Puneet Bansal has over 20 years of experience in advising multinational and Indian companies in setting up operations in India, structuring business models and supply chains, optimising tax exposures, contract review and undertaking compliance with Indirect tax laws.
Bansal is well versed in litigation and has successfully represented clients’ interest before various judicial fora across India. He specialises in laws relating to goods and services tax, excise duty, service tax, customs duty including foreign trade policy and free trade agreements, value-added tax, special economic zones and State Governments’ incentive schemes.
ALB: Tell us about your role. What does the average day look like for you?
Bansal: As the managing partner, I cater to two stakeholders – clients and team. I serve our clients and the team to the best of my ability. Every day is filled with client/internal discussions, review of complex deliverables, conducting external sessions and office Administration.
ALB: How would you describe your strategy for the firm?
Bansal: Our strategy revolves around knowledge as knowledge continues to be scarce. If we make adequate investments in knowledge, everything will fall in place. We spend considerable time in upscaling our knowledge to serve clients better. This includes deep research on client’s problems and underlying law, brainstorming on recent developments, sending relevant updates to clients with our take on issues, regularly conducting webinars for clients on important issues etc.
ALB: What are some of the big challenges the firm has been facing in the past few months, and how are you looking to tackle them?
Bansal: Due to financial challenges at clients’ end, there was pressure on our charge-out rates. In addition, the quantum of work reduced due to reduction in discretionary spending at client’s end. We tackled these challenges by keeping our fee moderate and spending available time on knowledge initiatives.
ALB: How important is law firm culture, according to you? What kind of internal culture are you looking to foster?
Bansal: Culture is the foundation on which a good law firm can be built and sustained. Good culture gets directly reflects in quality of work that a firm does. We have built and continue to strive building a culture of doing everything with integrity, being transparent to our team in everything we do and provide numerous opportunities to each team member to grow.
ALB: How would you describe your approach to technology? How has the use of tech at your firm evolved since you started at the helm, and what is your blueprint for the next year or two?
Bansal: Technology is a big enabler in running a law firm. At Nitya Tax we continue to invest in technology for our regular work as well as firm processes. Since the beginning, we have automated all basic firm processes like invoicing, collection, accounting etc. In the future, we will also automate our core work processes to the extent possible.
ALB: Where would you like to see the firm five years from now?
Bansal: I see the firm continuing to be a boutique firm serving India’s leading corporates on their complex tax and commercial issues.
ALB: What motto do you live by?
Bansal: I live by two mottos. 1) Put your best efforts in everything you do (small or big work) then everything will fall in place (sooner or later), and 2) Integrity and ethics are paramount for success.
ALB Conversations is a weekly series of in-depth Q&As with leaders of law firms and in-house legal departments across Asia. If you are a managing partner or general counsel based in the region who is interested in being a part of this series, please send an email to email@example.com.