Award-winning tax guru
I n corporate jargon, a ‘lifer’ is a person who works for the same company throughout their career. Certainly, a difficult feat for the current generation. Yet, there are some like CA (Dr.) Ketan M. Bhatt, who hold this rare distinction with honor. A Chartered Accountant by profession, he has worked with the prestigious Zydus Lifesciences (erstwhile Cadila Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., for a total of 8 years as his first and last job), out of his total standing in the career for 41 years and is a veteran in the field of accounting and taxation.
However, it was not CA but MBA that he wanted to pursue during his youth! Based in Ahmedabad, Bhatt’s parents weren’t highly educated, but were knowledgeable enough to understand the importance of education and inculcated good values and a thirst for knowledge among all their 3 sons. It was his elder brother, himself a successful CA with Bajaj group company on a GM level position, who finally guided him towards accountancy.
His education qualifications include B.Com, LL.B., D.T.P., F.C.A., FMSPI (New Delhi). In addition, he was awarded Hon. Doctorate in Financial Management from National Virtual University for Peace and Education, Bengaluru.
Inclined towards Income Tax and Finance, Bhatt travelled overseas over 120 times to observe and learn the best practices in taxation and tax savings. He also connected with the NRI communities and guided them for investment in India, benefits available to them under Indian Tax Laws, business collaboration for Indian Industries, and raising International Finance.
While he was happy to meet many ‘big shots’, he remains most grateful to Mr. Pankaj Patel, Chairman of the Zydus Group. “I credit my confidence and grooming entirely to him,” he says.
A man of sharp acumen having rich-global experience, it didn’t take long for CA (Dr.) Bhatt to emerge as an Authority on matters related to accounting and taxation. So much so that he penned no less than 13 books on the subject, in addition to innumerous articles and papers in national and international journals, magazines and newspapers. Renowned for his knowledge and expertise, he’s routinely sought as a Speaker across the country.
There is another facet to him that most people remain unaware about.
And that is his charitable work. He’s associated with many Charitable Trusts in the capacity of Trustee; is the Taxation Advisor of many leading Groups; and is present on the Board of many Companies as Director. Above all, he owns his own charitable trust called – SHANT MADHUR Public Charitable Trust, through which he helps the underprivileged by way of giving books, providing fees, clothes, and food.
Bhatt discovered his philanthropic side, thanks to his association with Lions Clubs International. As the President of Dist. 323-B in 1996-97, he won the rare honor of being awarded the Best President and Best Club together in the same year! “Being a part of Lions provided me with great leadership skills. I got recognition in the form of international awards like TOP 10 INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING AND CO-OPERATION AWARD given to 10 Lions globally along with appreciation certificate from Lions International Presidents,” says Bhatt.
It also provided him a stepping stone to play the starring role at other professional institutions, namely:
- Past President of Income Tax Bar Association, Ahmedabad
- Past Chairman of the Indian Institute of Material Management – Ahmedabad Chapter
- Past Chairman of Institute of Management Consultant of India – Gujarat Chapter
- Past Treasurer and executive committee member of Ahmedabad Management Association for 8 years
- Past Member of Quality Committee of FICCI, NewDelhi
- Executive Committee Member of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ahmedabad
“I was one of the youngest of Presidents of the Income-Tax Bar Association and various luminaries graced my tenure with their presence, including former Chief Justices of India (CJI) S.P. Bharucha, J.S. Verma, K. G. Balakrishnan, A. M. Ahmadi, and Senior Advocates like Dinesh Vyas, Fali Nariman, and Anil Devan. When former CJI M.M. Punchhi, couldn’t attend our conference, he made it a point to attend one of my events in Ahmedabad later.”
Bhatt’s commitment to excellence has seen him receive a plethora of awards:
- Name included in ‘Directory of Distinguished Leadership’ by American Biographical Institute, 1998.
- Awarded ‘Super Brain’ by Columbia Holistic University, California, USA and given Board of Advisor Membership.
- Given ‘Rashtriya Ekta Award’ by Global Economic Council, New Delhi for providing excellent leadership in the field of service organization and management.
- Received honour from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, WIRC, Ahmedabad Branch – ‘Gems of Profession’ in the year 2021.
At the pinnacle of his distinguished career, Bhatt is grateful for the opportunities and proud of the support of loved ones – His wife, herself a Banker for 36 years; his son, who’s a Digital Forensics Expert; and his daughter in law, an MBA(HR).
Expressing buoyancy for the ‘galloping Indian economy’, he shares a message for all our readers: “Nothing is impossible. If you take the 1st step, you have already begun your journey and sky is the limit. Be confident and do your job with diligence and transparency. I believe that success is 1% luck, and 99% hard work.”