Jithendran Gajendran is a solver of complexity. He is a partner at Gajma & Co. Tax Consultants which enjoys a solid reputation. Gajendran had a baptism of fire when he started an agriculture business with a few friends.
“One of the key elements we need is to connect everyone, and figure out what we can do, If we want to be a hub, we need to learn to network and operate with each other.”
“We built it to a Rs150 million revenue-a-month company and then bankrupted it two years later,” he says. That was a jarring experience, but it changed Gajendran’s life. It gave him the drive and passion to deep-dive into how businesses work and to solve complex problems, which was why he chose to specialise in tax law.
Companies here have to grapple with Sri Lanka’s complicated tax code and archaic tax administration despite several attempts at reforms. It was in tax consulting where Gajendran wanted to make a difference. “Our firm has built a reputation for itself doing exactly that,” he says.
World over, many in his profession are concerned about the technological upheaval that’s shaping the global economy, fearing artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic automation would replace specific accounting jobs.
Global firms specialising in audit and consultancy have deep pockets to invest in AI, machine learning and big data capabilities. They are using the new tech to drive backend productivity and cost efficiencies and give their clients endto-end business solutions by addressing complexity. But Gajendran sees opportunities from digital technology and data analytics for consulting firms such as his family business. Gajendran’ s vision for the future, from a consultancy standpoint, is that Sri Lanka has the potential to be a hub. To do so, it needs to automate certain aspects.
Big data and AI present an obvious way to automate. He says the need to improve the island’s ability to take on larger-scale projects remains. But with a proven track record of knowledge, he’s confident that if the country cultivates a hub mentality, Sri Lanka can succeed. “One of the key elements we need is to connect everyone, and figure out what we can do,” says Gajendran. “If we want to be a hub, we need to learn to network and operate with each other.”