Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Ms PREETI KHURANA

EDITOR IN CHIEF – CLEARTAX

Sunday, 19th August 2018: “There is no rest for the wicked.” This idiom was tailor-made for the Great Lakers. When the world enjoys quiet and lazy Sunday mornings, the ambitious Great Lakers are always up and ready in their sharp business formals, armed with their laptops and notepads, to welcome an industry guest in the campus for an interactive learning session. This week we met Ms Preeti Khurana Chief Editor, ClearTax, who expounded the various nuances of the tax filing system, elaborated on the recently implemented GST tax structure and gave the students a holistic view of the Indian tax regimen.

ClearTax

ClearTax began as an “Individual tax return filing” platform. It has now ventured into multiple areas including Tax Cloud which is a bulk return filing system for Chartered Accountants. Along with possessing a dedicated “GST Return System” which facilitates GST invoicing, returns, supplier performance reporting and online e-way bill generation, it also has its own “Investment platform” which is regarded as the #1 platform in India for mutual fund investment. Another differentiated category which ClearTax caters to is the “Start-up regulation”. It helps start-ups remain cognizant of the compliances, manages their accounting and bookkeeping and expedites their tax filing. It is also instrumental in providing comprehensive knowledge about tax regimes, investment and accounting to the people.

Ms Preeti Khurana

Ms Preeti Khurana is currently associated with ClearTax as the Editor in Chief. Prior to this, she has served as a Budget Manager and an Assistant Manager at American Express and PwC respectively. She completed her C.A in 2004 and started her career with PwC. Post that she joined American Express where she spent 7 years of her corporate career, but later on, realized that she wanted to pursue something more exciting. It was then she decided to call it quits and joined ClearTax. At ClearTax she serves in various capacities, which includes customer support for tax filing, sales pitching for the product as well as drafting the complete tax guide at the portal which even a layman could understand. She believes that if you put in your best efforts to accomplish a goal, you will definitely be able to achieve it.

Recent changes in the Financial Services

Technological developments

Ms Khurana started by stating “The future is paperless and presence less” owing to the recent developments on the technological fronts, and how it has impacted the financial sector. She explained that this change has vastly opened up the business avenues by broadening the target market in terms of the tech-savvy users, but it has also opened up new challenges regarding issues like data privacy and data theft. She also talked about how the cumulative use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the face of the Financial Services sector and how the business is being transacted in the global space. “Heightened need for collaboration and threat of competition coupled with the massive amount of regulatory oversight would be prevalent in the times to come” said Ms Khurana. Commenting on the differentiation that the financial companies face, she said that though these organizations are extremely asset light, their core investment area turns out to be data security, rules around which are yet to be framed and this would have several major implications on the taxation.

Worldwide Taxation

She also took the students through the worldwide taxation phenomenon and reiterated that how digital companies like Facebook and Instagram would face challenges in their taxation policies in the times to come owing to the digitalization and globalization. These companies which initially accounted their taxes based on the presence of a Permanent Establishment (PE) will now also be forced to pay taxes in countries where they have a significant economic presence in terms of revenues and subscriber base. This, she said, would have several ramifications as the International Tax laws and treaties would have to be revised. There are also humongous challenges with regard to generation, storage and retrieval of such large amounts of data.

GST

The Goods and Services Tax or the GST implementation was also expounded by Ms Khurana. The students were awestruck with how she explained the entire GST regime in such a lucid manner. She explained the need for switching to the GST system and the flaws which were present in the indirect tax system which led to cascading of taxes, non-compliance and difficulties in tax filing procedures. She further elaborated on how GST has simplified the entire system by bringing all the taxes into the ambit of a single one and the simplification of input credit claims by suppliers, the launch of the e-way bill to prevent leakage of revenues and the easy tracking of the movement of goods throughout the country. Ms Khurana stated that although the new system has simplified the entire tax structure, it has a downside in the form of costs of compliance shooting up, discrepancies in the dating and receiving of tax bills and proper mechanisms to track the interstate movement of goods and contingencies in tax filing for real estate.

To conclude, it was a fruitful session which helped the students in understanding the nitty-gritty of the tax structure and the recent developments in the global marketplace. This knowledge will be a great asset to the students not only aspiring for a career in finance but every single one of us.

