Features | From Pivot Magazine

Ande (Chandeep) Baweja

Baweja wants to be working in high-growth industries that challenge him, an ambition that dovetails nicely with his position at Airbnb

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Ande (Chandeep) Baweja: “What’s expected of a CPA today has changed. We need to be well-equipped to tackle more than a single aspect of any business.” (Photograph by Guillaume Simoneau)

Age 24 / Montreal / Will become a CPA in April 2019
Business analyst at Airbnb  

Why accounting

Born and raised in Edmonton, Baweja dreamed of becoming a dentist. But he was fascinated by the challenges of running a successful company, and decided accounting was the best way to get a holistic business mindset. “Even if you’re not in accounting, being a CPA prepares you to take on different types of roles.”

What he’s doing now

Baweja worked for a youth leadership NGO and PwC before joining Airbnb, where he’s focused on business strategy and operational analysis. “It’s demanding in a way I like,” he says.Last year, he won the Western Canada Gold Medal, which recognizes the best CFE score west of Ontario—and comes with a $2,500 cash prize

Where he sees himself in 10 years

He wants to be working in high-growth industries that challenge him, an ambition that dovetails nicely with his position at Airbnb, which is expanding in Quebec. 

He’s content working at a scaling company like Airbnb, which is aggressively expanding in Quebec. He hopes the language barrier isn’t as big an issue in a decade. “My French is still awful.”

On the future of accounting

“What’s expected of a CPA today has changed. We need to be well-equipped to tackle more than a single aspect of any business.” At PwC, he witnessed how firms are embracing technology to free up CPAs to work on what clients consider valuable, including strategy management, consulting and risk assessment.

Hobby

“Travelling is one of the best ways to understand yourself and others,” he says. Japan was his favourite destination to date.

Fun fact

Baweja is known among friends as an excellent dinner-party host. His specialties include mushroom risotto and duck breast with blackcurrant sauce.