Akash Kalra: A Transfer Pricing Practitioner Who Has Seen It All!

 Akash Kalra

Transfer pricing, if planned thoughtfully and compellingly, can be an effective way for multinational companies to maximize profits and minimize taxes. But it is an intricate and often misunderstood area of economics that requires expert insight to navigate. For one, the transfer pricing legislations and guidelines keep changing to keep pace with the ever-changing economic and digital world, and you need to constantly reassess your strategies. There is also the issue of establishing prices for intangible items not sold externally. Having been in the space for years, Akash Kalra now leverages his broad experience to keep up with these changes.

Akash has been a transfer pricing expert for the past eight years and has seen it all in the space. He has worked with companies worldwide, helping them properly structure their global economic frameworks and ensuring that they comply with all relevant laws. Akash drafts global transfer pricing documentations advises clients on getting the most out of their operating models, resolves transfer pricing disputes, formulates benchmarking economic studies, and values intangible migrations and Platform Contribution Transaction payments, among others.

Akash has experience working on transfer pricing issues and opportunities both in the US and Asia. Akash Kalra started his career in arguably the most aggressive jurisdiction for transfer pricing controversies: India.

Transfer pricing in India is highly regulated. While it is starting to loosen up, there are still many roadblocks. At the time, it was even more complex. PwC estimated that 70% of outstanding transfer pricing disputes in the world originated in India.

Despite being so new in the profession, Akash was entrusted with the responsibility of personally defending his client's Transfer Pricing cases in front of the Transfer Pricing Officers in India. He would sit all day in India's Income Tax offices, negotiating and settling disputes on behalf of his clients. Akash later joined EY.

At EY, Akash worked on assessing the impact of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action plan 13 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for EY's worldwide clients.

The experience of serving clients throughout the world and being at the forefront of arguably the most defining change in the transfer pricing world inspired him to upskill.

Akash joined Brandeis University, one of the few schools that offer transfer pricing as a specialized field of study in its business programs, on a full Dean's scholarship owing to his extraordinary background in transfer pricing. Akash completed his MBA and learned more about theoretical transfer pricing. He is one of the few to receive formal theoretical education in transfer pricing.

Upon graduating with distinction and signing-off as the class valedictorian, Akash was rehired by EY in its US practice. Akash has since then led teams of consultants and senior consultants worldwide and served clients in almost all industry verticals. He has advised clients on some intricate aspects of transfer pricing such as global value-chain restructuring, mergers & acquisition deals, transfer pricing automation, among others.

Akash now works as the transfer pricing manager at BDO.

He says his goal is to be creative with global supply chains of his multinational clients and propose unconventional ideas around transfer pricing.

While most TP consultants get to experience few aspects of TP within their current geographic region, Akash's qualifications and experience, his passion, and his remarkable ability within the field has led him to experience it all in Transfer Pricing. His expertise gives him the upper hand in this complex industry.