MEET MR.CHIRAG DOSHI - MANAGING PARTNER AT CD FINANCIAL RE-ENGINEERING ADVISORS LLP

MEET MR.CHIRAG DOSHI - MANAGING PARTNER AT CD FINANCIAL RE-ENGINEERING ADVISORS LLP

He is a qualified B.com and a fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of international accounting and auditing (statutory and forensic) gained in Canada, Germany, Dubai, Singapore, Egypt, Philippines, India, London, and many other nations gained in big 4 ca firm, large Indian ca firms and large corporates.

Also, he has more than 15 years of experience in the field of review and resion of operating and accounting manual (including carrying out Sarbanes Oxley reviews) and implementation of internal financial controls for various clients in the manufacturing, power, shipping, and financial sector.
 

Mr. Chirag Doshi is a certified information system auditor (CISA) talks about his inspiration, his challenges, his journey so far in an exclusive interview with CLIQTAX:
 

CT: Tell us something about your background & Where have you got the education?

CD: I belong to a Jain Middle-class family, born and brought up in Mumbai, I studied in Sumati Vidya Kendra English medium school, followed by Commerce from Mithibai College in Mumbai.

I Cleared my Chartered Accountant Exam from ICAI in 2003 and then completed my Certified Information system Auditor certification from ISACA (US).
 

CT: What inspired you to choose this profession of Chartered Accountancy?

CD:  Well If you ask me I wanted to be a Criminal Lawyer, however, my father had a dream of making me a Chartered Accountant (CA) as he was from a commerce background and this was the main reason behind this and additionally CA was the most renowned course which could be started after you complete your 12th grade, whereas Law required me to complete 15 years of education, so I had started with CA as a course along with my graduate studies.
 

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CT: What are the challenges you have faced so far and how did you overcome them

CD:  The working culture is the biggest difference between MNC and CA firm, actually it’s not comparable, but yeah Siemens was like completely structure environment, very formal and strict working time and a work-life balance, but the story at mid-size Indian CA firm is different, the environment is homely but unstructured, responsibilities and challenges faced are very different.

In relation to my own startup when I started my own venture the biggest difficulty was getting the clients to trust you, with the support of a large network of professionals created over the years, a few of my old PwC contacts, Siemens contact supported me and also the professional friends and mentors I built relationships at the Bombay Chartered Accountant Society where I am serving my term as Treasurer helped me overcome this difficulty. Today we have both local and international clients in our client portfolio.
 

The second was cost management, so I decided to keep the fixed cost almost NIL and use services of freelancers and other professional firms on pay to use basis, which helped me sustained the tide of this pandemic as well. 

I also got my venture recognized by the Start-up India registration by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which helped me use benefits provided by the government of India.
 

CT:   What are your areas of experience?  Please spread some light on your work experiences?

CD:  As always there is a long term vision and short term vision, the goal was always Think Different, Think Future!! 
At Price Waterhouse (PW) which was my first job in Statutory audits, I use to work for long hours to understand the whole entity business model apart from statutory audit, the opportunities I got at PW was varied from large telecom companies, media companies, Pharma companies, engineering companies, and also a film and fashion awards. 

 
PW also provided me the opportunity for a work secondment to PwC Toronto, Canada, which helped me gain exposure to international accounting and auditing standards and Acts like Sarbanes Oxley (Sox 404).

 
After coming back from Canada, I came across this job profile in Siemens Corporate Finance, a German group company which was for implementing and ensuring compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS, global accounting standards) across various companies of Siemens in the Asia Pacific and South Africa region, which I also thought would come to India someday as the world was becoming one market place and Financials around the globe should speak the same language.

 
I got the opportunity to of traveling to several countries like Germany, Singapore, South Africa, Egypt, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Dubai which helped me gain professional and personal experience of work culture and traditions and culture of various countries across the globe.
 

In 2018 I wanted to settle into my personal life and settle back in India, where I was introduced by a common friend to a firm name MZS & Associates an aspiring and growing firm (now BDO India), and joined them as Director and Head IFRS as by that time India had announced its commitment to move to IFRS and my work experience had great demand in Indian Market.
 
An Incident I remember here was on my last day at Siemens our global head was here and we just had a 5-minute conversation and he wished me and said one day I want to see you working on a Tata group assignment in your career and believe me or not my first IFRS conversion exercise was a Tata group company.

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After a short span at MZS, I was offered a partnership at Khandelwal Jain and Co. a well renounced CA firm with more than 40 years in existence and with many big Indian corporates as their clients who were looking for IFRS conversion specialist. 

 
At Khandelwal Jain, my initial task was to develop a team for IND AS implementation and grow the firms reach in the areas of IFRS / IND AS implementation and reviews, 
 

Opportunities were enormous and I was ready to take up new challenges of auditing one of large public sector bank, information technology audits, an audit of the banking regulator, governments Navratna companies, Sox 404 review for India’s Largest private sector bank, Listing an Indian entity on Nasdaq, facing PCAOB reviews and many more. 
 

