DAA Consulting Pvt Ltd: Your Best Financial, Tax, and Litigation Counsellor

DAA Consulting
Daa Consulting

DAA Consulting Pvt Ltd is a renowned consulting firm specializing in financial, tax, and litigation services. It offers a wide array of consulting services such as GST, Customs, Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), Free Trade Agreements (FTA) etc. DAA Consulting has now expanded into other areas such as Business Valuation, Supply Chain Optimization in Energy Sector, Direct Taxation, International Taxation, Transfer Pricing, Business Consulting for Inbound and Outbound Investments, Fundraising, and Corporate Governance.

If we look at one of the vital achievements of DAA we could see and are amazed at the fact that this organisation represented many giant multinational, and national corporates and conglomerates before various judicial and  quasi-judicial authorities and was responsible for:

  • Implementation of GST in July 2017 for their marquee clients and helped in the smooth transition to enabling invoicing from day 1 which generally is very rare.
  • Representation of large multinationals and Indian Companies before Tax Tribunals in more than 250 cases with a very high success rate.
  • Conducting more than 100 Tax Optimisation Studies (TOS) for large Companies and adding significant value to their bottom lines by way of plugging all the leakages in the credit mechanism and by reducing the output tax legally.

Today, DAA Consulting’s high-profile clients include many large listed corporates.

Such a valuable portfolio and achievements have been possible because of the adept, exemplary, and visionary leadership of Mr. D. Arvind, Mr. Satish S., Mr. Akshay and Mr. Adithya – the Directors of DAA Consulting who are also responsible for establishing a Centre of Excellence (CoE) and exceptional in-house litigation capabilities.

The Evolutionary Saga

The firm DAA LLP was started as a Chartered Accountancy firm in the year 2010 by Mr. D. Arvind, a former partner in three of the Big Four consulting firms, predominantly to handle indirect tax consulting for large clients.

Later on, in the year 2018 when Mr. Satish, also a former partner of one of the Big Four consulting firms, joined the platform, the idea of separating consulting business from the traditional CA practice was thought through, thereby leading to the incorporation of DAA Consulting Pvt Ltd, headquartered in Mumbai.

DAA Consulting has been handling various consulting assignments such as India entry strategy, handholding for any company outside India desiring to set up shop in India, business valuation, legal, financial, and commercial due diligence, tax, and cost optimization studies, etc.

Arvind says Most of our clients are large MNCs and large Indian industrial groups in financial services, cement, pharma, industrial automation, oil and gas, real estate, logistics, and textiles.

The Unique Solutions Palette

DAA’s biggest USP is providing premium services, at par with Big Four firms, but on more economical terms.

Currently, present in eight cities in India with its headquarter in Mumbai, DAA Consulting is poised to grow rapidly.  To enable ambitious growth plans, the company considers itself fortunate to be led by Mr. J.C. Laddha who joined DAA as Managing Director on the 17th of August this year.

Mr. J.C. Laddha was, till recently, the Managing Director of Century Textiles and Industries Ltd, an Aditya Birla group company. Before that, he was the CEO of Hindalco’s copper business.

He had several roles as CEO in Aditya Birla Group prior to this and brings with him the rich experience to lead DAA in various business consulting areas such as business turn around, mentoring start-ups, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). etc. We would be in a position to render high-quality management consultancy services to the businesses under his leadership”, reflects Arvind.

Mr Laddha says,I wanted to give back to the industry and society at large, particularly the mid-size and MSME sector who do not have the right resources to deal with the business nuances to successfully manage their businesses

The Centre of Excellence

To date from 2019, 1000+ queries have been answered through CoE. DAA has more than 20 professionally qualified people such as CA, CMA, and LLB. Of these, 8 people at a time, by rotation, form part of the CoE. CoE deliberates, does thorough research, and takes a prima facie view on any matter relating to indirect and direct tax and allied matters. They conduct weekly research cum training meet to constantly update themselves and other team members on important tax development that are taking place. Any query from the client is replied to by the CoE team within 48 hours.

The CoE has delivered significant value to the clients over the past four years due to the collective application of the best brains at DAA Consulting in solving any query from the clients.

