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Founder of Taxbuddy Sujit Bangar speaks on building in the Fintech Industry and tax-related compliances of India

Prior to founding TaxBuddy.com, Bangar worked at the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), having joined the department at an early age of 22. He has to his credit the distinction of being the youngest IRS officer of the 2004 batch.

Sujit Bangar is a self-starter who has made immense strides in his career at a very young age. Bangar founded TaxBuddy.com with the mission of leveraging technology to ensure that accurate tax advice is provided to all at a reasonable cost.

Prior to founding TaxBuddy.com, Bangar worked at the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), having joined the department at an early age of 22. He has to his credit the distinction of being the youngest IRS officer of the 2004 batch.

While at India’s I-T Department, Bangar worked at various seniority levels before resigning as the Joint Commissioner in January 2017 at age 35 with the dream of revolutionizing the Financial Services sector in India.


1. How did you feel returning to an academic setting that is Harvard, for your post-graduation after working for 13 years? What led to the decision of resigning to choose a career path with higher risk and lesser stability? 

My 13 years from 2004 to 2017 were spent in tax administration for government of India. So I wanted to understand contemporary business management ethos and also to explore opportunity of global networking. For these two reasons, my experience at Harvard was unique.  I had opportunity to see how income tax department got digitalised since 2006. This coupled with expansion of internet after Jio, possibility of online tax advisory was apparent realty. This prompted me to resign IRS to start up TaxBuddy.com. 

 

2. You joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) at an early age of 22 and were the youngest IRS Officer from the batch of 2004. How would you describe your experience there? How did the sense of responsibility and accountability being handed down at such a young age benefit you in the long run? 

I joined IRS just after my graduation. It gave me opportunity to make best use of initial formative years to gain domain knowledge of tax laws. Obviously, platform of IRS gives you tremendous exposure and expands horizons of your thinking capabilities. Job of augmenting resources for nation building is most satisfying.   

 

3. As everyone knows, you love to spend time with budding entrepreneurs and start-ups to share ideas and insights. How contrasting are their visions and approach when compared to the ones you had? 

After resigning from IRS, I started interacting with many budding entrepreneurs and startups founders. The energy and commitment today’s entrepreneurs are having is mazing. Most important thing which I learn from them is about being agile. In tech startups, this is necessity. This made me to believe in principle ‘actions should be in form of responses to the challenges’. 


4. You have been a part of both the worlds, academic as well as industrial. What would you say was the budding point for your startups and how long did it take to initiate the idea? 

In India 90% of small and medium tax payers are suffering from lack of quality tax advice. Existing Tax Advisory ecosystem is overwhelmed by ever increasing compliance burden. For them 80% of bandwidth goes on 20% bigger clients. With TaxBuddy.com we have created a platform which continuously automates tax advisory aspects for small and medium tax payers. This way TaxBuddy.com will complement existing ecosystem to impart accurate tax advise to first and last tax payer. This would be possible due to leveraging technology. My learning from Harvard Business School were immensely helpful from ideation of TaxBuddy to execution of strategies.  

 

5. We know that Taxbuddy is a new age fintech start-up based in Mumbai and Finbingo is an AI-based Robo advisor & financial advisory platform. Could you briefly take us through the services provided and their achievements over the years? 

TaxBuddy offers annual subscription-based plans for income tax and GST advisory & compliance. Tax Experts associated with TaxBuddy would offer these services through tech platform built by TaxBuddy.com. In FinBingo we have democratised access to 360 degree financial planning for long term wealth creation. FinBingo.com is much more than online direct mutual fund investment platform. FinBingo.com has developed AI based wealth management product ‘Wealth Builder’, portfolio analysis product ‘Portfolio Doctor’ and Intelligent Tax Planner ‘TPA’.   

TaxBuddy.com was launched in beta in July 2019 and its fully commercial launch was done on 1st July 2020. We have more than 100k satisfied users and 1000’s of reviews with 4.9* ratings. Finbingo.com is in its beta release now.  

 

6. How are Taxbuddy and Finbingo complementary to each other? In what ways do they provide combined services to the consumers? 

 For any financial services product, user seeks platform where trust can be reposed. Tax advisory is perceived as most complex. Highest level of trust can be created by offering accurate tax advisory thru TaxBuddy and this trust can be leveraged for offering 360 degree financial planning services of FinBingo.com. TaxBuddy.com along with FinBingo.com covers more than 75% of major interactions with money which individuals can have.  

 

7. According to sources, there are about 60 million individual taxpayers in India. Most of them are unaware of tax-related compliances. How well equipped is the company in terms of its resources to meet the demand at such a large scale? 

 Yes. There are more than 6 crore individual tax payers. TaxBuddy is determined to offer accurate tax advisory & compliance to them by creating AI & ML enabled platform. Any tax consultant (CA etc) can associate with TaxBuddy to search these small and medium businesses tax payers. The delivery of services would happen through TaxBuddy’s tech platform. We have been able to maintain 4.9 star ratings on google reviews since launch of TaxBuddy.com. We aspire to keep scaling while maintaining quality of services delivered.   

 

8. Did 2020, the year of a pandemic, pose any obstacles especially relating to investments, funding or expansion? 

Covid-19 was once in Millennium pandemic. We had to shift to work from home and still continuing same.  

Pandemic made it easy to adapt to anything online for people. This helped spreading TaxBuddy after its commercial launch in July 2020. Our users spread across India from Assam to Kerala.  

  

9. How do you plan on moving forward in 2021? Are there certain goals you are directed towards or plans in line to be initiated? 

We would be bringing maximum Tax Consultants on TaxBuddy.com platform.Scaling while innovating tech platform are twin goals for 2021.  


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