With the new Companies Act, the requirement for implementation and review of Internal financial control (IFC) was picking up the pace and we managed to take up the assignment with a set of new team members and helped several entities implement IFC.
 

In late 2017 -18 forensic was doing its round in the nations and took up the task of building a team for forensic accounting as well and did multiple forensic assignments in a span of 2 years. 
 
We had to build a team with varied experience and in a span of 5 years, we had a team of almost 7 chartered accountants and a team of 20 semi-qualified reporting to me, with a varied experience in IND AS, Audits, Forensic Accounting and IFC.

Today many of my article trainees are working with either big four CA firms or with large corporates which makes me feel accomplished.

In all these years I could also devote time for the society and I did take up more than 100 honorary lectures in IFRS and IND AS for various associations like Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI), Bombay Chartered Accountant Society, Institute of Cost and Work Accountants, Chambers of Tax Consultants, MBA colleges and various private forums. 

With support at the firms, I could also pay back my CA society by serving on the AASB Board of ICAI and am serving as a treasurer of the Bombay Chartered Accountant Society.
 

CT:  How professionals are helping the businesses/start-ups in this compliance era?  

CD:  Professionals are doing a great job in helping businesses and startups by making them aware of government benefits, online compliances for ROC, GST, Income Tax, and various other regulations as applicable, CFO support services, Fundraising support, Training, etc.
 

CT:  What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful as a professional?

CD: It's not a cakewalk, hard work, and perseverance can get you to the top & few Mantra I believe in are as follows:

  • the difference between a leader and a boss is I and We, 
  • Trust but verify before signing, 
  • Your team is your strength make a team with different experiences and one whom you can trust, 
  • Clients expect solutions and not problems so have a problem-solving attitude.
  • Networking with industry and peers is the future, 
  • spend more time on planning then on execution, 
  • dream big and put all efforts to achieve them and in all this don’t forget to spend time with your loved ones.
     
CT: What role you are playing currently as a professional?

CD: Following roles, I am into as a Professional:

  • Virtual CFO
  • Forensic Advisor
  • Financial Engineering Advisor
  • Turn around Strategist (Startup and MSME)
  • Support in Fundraising activities and investor support services
  • System and process set up specialist
  • Automatisation through AI and Robotics
     
CT:  What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?

CD: For me Success means:

  • Success at this stage is defined and measure by the value addition you bring as an advisor to your clients.
  • Success is measured if you can identify solutions to mass problems like finding work for professionals, networking platforms, etc.
     
CT: What are your goals ahead that you are looking into your vision?

CD: A. Turnaround strategist

1. Support entities with good governance to turnaround their business by reengineering their operations 

2. Support entity to set up system and processes to smoothen the investment flows process for them.
 

B. Digitalisation 

We are currently working on the development of a few applications related to:

  1. Indian Video conferencing application 
  2. Market place for Professionals where work will find you 
  3. Automating various processes so as to ensure staff efficiency is increased and the cost is reduced example automating expenses booking process through Robotics etc

A long-term goal is to develop a prototype to automate and digitalize the payment process and ensure timely payment to the MSME and other small businessmen and houses.

CT: Please throw some light on your achievements and other milestones?

CD: Achievements and milestones are as follows:

  • 2003-  Chartered Accountant
  • 2005-  Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1
  • 2006-  Chartered Financial Analyst Level 2
  • 2006-  Secondment to Canada PwC
  • 2008-2010-  Multiple countries exposure like the Philippines, Egypt, Dubai, Singapore, Kazakhstan, etc
  • 2013-  Partner with Khandelwal Jain & Co, Chartered Accountant
  • 2019-  Founder CD Financial Reengineering Advisors LLP (My own start-up) – now recognized by Ministry of Corporate Affairs
  • 2020-  Founder CD Lets Connect Experts Private Limited
  • 2020-  In process of launching the Video Conferencing application
  • 2020-  Elected as Treasurer of Bombay Chartered Accountant Society
     
CT:  What message you would like to convey to the young ones?

CD: Though I should also be counted in the young professional as I have not yet crossed 40 years of age, but frankly my advice to the next generation would be:

  • Do different things than the traditional practice or do the same thing differently, 
  • keep upgrading your knowledge regularly, 
  • optimum utilization of the time available, 
  • network plays a key role if you want to grow to a Partner level, 
  • Specialized skills are the demand of the Industry, have a clear goal and vision.
     

Another important thing I would like to tell them is to choose your boss over the company, job profile over money, and planning over execution.
 

CLIQTAX extends the heartiest wishes to MR. CHIRAG DOSHI for his journey as a MANAGING PARTNER AT CD FINANCIAL RE-ENGINEERING ADVISOR LLP. Kudos to him for such an amazing interview.
 

Edited by Team CLIQTAX

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