Ramesh Rajan former chairman of PwC India, has set up a national professional services firm, Leap Ridge, in collaboration with 15 other former Big Four partners.

Rajan left PwC 30 June this year after having been at the firm for 36 year. He was chairman of the firm when the Satyam scandal broke in 2009 and the firm found itself in the spotlight as the auditor of the company.

He explained to International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) that after he decided to leave the PwC he felt the best next step was to set up a new firm.

“What we are really trying to do is to create a platform,” he said.
“We are not only looking at attracting people from the Big Four but also senior practitioners with niche knowledge, and bring everyone on board to add significant value to clients.”

According to Rajan there are great opportunities in India, and the market “needs firms with a national presence”. He said that Leap Ridge will answer these needs as it becomes a pan-Indian firm.

Currently the firm counts 15 partners and is expecting five new additions in the coming month. “Our partners are from a broad spectrum of different backgrounds, some worked in assurance, some in advisory and some in tax,” Rajan explained.
Rajan also said the firm currently has coverage in most large cities and is expected to have coverage across the country in the coming months.

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After nearly a decade of consultation and debate, the Companies Bill 2011 is expected to see the light of the day, with only the President nod required. The Bill will put more responsibilities on firms, which leads Rajan to believe that firms will be required to invest in best practices in order to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to them. “It will also encourage networking,” he said. “Indian companies are becoming more global, and firms will have to consolidate to become regional or niche players.”

Once the firm will be present across India, Rajan said the firm will consider joining an international network.
“If there was an opportunity to join an international network we would consider it,” he said.