DAA Consulting has got unbeaten track record before the Tribunal. The directors have argued 250+ cases before Tribunal (CESTAT), 500+ before Appellate Authorities and 1000+ cases before Adjudication Authorities. The Company plays a vital role in defending their opinions/advice should there be litigation based on such opinion. Equipped with a battery of professionals, the Company has got excellent litigation capabilities to argue before CESTAT, ITAT, and NCLT.

DAA’s Trailblazing Journey:

Arvind started the CA firm in 2010. Before that, he was a partner with one of the Big Four consulting firms. From there, he joined a pharmaceutical company as Director – Finance. As something else was going on in his mind, he decided not to work for others but to start something of his own.

As an adventurer, he started his very first venture as a small chamber practice at the age of 48. This was only the beginning and the rest is history.

Having started as a chamber practice by a single-man army, the DAA group today employs over 100 people, which includes partners and a significant number of professionals. Arvind today is a job-provider and not a job-seeker. He also is a founding partner in Rosefield-DAA International, a very strong supply chain consulting firm.

Arvind is a highly qualified professional and has numerous degrees in his fold as under:

  • Master of Commerce (M.Com)
  • Fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
  • An associate member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • A fellow member of Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)
  • An associate member of Indian Council of Arbitration (FICA)
  • A Registered Valuer with IBBI (RV)
  • A Chartered Wealth Manager (American Academy of Financial Management)
  • Diploma holder in Corporate Governance (DCG), ICSI

Mr. Satish S., who was earlier working with a well-established infrastructure player as global head of tax and later with one of the Big Four consulting firms as Senior Partner – Indirect Tax, joined DAA and co-founded the consulting company, DAA Consulting Pvt Ltd. Satish is one of the outstanding professionals with an eminent background in direct and indirect tax having worked in large and reputed organizations.

He has been able to add significant value to the company’s significant rise by successfully adding notable MNC clients in FMCG and infrastructure sector to the DAA fold. Satish is a prolific speaker at various forums and has spoken on diverse subjects, significantly enhancing the image of the Company.

Speaking on how DAA’s wide range of specialized service offerings are making an impact on the accounting and tax consulting space and its clients, Satish states,Our USP is Tax Optimization Study (TOS) and handling high profile indirect tax litigations up to Tribunal. We have added significant value to our clients in this space and several testimonials from large clients speak exactly on this. We are also developing a unique Litigation Management Tool (LMT) in collaboration with a listed software company to address the management of indirect and direct tax litigations.”

The product is at an advanced stage and should be launched any time soon. It is at par with similar tools offered by Big Four consulting firms but is offered at a very competitive price.

Mr. Akshay is an eminent Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary with over 10 years of experience in management consulting and indirect taxation. Akshay services various Fortune 500 companies and Indian multinational clients where he has added value through his out-of-the-box thinking and innovative structuring of business transactions. He specializes in providing ‘Life Cycle Support’ to international companies seeking to enter the Indian market. He also was responsible for the geographical expansion of the firm and leads the technology initiatives at DAA Consulting. In collaboration with a listed company, he has developed an intelligent technology solution to manage direct and indirect tax litigations which has been well received by very large and renowned listed corporations. He has been a speaker at various Indian & international industry and trade conferences.

Mr. Adithya Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant specialising in indirect taxes at DAA Consulting. He has been associated with DAA since its inception. He has supported many Indian and global MNC’s on their tax structuring, process improvement and international trade compliance. He has extensive experience in handling implementation of Foreign Trade Policy including set-up of SEZs, EOUs, EHTPs and STPIs. He has also worked with clients across industries in building end-to-end supply chains that are both cost efficient and legally compliant.

The Evolving Human-Tech-Intelligent SOPs

Being an experienced leader, sharing his opinion on what impact the adoption of modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, and machine learning had on the consultancy niche and what more could be expected in the future, Akshay saystechnology has always evolved over a period of time with multiple ERPs providing support to corporates for developing a strong and uniform database. This improved the ease of use, quality and speed of decision making which is the core of any business.

