Financial expert RK Mohapatra all set to launch his second book: By Bipin Sharma

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Working as the Joint General Manager of Finance at Ircon International Ltd (A Govt. of Indian Undertaking), CMA Rabindra Kumar Mohapatra (RKM) with 24 years of vast experience in the field of finance in India and abroad is indubitably one of the brightest financial experts of the country today. He has participated in many training and workshops in all these years of his illustrious career. Besides his financial acumen, he also happens to be an accomplished author, philanthropist and an activist in his own right, and this is what sets him apart.

Despite a hectic work schedule where has to adhere to stringent deadlines and targets, Mohapatra has effectively managed time to pursue his passion for authoring books on relevant financial matters pertaining to the problems and queries of the common man. Buoyed by the success of his first book titled “Investment… Risk & Growth-A Guide for Investors about Investment Vehicles” which was a bestseller, Mohapatra is on the threshold of launching his second book titled “Retirement Planning” which is a simple guide for individuals. The author’s objective is to spread investor’s awareness, which indirectly supports the SEBI programme through this book. Most of the investors do not know the benefits of direct plan of mutual funds launched three years ago, and this is what Mohapatra has endeavoured to do by educating the prospective investors about all vital do’s and don’ts.

Shares Mohapatra, “The key message from my second book is how one can live like a King for the rest of their lives by making meaningful decisions. I have emphatically conveyed through the book that every individual has the potential to take concrete decisions and the relevance of focusing on specific goals to achieve them in time. It is imprudent to expect immediate results from the investment as you need to give some time, and stick the return on investment. Subsequently you need to analyze it every quarterly, half yearly, or yearly. For being successful in investment, one must chose certain investment products, and then expect certain percentage of return over a period of time.”

The book launch will be a grand event in Delhi and is expected to be graced by eminent personalities from different walks of life.

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The reason why many of his friends and colleagues refer to him as a ‘philanthropist’ is because he has always been there to offer his expert advice to all those that come in seek of his opinion on financial issues sans any tantrums.

His face lights up with the reference of a ‘crusader’. The fact that he is always in the forefront to offer germane and practical suggestions and solutions to the readers as well as investors (government) through the social, the digital and the print media on financial matters sufficiently explains why he is often called a ‘crusader’.

It was his deep rooted interest coupled with his profound knowledge on diverse subjects such as financial planning, budget, Insurance, Will, Digital India Campaign, GST Bill,  provident fund, mutual funds, economic reforms, taxation, etc that inspired Mohapatra to wear the hat of an‘author’. Mohapatra feels that authors render a great service to the humanity when they are able to impart and share their vast knowledge and sustainable solutions with masses. A good author according to him is one who knows how to astutely convey the larger than life message through their books. Whether directly or indirectly, the books should be embedded with a theme that can sustain itself over generations so that they don’t become obsolete with passage of time.

As far as his academic credentials go, Mohapatra is an Economic (Hons) graduate from Utkal University- 1983 batch. Subsequently, he secured a position in Cost & Management Accountant (CMA) course in the ICAI of Kolkata-1988 batch.

He earned an MBA Finance in 2007 from Sylhet, a top ranked University. He is also a fellow member of Institute of Cost Account of India (ICAI).

In his maiden endeavour as an author of the book, “Investment… Risk & Growth-A Guide for Investors about Investment Vehicles”, Mohapatra was able to strike an instant chord with the readers, as a result of which the book became a ‘bestseller’. Published in April, 2013, by Highlife Solution, New Delhi, Mohapatra was naturally overwhelmed by the response that his book evoked. This book comprising six chapters is a Guide for Investors about Investment Vehicles and elaborately describes the topic of financial planning for an individual along with future growth for financial product in India, which also reflects an investor’s perspective on handling his or her hard-earned money carefully through proper investment planning.

The author has elaborately described the market trend, Risk-return of the investment product, Market behavior and individual behavior in different situations, impact of debt fund and investment in tax–efficient products. Logical examples in different chapters are there to elucidate how Investment through SIP ensures disciplined investment regardless of the volatility of the market movement, and further how it helps an investor average his cost through market cycles for creating a big corpus to achieve their goals sans taking too much risk in the long run.

