Sanjay Thampy, the ace blogger from Mumbai and a professional CA has established a name for himself. There can be no one in the blogging circle who might not know him. He is a popular figure in the blogger meets and events. He is also a famous Social Media influencer and a superstar food reviewer. He is a talent hub and he professionally identifies himself as a Finance Blogger.
I have personally known Mr. Sanjay Thampy for a long time and it all started from a blogger meet in Mumbai. It was a great honor to meet him at that time. And we have had really great conversations whenever we meet. In today’s talk, we will be knowing more about Sanjay and his life. We will also be talking about the financial situations of this country and he shall be giving some tips about taxes.
What’s Your Story with Sanjay Thampy
1. How has the current COVID-19 situation changed your life?
Sanjay Thampy – COVID-19 has definitely changed the lifestyle and life situation of everyone across the world and that includes me, without any doubt. Things that I had taken for granted, events that I had expected to happen, situations that I had assumed would firm up, every one of these assumptions was thrown out of my imagination.
2. What are the main challenges and the biggest lessons you have learned from this lockdown?
Sanjay Thampy – Since the COVID outbreak and the consequent lockdown was all of a sudden and unexpected, it definitely posed a great challenge initially as I was not prepared to face it. However, as time went and I started realizing that this is something which I need to get used to in my daily life, I have learned a lesson that certain ways of working which we had never thought of as a possibility so far, could be managed.
3. Was there anything that completely surprised you in the last few months?
Sanjay Thampy – I can just say that one thing which has surprised me in these last few months of complete lockdown and working from home is that life springs up several surprises and most of it happens when we least expect it.
Hence, if we tend to be complacent with our current situation, we may not be able to adjust to such sudden eventualities. It is imperative that we are open to adopting change as it comes to our life.
4. How do you stay in touch with your readers or your target audience?
Sanjay Thampy – I have used this additional time that is available to me due to this lockdown by writing stuff that has been passionately close to me but has not been getting time to pen down due to my overwhelming professional commitments.
I am glad that now I am able to provide quality time for connecting with my audience and providing them the regular content that they would expect from me.
5. What advice would you like to offer the Millenials wrt to managing their finances and its importance?
Sanjay Thampy – One important lesson that we all should learn from this pandemic outbreak is that eventualities may befall us anytime and hence we should be prudent enough to manage our finances in such a way that we are able to tide over such situations without much worry.
This lockdown has definitely resulted in several loss of jobs and earning capacity of many have been compromised and hence prudent regular and systematic savings is what today’s millennials should remember to adopt so that such prolonged situations would not affect them too adversely.
6. What is your investment philosophy?
Sanjay Thampy – I would answer this question with a continuation of what I had said in the reply to the previous question. My investment philosophy is systematic and regular savings. Another important thing that should be kept in mind is that one should not put all eggs in the same basket. In other words, investment portfolio should be planned in such a way that would take care of both long term and short term needs and should be evenly spread.
The question of whether one should go for high-risk investments or not totally depends on the risk-taking appetite and age of the investor. Higher the risk, higher the return is the maxim definitely, but one should keep gauging and redefining one’s risk appetite as per the age and other family commitment factors.
7. With the COVID-19, impacting most of the major sectors in our country, what is your advice to investors wrt to this?
Sanjay Thampy – Almost all the sectors have been badly impacted by this lockdown and hence things are not showing a rosy picture at all.
However, I definitely feel that this pandemic is a definite boon to the medical sector and the banking industry and hence investors should definitely study the financials of these two sectors and make prudent investments.
Hospitality and aviation sector are definitely going to continue in the lull for some time now and hence if someone is looking for long term holding with sufficient patience, these are not bad options either.
8. What are the latest changes in the tax law that can help our readers?
Sanjay Thampy – Tax laws are definitely changing and evolving and hence everyone needs to be updated on these developments.
The Governments of every country have certainly come up with various concessions and relaxations which are beneficial to the taxpayers giving them the much-needed leverage in these difficult times.
In a lighter vein, I would advise my readers to subscribe and keep reading my blog where I regularly post all updates on the various tax laws.
9. What are your tips to maximize tax savings?
Sanjay Thampy – Every tax law provides certain investment, saving, and expenditure options which would provide them the concessions or deductions from their tax liability.
I would advise everyone to keep themselves abreast either themselves, through their tax advisers (and definitely through subscribing and reading my blogs) of these avenues available to them and make maximum utilisation of the same to reduce their tax liability.
10. What are your views on the current sentiments of the nation urging the ban on Chinese products? Do you think it is possible to tackle China in this way? If yes, then can you explain how?
Sanjay Thampy – There is a nationalist and emotional quotient here which also needs to be considered and respected. However, we need to be practical while taking such decisions and it should never be impulsive but needs to be calculative.
Chinese products have made their almost deep impact on our daily lives and almost every product that we use. Hence, it is not possible to impulsively stop using Chinese products unless we are prepared with a viable local alternative.
Our Government should provide the necessary infrastructure and incentive to the local manufacturers to be self-sufficient and bring out alternatives to the products that we presently use made in China.
