Erstwhile consulting major Arthur Andersen returns to India

By Maulik Vyas

  • 07 Mar 2017
Credit: Thinkstock

A decade and a half after it wound up operations in the country, audit and advisory major Arthur Andersen has come back to India through a partnership with domestic financial advisory firm International Business Advisors (IBA).

Arthur Andersen restarted Indian operations since 1 March 2017 and plans to expand to key geographies, IBA said in a statement.

“We take pride in the fact that we were selected as India partners after AA’s global board met a number of Indian firms,” Nirav Maniar, director of IBA, said in the statement.

“This selection is a testimony of our performance, growth and commitment in the Indian market and we are confident that this partnership will transform the domestic financial advisory market in the years to come,” Maniar said.

Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac, global managing partner at Arthur Andersen, said India is a high growth and priority market for the firm. “We keenly look forward to working with IBA in making significant strides in the accounting and consulting world. IBA's presence will help Arthur Andersen re-build its reputation and business presence in India,” Laffont-Réveilhac said.

“Arthur Andersen has gone through turmoil, reinvented itself and become better by learning from the past,” said Harish Bijoor, founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

Arthur Andersen was forced to wind up globally in 2000 after Enron accounting scandal surfaced. At that time, its India business was headed by Bobby Parekh who later started boutique tax, legal and transection consulting firm BMR Advisors.

The Chicago-based firm was founded in 1913. Previously, it was considered one among the big five accounting firms along with PwC which was formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and KPMG. However, in 2002, the company had to surrender its license to practice as auditors in the US after being found guilty of criminal charges relating to its handling of auditing of American energy firm Enron Corporation.  

Arthur Andersen has already re-started operations in the US, the Middle East, Brazil, France, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia and Nepal and will soon start operations in China, Canada, Australia, Israel and Russia among others.  

IBA was set up in 2003 by consulting veterans Kapil Nayyar, Nirav Maniar, Nimish Goel and Punit Sharma. Its practice areas include taxation, litigation, forensic investigation, corporate law and risk advisory, among others. Currently the firm has over 100 advisors and operations in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

The firm advises clients in areas including retail, e-commerce, IT and pharmaceutical.

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