath of fresh air coming at a time when the pandemic had a narrative of terrible news, daily. This ACCA prize winner fete was my first one but I am quite confident of many more to come. Watch this space!

My success formula might sound like a glorified cliché but, trust me, with determination and hard work nothing is impossible!

 Numbers are the key to the marvels of the universe

Mahir says that he has relished his Strathmore experience so far. “Strathmore has given me a platform to interact with many diverse cultures, nationalities and religions. This kind of diversity has taught me cultural tolerance and work ethics; A very big plus for me as I look to join the multinational corporates world.”

I really do miss those priceless moments spent with friends after classes. Just hanging around catching up over a meal or sitting at the many chill spots on campus.

It’s been a ride coupled with a myriad of emotions but it’s Strathmore all the way for me and I can’t wait to enroll for an MBA here as I look to harness my skill-set and prepare for industry.

“To my peers, put in the work, stay focused and determined on your goals and success will be your follower. Oh, and don’t fear numbers, they’re the key to the marvels of the universe,” concludes Mahir with a peppy grin.


This article was written by Francis Kabutu.  


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