The LCN Tax Interview: Renu Narvekar

We are delighted to feature an interview with Renu Narvekar. Renu is the former Global Head of Transfer Pricing and Regional Head of Tax, Europe at HSBC.

Why did you get into tax?
During my internship training for the Chartered Accountancy course, I was thoroughly intrigued by the complexity of the legislation and the potentially different interpretations that a section/ rule could have. The fact that my colleagues found tax to be ‘too complicated’, ‘too chaotic”, set my mind on ‘demystifying’ what this small little 3 letter word could behold. 25+ years and it still has me intrigued …

Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
There have been quite a few that have influenced and shaped my professional career. I have admired some for their discipline, others for their knowledge and wisdom. Some have taught me the art of smiling and keeping my calm and composure under pressure, whilst the endless energy and ambition of some, never fails to amaze me.

What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the tax world over the next 10 years?

Exchange of information and tax transparency together with BEPS and Transfer Pricing is going to change the way we understand tax today. There will more likely than not, be a new, modernized, revamped tax system in the years to come.

What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?

  • At times focus seems to be more on revenue generation rather than quality of service.
  • Delayed deadlines resulting in a rushed product with an over-run of expenses.
  • Marketing of ‘new’ ideas which may not fit the client’s needs/ culture/ risk appetite.

In a movie of your life story, which actor would you like to play you?
Jennifer Aniston! There are no regrets in life, just lessons!

What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in tax?
I would probably have explored options in teaching, especially children in kindergarten or primary schools.

What is your biggest extravagance?
My only extravagance is my books. I buy whatever I can lay my hands on. I just can’t resist having them in my library.

What do you do to relax?
Read, listen to music, paint, and teach art and craft to the kids at the NGO I support.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
Goa! There is something in the air that cannot be matched elsewhere.

What piece of advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Never underestimate your potential; take risks; there is no harm in saying “NO”.

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