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LexTalk World Talk Show with Rajarshi Dasgupta, Executive Director and National Leader Of GST......


Rajarshi has 20 years of experience in GST, Customs & Indirect Tax Dispute Resolution, GCC VAT. Rajarshi is also a Data Privacy Lead Assessor certified by the Data Security Council of India. His expertise includes advisory & dispute resolution on Indian indirect taxes and GST, Constitutional matters, GCC VAT, Customs Duty. Prior to AQUILAW,Rajarshi was associated with KPMG, PwC. Rajarshi is a Chartered Accountant, an empaneled consultant with Asian Development Bank and advisors to CREDAI,Ropeways Association of India, Jewellery Federation, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association. Rajarshi is faculty in National Academy of Customs, Indirect Tax and Narcotics in India.


Interview:


Host: What motivated you to choose the Legal sector as a domain of work and how has been your career span?

Rajarshi: From my Chartered Accountancy days, I had a natural inclination of becoming a tax professional. I always wanted to sensitize the fact amongst clients that tax is a subject matter of structuring and not a post-mortem subject and channelized my aptitude, business skills and passion to practice taxation.


Over the last 20 years of my career, I have advised several Indian and multinational corporations on Indian Indirect Tax and GCC VAT, Constitutional matters, designing Business Process Mapping and Blueprints, and has handled their GST/indirect tax litigations across the country before different forums. Prior to AQUILAW, I was associated with KPMG, PwC and CEAT Tyres. My current firm, AQUILAW has always motivated me to explore something new and as a result, I forayed into Data Privacy practise after being certified by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) as Data Privacy Lead Assessor and accordingly supports various Indian multinational companies with regard to drafting of Data Privacy Notices, Data Privacy Policy, Standard Contractual clauses for contracts, agreements, disclosures etc., Data Protection Impact Assessment and Gap Analysis, Cross Border Data Transfer Agreements etc.


Host: In the era of legal technology, what are the most commonly used tools for you?


Rajarshi: Tax function roles typically involve standard processes. Currently we are using artificial intelligence (AI) and process automation to automate much resource-heavy, repetitive tax work. This allow us to quickly dispense with the more mundane tasks that are carried out thousands of times a day. This helps us in turn to devote more time to more challenging work involving business structuring, dispute resolution etc.


Usage of “tax technologist” who otherwise understands data analytics as well as the tax rules supports the development of real-time tax dashboards and visualization techniques which otherwise offers game-changing opportunities for clients. This is driving a wholesale shift in the competencies required by tax functions.


Host: Key lessons or experiences that have enriched you and are currently aiding you in your work profile.


Rajarshi:The first and the most lesson I inculcated in my system is that constructive learning is a never-ending journey, and we are in continuous cycle of learning new things. If you are not updated as a tax professional, you are out of the race.

Secondly, adapting to the change in technology and continuously adapting the capacity to analyse data in real time. When I started as a tax professional, we used to rely upon to understand the rules and to advise the business on the tax consequences in the jurisdictions where business was conducted. However, as the world has become more digital, and as tax collection is automated, we adapted technology for “real-time” assessment and started advising clients as how to create real-time data which otherwise helps businesses to extract, analyse and validate that appropriate tax rules are applied to the information it generates.

Ability to become key players at the front-end of business strategy. To be a successful tax professional, you need to develop closer relationships beyond finance, partnering more closely with operating business units while broadening their engagement across your core function in order to provide holistic solutions to the client.


And last but not the least, a pleased customer is your best advertisement.

 

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