A walk of words with a dynamic ‘black coat’ entrepreneur, Siddharth Srivastava
He enjoys the challenges and variety of fact patterns, figuring out what really happened and structures them into niche tax planning solutions. It is said that the best lawyers are able to analyse and represent complex issues in simple terms. Law outfit of India demands one to be succinct; being able to express the concepts in a simple enlightening way and Siddharth Srivastava fits perfectly in the role. If you are unschooled about the law industry and want to gain insights, you cannot miss meeting this man whose words and courtesy ooze hard-work, passion and vigilance.
A hands-on lawyer armed with the standards of excellence, Siddharth initiated his professional endeavour with Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan in the year 2004. As a member of the first L&S Service tax & VAT team, he handled core advisory and litigation work representing before High Court and Tribunals with multiple reported orders along with path-breaking Indirect Tax advisory services and also led in-house GST team. In a short span of time, his speeches shaped him as a deemed Public Speaker at various forums. Associating with Ernst & Young in 2010, he played a key instrumental role in the complete client handling framework on all Indirect tax matters, representing before various authorities, rendering his expertise in auditing support and Tax advisory services and conducting complete tax health diagnostics and process review assignments. Later in 2013, he stepped into the entrepreneurial world with SKS Associates, an Indirect Tax Litigation & Consulting firm nestling core specialization in Service tax, VAT, Excise, Customs and Cenvat Credit laws space. SKS Associates homes a dedicated team of lawyers and qualified chartered accountants having specialisation in fields of Indirect Tax laws and allied services. The Firm presently offers an entire spectrum of Consulting, Litigation, Refunds, Compliance, Diligence, Internal Audit support, Representation services and other customized services like Tax Health Check and Tax Process Studies, Employee Training, etc.
Siddharth is not among those who wait for laurels to do what they have to do. They just do it, and they do it with their heart and soul. Siddharth is a person who has lived all his life on values and words that we sighted know during an hour-long conversation. We gained insights over a host of issues in line with Siddharth’s entrepreneurial venture, SKS Associates and his journey as a dynamic lawyer.
Excerpts from a crackling of a chat:
What unique approach do you bring to firm and in particular, the law industry?
SKS brings the “same team” concept where every associate is holding dual professional degree so that the identified team is capable to handle entire realm of services ranging right from advisory, compliance, and audit support till litigation for a client thus removing the need to switch firms/teams. This ensures confidentiality, time effectiveness and quality hygiene and provides much needed comfort to a client that they will not be required to brief a new team at advanced stages of tax issues.
What is the need that you’ve felt most to be filled?
Tax profession by its very nature is a much-diversified profession with scant resources for a comparative and updated information system across Government, judicial and trade platforms. Paper documents are perishable and require high maintenance. Owing to the huge and dated volumes of data the Government and Courts need to digitise documents and provide simple access to the public.
Safely taking the conversation on the floor, give us a brief on the list of services provided by the firm.
SKS is a boutique indirect tax law firm which specialises and provides advisory, compliance, audit support and litigation services on all indirect tax laws, both pre and post GST, including niche services like indirect tax audits, transfer pricing studies and SVB matters, digitisation of legal records amongst a host of customised services.
Kindly tell us about people who contributed to your Success story?
The vision and dream were given by my Dad who always looked up to the legal profession as the most challenging and awarding career and all the young professionals who reposed their confidence in me and my vision.
A day in the life of a lawyer…
A lawyer’s day is typically comprised of three parts: courtroom representation in mornings, client servicing in evenings and case preparations late night.
You take on Indian legal education.
Legal studies in India is comparatively an easier professional degree to attain and undoubtedly the toughest to practice. Consequentially the education needs to adopt a more practical approach as compared to academic style and drafting skills of students need to be worked upon as judiciary is record based and not an argument based.
What’s next for SKS Associates?
The legal profession is a noble profession solicitation is not allowed. Hence to serve the profession we intend to develop a legal search engine linking it with Government Departments, Courts, and newsletters and extend it to include relevant foreign source feeds also.
What about the team?
SKS team comprises of professionals like CA, CS, Lawyers, CMA and has a pan India network of retained professionals backed by a very robust record keeping and knowledge sharing systems.
A piece of advice for the young entrepreneurs.
Every young entrepreneur should have a passion which does not makes you feel tired after a long day or bad business periods and modesty which helps you internalise that early success is not the real indicator of a plan well executed. Staying the course and not having an alternative escape plan is a must to succeed in the original venture.