In addition to the evolution of ERP systems, a lot of related support technologies evolved from a workflow and process point of view which helped large corporates to develop Standard Operating Procedures (‘SOPs’). This resulted in better checks and balances and also improved the governance in large corporates.

The next level of automation was in the context of using AI, machine learning, simulation techniques, managing big data, etc. which enabled further decision-making of companies.

The problem today is the overdose of information and managements are grappling with such situations. Technology solutions are enablers to facilitate timely and well-informed decision-making.

Satish ruminates, However, in our considered view, the aspect of human intelligence cannot be substituted by any AI tool. Technology certainly is an aid to intelligent decision-making. This is an era where management consulting firms like DAA Consulting step in to solve complex business issues in a timebound manner.”

The present and future are all about business disruption and uncertainties where it is only human intelligence that can plan business strategies, risk mitigation plans, expansion, diversification, etc.

Adithya believes, “In any case, human capital is always in short supply and that is exactly where consulting firms like ours can provide a 360o solution to businesses almost instantly at times.

Overcoming Challenges by Empowering Future Leaders

Considering the current scenario, according to Arvind, “The biggest challenge we face today is identifying and retaining relevant talent. We have a peculiar situation where, unlike mid-size firms that cater to the needs of mid-size corporates, we work with very large corporates. Therefore, all our employees are exposed to high-quality work with large clients and once they are trained, they leave the organization for better prospects.

To overcome this challenge, DAA has taken many initiatives, including identifying high potential individuals in the group and grooming them for taking up larger responsibilities by empowering them sufficiently. By doing this, along with some other initiatives, we are able to address this challenge to some extent, emphasises Satish.

DAA is embarking on new journey, and we would like to identify new core areas and aspire to be a ‘total solution provider’ to the corporate world and hence empowerment to the team is a pre-requisite”, says JC Laddha

Inculcating Down-to-Earth Wisdom

In his advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the consultancy space, Arvind says – “such individuals need to inculcate a practical and down-to-earth approach and should be able to

  • Develop a low-cost model of doing business,
  • Harbour a great degree of patience and composure,
  • Foster courage to face failures and yet be highly self-motivated”

Consultancy business is competitive and therefore it is always advisable to identify a few niche areas and develop a unique proposition in that area. “You must always be sincere and honest to the clients. Never aim for short-term gains but work for long-term sustainable and mutually rewarding relationships with the clients, advises Satish.

The Aspirations of Tomorrow

To envision scaling of DAA Consulting’s operations and offerings in the future considering dynamic market conditions and potential new business opportunities, DAA’s approach followed till now needed to change and now we are well-equipped to branch out into multiple service lines such as corporate taxation, corporate secretarial practices, ESG, M&A and structuring, business transformation, tax technology products, fundraising, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy Code (‘IBC’) and many more”, says Arvind.

“In this era of collaborations, with our core strengths and practice already in place, we now have competent professionals manning respective domains or consulting service lines. We also have an esteemed advisory panel comprising sectoral experts providing prescient guidance on industry-specific issues”, says Akshay.

Collaborative Era of Core Competency Expansion

Adithya adds, “Our core objective is to ensure multiple challenges faced by our esteemed clientele are addressed by us under one roof. Many of such challenges are also recurring in nature and linked to existing ERP systems of clients. They see the deployment of technology products as a useful tool to address such recurring issues for clients, especially in tax litigation management, imminent ESG compliances and adoption of best ESG practices.

Adithya furthers, “With such technology platforms/products, our solutions can be easily implemented, managed, and also monitored by clients using their existing ERP systems. This, we firmly believe, goes a long way in the fruition of corporate management objectives leading to client satisfaction at multiple levels”. So it is not just about providing solutions to clients but also helping them all the way in implementing and monitoring the same.

What does our clientele say?

“Our core services have been well appreciated by our clientele, so much so, that our clients themselves have reposed faith in us, to offer them newer service lines, expresses Arvind.

Further, to enhance the confidence-building measures by DAA include handholding clients even post advisory or transaction to assist them in the realization of desired corporate objectives. “Our motto, as well as USP, is providing high-quality service on par with Big Four consulting firms but at much more competitive rates,” reassures Arvind.