Ashok Dhingra Associates: Improving Value for Clients by Providing Innovative Solutions

Ashok Dhingra Associates (ADA) is a professional services firm offering a wide range of services under Customs & Trade Laws and Goods and Service Tax (GST). ADA also provides advisory, training and investigation services under Anti-Corruption Laws and White-Collar Crimes to corporates in addition to assistance under Foreign Exchange Management Act, Information Technology Act and Insurance Laws.

ADA’s objective is to enhance value for their clients by focusing on solutions that are innovative, yet practical. ADA aims to deliver services through highly qualified and trained professionals who blend their expertise with the needs of every client and maintains an uncompromising focus on providing highest quality solutions.

In addition, ADA also provides assistance to the clients during and after raid or investigations by Customs and Regulatory authorities like Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate,  Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence, etc. to take a view on key issues and options to deal with high risk positions, briefing and debriefing of employees, and discussions with authorities to close the case.

ADA also does representational work for clients, before the statutory authorities, to seek clarification on key issues, seek exemption from or reduction in the Tax rate, and intervention to remedy the situation.

Key Professionals of ADA

ADA has been founded by Ashok Dhingra, who is ranked amongst the best Customs & Trade and GST Attorneys in India. Ashok is also considered as an authority on Supply Chain, Prevention of Money Laundering, Anti-Corruption Laws, and White Collar Crimes. He regularly appears before departmental adjudication and appellate authorities like the Appellate Tribunals, High Court, and Supreme Court, in Tax, Customs and Trade matters.

Ashok has an overall experience of 41 years covering a stint in the Indian Customs for more than 22 years and over 19 years with top Consulting and Law firms. He is one of the few professionals in the Country who carry with them the experience of having worked on both sides of the table, and in both Accounting and Law firms. Hence, ADA has a unique advantage of providing business solutions to clients keeping in mind the possible response of authorities on contentious issues. Ashok has undergone training on GSTin Canada, which has been recently introduced in India.

Sonia Gupta is the Co-founder of ADA and has a dual qualification of being a Chartered Accountant and an Attorney. Before setting up ADA with Ashok, Sonia has worked with J. Sagar Associates (JSA) for more than 5 years and also with an Accounting firm and Bank for almost 7 years. She has vast knowledge related to the workings of a financial institutions and Banks. Sonia focuses primarily on Customs and Trade Laws viz. the Foreign Trade Policy & Export-Import Control and Sanctions, providing both advisory and litigation support services to clients. She regularly appears before departmental adjudication and appellate authorities and Appellate Tribunals.

Smita Singh is also a Co-founder of ADA and an attorney. She has worked with Khaitan & Co. and JSA for more than 8 years’ prior to setting up ADA with Ashok. Smita mainly focuses on GST. Smita has advised Indian & Multinational Companies on migration to GST and re-worked their supply chains to operate in Tax efficient and compliant manner. She also provides litigation support to clients and regularly appears before departmental adjudication and appellate authorities. Smita assists clients during and after raid or investigations by Tax authorities like the Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence to take view on key issues and options to deal with high risk positions, briefing and debriefing of employees and discussions with authorities to close the case.

While setting up ADA, all the three founding partners had option to join large firms and lead an easy life. However, they opted to do things the hard way and set up ADA. Initially, they faced a lot of challenges, but overcame them with their sheer determination, and resolve to run an ethical firm. “We did the things hard way and today we can look back with satisfaction of seeing ourselves racing on the carved-out path,” says Ashok.

Distinctive Services Offered by ADA

ADA provides full spectrum of advisory, compliance, and litigation support services under Customs and Trade Laws, GST, erstwhile Indirect Taxes, Regulatory and Anti-Corruption Laws. Additionally, ADA provides value for money and business solutions as against the legal advice given by many competing firms. Most of the time, they are known to suggest out-of-the-box alternatives on account of their diverse background duly backed up with deep knowledge of the subject. “We don’t treat ourselves experts, but rather as students of the subject, and hence go back to the basics for each assignment,” says Ashok. While considering various solutions for client, they perform risk analysis for each solution and also consider how authorities are going to perceive it. On account of deeper skills and varied experience, many times they suggest unique solutions, which differentiate ADA from other big and small firms.

Aiding Client’s with Unique Solutions

ADA works closely and in a collaborative way with clients to understand the challenges being faced, the key business objectives, and the flexibility to consider various options. After understanding the key parameters, they amalgamate the same with their experience and industry knowledge and suggest solutions which work within the client’ environment. “Our objective is always to find business and practical solutions which are easy to execute and enhances the value of clients’ operations,” asserts Ashok.

Future Outlook

Client confidence, recognition for quality work, and the Country’s emergence on the path of global power house is what ADA is most excited about. Recent initiatives by the Indian Government like opening up defense sector, Make in India, ease of doing business, war on corruption, etc. has opened new vistas of opportunities. And ADA plans to leverage these to bring transformational changes in the Industry.