Hence, it is a slow process but definitely a positive move in this aspect is certainly the right approach.
11. What type of clients do you work with?
Sanjay Thampy – I work with a range of clients who are corporates, high net worth individuals, financial institutions as well as foreign entities and individuals to whom I provide the taxation, management consultancy, and other advisory services.
12. Who is Sanjay Thampy for his clients?
Sanjay Thampy – I would like to position myself for my clients as a complete solution provider to all their needs, queries, and questions relating to the area of work that I expertise in.
I have tried my best in these several years of practice to provide services without interruptions at the right time and at the right place so that my clients are able to take business and investment decisions based on my advice and opinion.
I am glad that I have developed that longstanding bond with my clients, and that had been possible only on the basis of their trust that I could gain based on my advice.
13. How do you manage to quickly share important financial news to your readers? Do you have alert or subscription services?
Sanjay Thampy – I keep myself abreast of the latest financial news and developments and also any changes and updates that are announced.
It is always my endeavour to ensure that I am quick enough to reach my readers and audience through my insights and opinion on these matters by providing my readers with the right content at the right time.
My blog does have a subscription option, which I would encourage each one of my readers to exercise so that they get to know of the important financial developments in almost real-time to enable them to take timely financial decisions.
14. Social Media Influencer Vs Blogging. What’s your take? Do you think the Influencing platforms will commercialize blogging one day?
Sanjay Thampy – Blogging is a very old concept and the concept of Social Media Influencing in much recently evolved. I would always suggest that there is a substantial difference between the two.
Blogging in the literary sense is penning down your thoughts, your views and your opinion and get it to your readers to enable them to understand and take prudent decisions.
Social Media influencing on the other part is more of a concept of getting the views of the brand known to your readers through your platform. It is another form of advertisement for the brand and your platform is just a medium for the brands to convey their message to your readers.
Social Media influencing is definitely going to commercialize blogging very soon, but as long as dedicated bloggers like us can know where to draw the line and keep both these aspects separate, pure blogging too will definitely not just survive but thrive too.
15. Why should someone read your blog? What do you offer through your blog?
Sanjay Thampy – As already mentioned in a few of my answers above, it is my endeavor to provide my perspective on various matters to my readers.
I try to understand the pulse of my readers and if I keep churning out content that would interest them and engage them in a fruitful reading, they would definitely look forward to my posts.
16. Do you accept customer feedback? If yes, then how do you handle your customer grievances if any?
Sanjay Thampy – I make it a point that I study all the comments that are provided by my readers and try to respond to all the queries that are raised.
As far as grievances are concerned, since I try to ensure that the content that I post does not adversely affect anyone; I have honestly not come across any situation of grievance. However, having said that, even in the future, if any grievance is raised by any of my readers, it will be my humble attempt to consider it positively and constructively and as a means to improve myself.
17. In a population of over 1.3 billion, only 3% pay income tax. Why should the working class only pay taxes? Please pour your thoughts.
Sanjay Thampy – You cannot count the % with the population since the entire population also includes the minors and the senior citizens who do not fall under the tax filing category.
Also, there is a pertinent difference between paying tax and filing income tax returns. There are many who file their returns but are not liable to pay any tax either since their income falls below the taxable limit or they avail the exemptions and deductions permitted.
However, having said that, there is definitely a large chunk of population still who do not file their returns to evade payment of taxes. Recent measures by the Government have definitely helped in bringing a major part of this class to the tax filing bracket. However, definitely much more is still to be achieved.
The salaried class cannot avoid filing their returns or declaring their income, since the onus of declaring the income is cast upon their employers and hence their income gets reported.
18. What is your opinion on Demonetization and the GST? Do you think it was the Modi government’s biggest failure or a masterstroke?
Sanjay Thampy – Both demonetization and GST, literally on paper are definitely very good moves to curtail the flow of black money and corruption.
However, whether the same has achieved the desired results is definitely something which is open to debate.
Demonetization is now a thing of the past and the country and the population has moved ahead a long way from there, and hence the effects or ripples of the same is not felt anymore in the economy. It would certainly have adversely affected a specific section of our population below the comfortable income level, but as I said earlier, the pros and cons are left to be debated.
GST is definitely a good move towards the one nation – one tax concept and has brought many grey businesses to a standstill. However, I personally feel that the same was implemented with a bit of haste, perhaps for reasons best known to the Government, and hence the initial teething problems still continue to haunt the taxpayers. However, concrete measures to get rid of these issues definitely seem to be happening.
19. What can be done so that tax evasion can be reduced?
Sanjay Thampy – Tax evasion is a crime and a legal offense. One should never indulge in evasion of tax. Rather, one should look for avenues of tax avoidance, which is within the legal framework. Systematic investment and utilization of the available deductions and exemptions available to a taxpayer is the correct method of tax avoidance.
Reduced tax rates and simple tax laws and reduction of long-standing litigation are the most effective methods of reducing the incidence of tax evasion
20. What would you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Sanjay Thampy – I write as it is my passion. I love what I do and hence I want my legacy to be remembered as a person who has been honest in what I have always written, unbiased in my approach and true to each and every word than I have penned