Points Dr DK Batra, eminent academician and management consultant, “This book enlightens readers about the varied aspects of investment coupled with what to invest, and when to make the right started. The book presents a practical evaluation as well as a systematic study of Investment products. Plaudits to Mohapatra for demonstrating how easy and uncomplicated it is to get the desired return in uncertain market which is hidden truthsnow-a -days, and also discovers a world where investment  show the way to achieve the desired goal of an individual in the long-run.This book empowers the reader’sviz. a viz. the investments and investment products along with financial planning, strategy, insurance and taxation laws.First chapter describes the relevance of Gold, Gold-ETF, & E-GOLD in financial planning and its growth in the uncertain economy. The author foretell the growth of gold based on past 10 years data, which will surely impact the readers mind in what way to start the investment in gold and snatch the benefit of gold and diversify his or her portfolios.The author explains how small investment in public provident fund through systematic investment plan (SIP) one can achieve the desired goal such as higher education expenses for children, wedding of daughter or son and retirement planning. The graphical presentation of PPF and analytical calculation in tabular form must attract the readers to set goals within few seconds.The fifth chapter deals with role of insurance in finance planning. The author describes how Insurance protects your monthly expenditure and repayment of your loan liability in your absence from any unforeseen events in future. Overall this book is rated four stars and helps an investor in setting his/ her financial goal in long-run.”

BOOK - R K MOHAPATRA

Adds Meenakshi Anand, a corporate entrepreneur, “With the rising uncertainty in the market and negative growth of financial products in all over world, there is need today to know pros and cons of your hard-earned money and its growth in investment products. Mohapatra’s book “Investment… Risk & Growth” is a must read as it provides the minutest to the most significant details about financial planning and the various risks that one needs to be circumspective about. I am reminded of Toni Morrison’s wonderful one liner, ‘If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it’…Well, I feel Mohapatra must have drawn inspiration from these immortal lines …”

Mohapatra was conferred the “IRCON Managing Director award” in the year 1998 for his meritorious work. His contribution towards social and religious fields is also commendable in addition to his work related to finance and accounts.

Those who know Mohapatra from close quarters will swear that the man in his lifetime is determined to leave no stone unturned in leaving behind a never to be emulated legacy of books on financial matters. Since finance connotes ‘money’, it explains why the passionate author has chosen ‘finance’ as the central focal point of all his books since, at the end of the day, it is money which makes the world go round. He believes that his book will educate and enlighten people of all age groups. If authors like James Patterson, Harrold Robbins, Jackie Collins, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Jeffrey Archer became iconic by penning thrillers, suspense and fictions, Mohapatra’s family is confident that the day is not far when he will get the due recognition as a specialist financial affairs author for all his hard work. The old saying, ‘Books are a man’s best friend’ fits aptly for Mohapatra for he seems to have an inseparable bond with them.He takes great joy while sharing two famous quotes, ‘A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend’ & ‘Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book’.

In a candid discussion, Mohapatra talks at length on various issues. Says he, “At the outset, let me begin by saying that the reforms in our country have taken a backseat due to political slugfests. The present government possesses a good intent to turn things around, but ironically non issues have been consuming a great deal of precious time owing to which there is gratuitous delay in execution of reforms. The economy gets a boost with more job creations. It is a matter of pride that initiatives like “Make in India”, “Digital India”, providing a favourable environment for the Start-up ventures have done a world of good to creating more jobs. There should be a single window clearance for the startups, and the government authorities are expected to lend a stellar support to the entrepreneurs aspiring to make a niche for themselves. The duties have to be reduced in order to make it convenient for the entrepreneurs, and subsequently the end consumers. Black money recovery can give a big boost to the economy, but sardonically when Modi and team have launched probes in matters of disproportionate assets and siphoning of funds by tax evaders and swindlers, the ruling dispensation has been labeled an ‘intolerant regime’ and accused of playing ‘vendetta politics’.Strangely, when there is stalemate on action taken against those involved in corruption and embezzlement of funds, the opposition parties leave no stone unturned in raising a big hue and cry and disrupting both houses of the parliament. In such a scenario, how does a government really work and deliver the desired result? Having contradictory and double standards on sensitive issues pose grave threat of jeopardizing and stalling the economic prosperity of our great nation.When the Parliament goes into frequent adjournments, it is the ‘nation as a whole’ which suffers. Due to needless delaying of key bills, humongous loss is caused to the nation and its citizens who are eventually deprived of reforms.