Author: Bhawna Ahuja

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr DEEPAK GOEL

CEO – KARMACIRCLES

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Understanding of the above quote is an important pre-requisite for an entrepreneur to be successful. The path of Entrepreneurship is the one that is filled with utmost uncertainties that one can face compared to the other naturally progressing career options.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, Great Lakes, offered me ample opportunities to interact and learn directly from the masters of this trade. As the campus is located in the corporate hub of the country, Great Lakes, Gurgaon enables extensive industry engagement with entrepreneurs, CXOs and industry experts as they visit the campus regularly to share their perspectives with the future business leaders of the nation. That’s how our batch (PGDM 2017-19) got to meet Mr Deepak Goel, CEO & Founder Karmacircles.

Mr Deepak Goel’s Guest Lecture at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was a compilation of his life and thought processes that aimed at providing the students with a more Entrepreneurial viewpoint of life rather than just living in terms of pay packages. An IIT-Delhi educated techie who went on to live the “American Dream” with his job at Microsoft to pursuing his MBA at UC, Berkeley to working at multiple companies from scratch with an entrepreneurial spirit and making them grow to where they are today, he has worn multiple hats because of his multi-faceted skill sets. This is what differentiates him from the other bunch of entrepreneurs, at least in the Indian context. He truly learnt the art of Entrepreneurship in and out, theoretically and practically to be able to follow his life calling of creating Karmacircles.

The lecture was a mix of Startup Organizational Culture, Valuation of Startups, General Principles of Success and quite an insightful bunch of advice to the multiple questions asked by the Students.

At the start of the lecture, he laid a very simple formula for a successful startup involving just four steps. (1) Identify the problem you want to solve, (2) Solve the problem, (3) Monetize the Solution created and then (4) go for more money to scale up the solution. A rather simple algorithm which in reality is really difficult to follow as even developing/handling that one simple product/solution is quite complex. This is what calls for the Product Management Concept. Explaining his understanding and experiences in Product Management, he expressed dissatisfaction of how Product Management is done or pursued by organizations in India as it still remains to be a highly misunderstood concept in the country. Being a seasoned professional in the field, he emphasized how the concept can help in building successful products within a company, going on to creating multiple successful companies within a big company, like Google. Working at Microsoft, he knew much more about Google and its processes than Microsoft which earned him the name of “The Google Guy.” He then shared some insights as to how Google managed its Product Line and has grown from a Search Engine to the huge yet entrepreneurial tech-conglomerate it is today.

He then went on to share his learning experiences under the guidance of Eric Ries of the Lean Startup fame and even Eric Ries’ Guru Steve Blank. The two major concepts he learnt were The Value Hypothesis and Growth Hypothesis. When these philosophies are incorporated in a company in its ideation phase, it significantly enhances its probability of achieving long-term success, thereby, ensuring value and growth creation.

Explaining Value Hypothesis, Mr. Goel talked in detail how companies can create value. Not just in monetary terms, but value that customers can relate to. But for doing so, the companies must have an eagle eye vision of the solution of the problem that they set out to tackle. Giving real examples from the start-up and corporate world, he differentiated how certain companies create value straight away to companies that create value over time.

Constantly comparing his Valley experience to his Indian experience, he stated that Indian start-ups and new-age companies mainly focus only on creating monetary value but not the intangible value and many of those companies go on to create initial momentum, to a great extent monetize it, but keep pushing their goalposts for the value creation. One of the main questions he raised during the lecture was whether these companies will be able to continue the momentum once the cash inflow slows down.

Explaining Growth Hypothesis, he talked about continuously doing what you do best and create personal and home-ground advantage in areas as such to create a true product that can grow sustainably over time.

Commenting on the Indian attitude of approaching jobs, he shared his story further and explained how he took several pay cuts in order to expand his learning curve, something he finds lacking in the Indian scenario. Linking the topic, he shared the factors one should consider while taking up a new job and said that the person you are going to work for, is the most important factor. Not being completely driven by package but rather through the group one is going to work with and the learning outcome one has out of the job as other major factors. He advised students to be ethical and act professionally when it comes to working in organizations.

In the last few minutes of the lecture, he gave a brief glimpse of his passions which include, Social Networks, Mentoring, and creating valuable products that solve problems. Being an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I found this session to be the most illuminating.

Such interactions with industry stalwarts prepare the students for the challenges of the business world and Great Lakes gives utmost importance to these guest lectures as they are the most crucial ingredient for developing business ready managers. The importance of these interactions is evident with the fact that 150 plus industry leaders, entrepreneurs and CXOs have visited Great Lakes last year and shared their valuable insights with the students to prepare them for what’s to come.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon