S. B. Gabhawalla & Co. : Rendering Exceptional Taxation Services

Sunil Gabhawalla, | Chartered Accountant | S. B. Gabhawalla & Co | Insights Success
Sunil Gabhawalla, | Chartered Accountant | S. B. Gabhawalla & Co

In Interview with the Insights Success, Sunil Gabhawalla, Chartered Accountant of S. B. Gabhawalla & Co. gave some insightful answers highlighting the influences made by the company in the Goods and Service Tax Sector.

  1. Brief us about your consultancy?
    B. Gabhawalla & Co. is a professional service Chartered Accountancy firm practicing in the entire field of taxation with a specialization in Indirect Taxes. The firm has a distinct research orientation towards Service Tax & VAT related matters and is a front-runner in the field of GST advisory, implementation and compliance assignments.

    The basic philosophy of the firm revolves around the principles of integrity, knowledge & speed. Over the last two decades, the firm has created a niche for itself in the field of consultancy and evolved new paradigms in rendering quality service to clients. The firm serves a wide arena of clientele ranging across the spectrum of various industries.

    The firm is assisted by a team of 40+ young and energetic qualified human resources and is headquartered at a prime business area in Andheri, Mumbai and has adequate infrastructure in terms of library resources, office ambience, research software, internet connectivity, web and e-mail support, collaborative task management and monitoring tools, etc

  1. Tell us something about the Founder/CEO/MD of your consultancy.
    B. Gabhawalla & Co is led by Shri. Sunil Gabhawalla, who is a chartered accountant in practice since the December of 1997. He has cleared his professional qualifications with splendid and note-worthy performances all throughout, with momentous achievements viz., 3rd rank (AIR-3) at the All-India CA Final examination, 9th position (AIR-9) at All India Level in CA Intermediate examinations and also, the 7th position (AIR-7) at All India Level at ICWA Intermediate Examinations. He is also a cost accountant.

    Sunil has delivered 500+ lectures at various forums and seminars across the country on various topics that range from Service Tax to Goods and Service Tax. He has also authored 21 editions of Treatise on Service Tax, published by Bharat Law House Pvt. Ltd.

    Sunil has been associated with the Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society (BCAS) as its Core Group Member since many years and has been elected as the President of the said Society for the year 2018-19. BCAS is run by volunteers and is dedicated to spreading knowledge amongst professionals.

    Sunil is also a member of the Study Group constituted by the Maharashtra State Government for implementing GST. He is regularly invited by the policy makers to present his thoughts on the policy formation parameters of the GST Law.

  1. What was the bedrock idea behind starting the consultancy?
    The journey towards specialization in Indirect taxes was a very distinctive one. Initially, when the firm was established in the year 1997, the key focus was Direct taxes. However, a few clients being service industry oriented, approached Sunil to not just handle their Direct tax and related fields, but also take up their Indirect tax and related aspects. Work just flowed in and the firm kept on building expertise progressively.
  1. What kind of unique tax-related services and solutions does your consultancy offer?
    Gabhawalla and Co., is geared to render diverse nature of services which include consultancy, retainership, compliance, litigation, training, audit, etc. It also undertakes detailed audit/investigation services to identify transaction inefficiencies and suggest due diligence. Special assignments catering to specific requirements are also handled effectively.
  2. What according to you has been impacting the Indian economy? How is GST contributing to the Indian Economy?
    The current trends suggest that Indian economy is heavily impacted by Crude oil prices, FDI inflows, rising entrepreneurship, active Government, RBI and active crackdown on NPAs, growing GDP and last but not the least, the new unified Indirect Taxation regime of Goods and Service Tax (GST), replacing a plethora of scattered and diversified indirect taxes across the country.

    Talking purely in terms of numbers, with GST collections hovering around about Rs. 1 lakh crore on a monthly basis itself talk volumes about GST, along with its acceptance among the Indian businesses. India is gradually moving from tax evasion to tax compliance regime, with things now being linked and integrated, Direct Tax and Indirect Tax shall walk hand-in-hand. Better compliance will benefit India not only in terms of growth, but also towards being a Developed nation. Indian businesses are now streamlining their practices with monthly tax payments, ensuring timeliness and effective utilization of the resources at their disposals.

    The second chapter in the E-way bill implementation was a successful one, and this implementation is now slowly integrating suppliers, transporters and recipients under one network. India is slowing migrating to the end-to-end compliance solutions with generation of E-way bills to raising invoices happening at a click of a button. Moving towards automation and digitization will ensure, technology remains the backbone of successful implementation of the GST.

  1. Where is your consultancy heading? How well is your consultancy benefiting your clients in this GST-affected era?
    The Firm has grown from a strength of 20 in 2015 to 40+ by the mid of 2018. The increase in strength not just represents the growth of the firm, but also depicts the client satisfaction and trust held in our professional customized services.

    GST has no doubt been a game changer, not just for the economy, but also for the businesses. It was one of the most looked-forward opportunity to re-assess and re-align the processes, documentation, strategies and much more. Being active in the pre-GST period to assist and implement the GST, the firm is still very dynamic on the outlook to help its clients to acclimatize the changes in the GST-era on a regular basis. Regularly conducting free seminars and lecture meetings for updates in GST to sharing weekly updates, the firm leaves no stone unturned to keep ensuring the clients keep gaining knowledge and updates in this GST-era.

  1. What is the current scenario of GST in the country?
    GST is fast becoming an accepted norm of accurate compliances and simplified taxation. There is no denying that GST had met with a lot of obstacles and hurdles, but the recent strings of amendments and notifying the annual returns, the Government has clearly set its sight on making GST, a business-friendly tax. The GST council conducting regular meeting and deliberating on the recent issues, shows the proactiveness and the zeal with which they are taking steps to clear all possible issues and at the same time ensure that effectiveness of GST is not nullified.

    Compliances are becoming simpler with each passing month, refunds are being processed at a rate faster than ever, benefits being now visible to the nation and this has all helped to ensure a better acceptance for GST among the general public as well.

  1. What major challenges have you faced while starting the consultancy? How have you managed to overcome them?
    The typical challenges in any professional services firm revolve around building inhouse capabilities, addressing client expectations and delivering quality services with quick turnaround time on a consistent basis. In the case of indirect tax domain, an additional dimension is the rapidly changing regulatory landscape – keeping updated with the same and also ensuring dissemination to the team and the clients.

    One of the key solutions to overcome any challenges is to build a good team and better leaders. Each of the team, is led by a Senior Manager with a minimum experience of 4 years in practice and who are all ultimately guided by Sunil. Knowledge has been the key to overcoming above challenges and everything else falls in place.

  1. What distinctive strategies/techniques do you follow to provide the best-class GST services to your clients?
    This is the age of technology and your work is better appreciated if you render your services in a way that the client can enjoy the same at any given point of time. The firm has created client wise Whatsapp groups and industry specific Whatsapp groups to disseminate regular updates and resolve queries with a very quick turnaround time. Further, immediately after the draft GST law was in public domain, the firm was one of the first to start detailed GST Awareness Sessions and such sessions are recorded in a series of 75+ videos and are available on YouTube channel of the firm. To top it all, we had designed an android based app available on Google Playstore, that helped each client to track their GST implementation on their cellphones. Even today, the firm conducts lecture meeting every year immediately after the Union budget to disseminate the updates and changes to its clients. Further, to apprise the clients of the regular updates in GST, 2-3 lecture meetings and interactive sessions are organized annually which is attended by 300+ participants at a time.
  1. What advice would you give to the budding and young entrepreneurs in the current GST-driven market?
    It is important to be updated with the latest information and knowledge. It is also important to think through the various facets of a problem presented by the client and provide a workable business solution. Consultants need to be enablers of businesses and have to demonstrate value to the clients.

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