As far as budget, reforms and policies are concerned, the two years rule of Modi government has been very positive despite the global headwinds and key macro-micro factors. There has been consistent growth of GDP from 2014 till date. The key accomplishments include improvement of government working, more transparency and efficiency, better use of government money, and fabulous CAPEX in physical infrastructures (especially Railways and roads) and a sharp increase in FDI.  The structural clean up of banking system is underway, and is going to be a time consuming process.

As for the personal finance benefit in respect to taxes are concerned, Budget 2016 sprung a surprise by providing partial exemption to National Pension System (NPS). This meant that 40% of the accumulated corpus could be withdrawn tax free on maturity, while balance 60% corpus too remained tax free by buying an annuity scheme, wherein tax has to be paid in the year of receipt of the annuity. Budget has also given an option to withdraw another 20% of the accumulated corpus by paying tax, and to buy compulsory annuity 40% balance corpus. ”

A budget is hailed as a good one if it is pro poor, pro farmer, pro senior citizens, pro-middle class and investor friendly. Besides, it has to offer a great deal of incentives to infrastructural development and the manufacturing segment. The very fact that GDP is poised at 7.00%-7.3% growth speaks volumes about the state of affairs of the economy of the country. The focus needs to be on tax realization as that certainly makes a huge difference. The 10% increase in the state’s share of revenue from 32% to 42% proves that PM Modi has lived up to his promise of strengthening the federal structure. The corporate tax has been slashed by 5% for new manufacturing companies. The wealth tax has been abolished, and instead 2% surcharge is going to be there on the super rich class. There are no retrospective tax deductions. Rather than being a populist budget, it is a more realistic and futuristic budget.

As regards the flip side, within a period of one and a half years, the government increased the service tax from 12.36% to 15% including the Krishi Kalyan Cess of 0.5 percent and the Swachh Bharat Cess of 0.5% which is a cause of concern for the middle class especially. Due to higher indirect tax burden, travelling, eating out, petrol, diesel have somewhat become costly. But even then, one must not forget that the government of the day has earmarked a whopping 70,000 crores for infrastructural development. Union Budget 2015-16 promises a humungous rise in the number of job creation. The stage has come when the centre and state governments need to work in unison. There should be no room for agitational politics.

Coming to the issue of ensuring expediency of projects, I can say sans any ambiguity that ‘Single window system seems to be an ideal solution for redeeming hapless denizens out of the never ending cacophony. Agencies at the helm often indulge in buck passing game subsequent to which the grievance of distressed citizens remains unresolved. For taking credit and the bouquets, there are all takers, but for accepting the flak and the brickbats, there are none. The absence of a single window system concerning various public related grievances and projects makes matters intriguing. It is often seen that for a simple job of having trees in a colony pruned, Resident Welfare Association (RWAs) have to seek the consent of both the horticulture department as well as the forest department. As part of reforms, government needs to make ‘one authority’ accountable and statutory for a particular colony, which gets entrusted with the job of ensuring execution of different public welfare works. The buck would then stop at this authority, thus guaranteeing an end to the practice of offering lame excuses.This arrangement will help accomplish long impending public welfare works, and eventually raise the quality of life.

On the other hand, the empowered youths can play a pivotal role in ‘Make in India’ campaign of PM Narender Modi as well as in Nation Building on the whole. The youngsters have to channelize their potential to the optimum and devote time towards the development and welfare works at both the micro and the macro level. The success of ‘Make in India’ campaign largely rests on the shoulders of the youth of the country. If the youths are empowered, they can help the country realize its mission in almost no time. Skill Development will pave the way for Youth Empowerment. Skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be segregated into domain-general and domain-specific skills.

The passing of Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) would unquestionably be a watershed moment in the reform of indirect taxation in India as it will be the biggest indirect tax reform since Independence. This will be levied on manufacture sale and consumption of goods and services. The GST bill will play a vital role in the economic integration of the country as its major function would be to transform the country into a uniform market by breaking the present fiscal barriers between states, and by facilitating a uniform tax levied on goods and services across the country. Integrating myriad Central and State taxes into a single tax would simply the process of taxing, thereby paving the way for a common national market. Currently, the indirect tax system in India is complicated with overlapping taxes levied by the Centre and the State separately. Simple taxing would further simplify administration and enforcement. India being a federal republic, GST would be concurrently implemented by the central government and the state government.”

RK Mohapatra can be reached at: rk.mohapatra.as@gmail.com

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