June 10, 2021
“The remuneration of the IP and its payment is never a matter for discussion in most of the COC meetings.”
(Mr. Khandelwal is an Insolvency Professional based in Indore.)
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your academic and professional background?
I am a Chartered Accountant, a Registered Valuer and an Insolvency Professional.
How did you decide to become an IP?
After 20 years of professional experience, I wanted to bring a change to my area of practice. Since the IBC is a new law with many challenges, I entered the world of IPs.
How many assignments (CIRPs and liquidations) have you undertaken so far? If possible, could you share the names?
I have handled five cases as an RP, three cases as an IRP and one case as a liquidator.
How was your experience in the early days as an IP? What were some of the challenges you faced in your initial assignments?
The initial assignments were challenging as the law was evolving, and a lot of the provisions were ambiguous. Not many precedents were available. So, the process was not straightforward. The stakeholders were not aware of the process and we, as IPs, were also on the learning curve. So, it was a time for educating oneself and educating all the stakeholders at the same time. There was also a gap in following the timelines.
Which has been the most interesting/challenging/memorable assignment for you so far?
Handling a CD as a going concern case has been most challenging. It required coordinating with the stakeholders along with the staff and the suspended management at the same time. It required a lot of effort to ensure that the company could run at the same level as on the CIRP date, while also keeping the confidence of all employees up.
Cash flow management was a critical aspect and managing the COC comprised of different banks was a difficult task.
What have been the unexpected parts of being an IP? How have you dealt with them?
The unexpected parts have been dealing with the COC. Specially when the COC does not understand the process. Also, when the COC does not support the process, though it has been designed for everyone’s benefit. The other side of the coin is that the remuneration of the IP and its payment is never a matter for discussion in most of the COC meetings.
How do you think the IBC has evolved so far? Where has it faltered, and where do you think it has a scope to do better?
The IBC has evolved, yet many things are unclear with many gaps in the Code. Each case is unique, so standardising is the biggest challenge. Operating guidelines for the COC are necessary, as without their support no CIRP can come to a timely conclusion. Therefore, COC-specific provisions should be introduced to cast some responsibility on them. Further, remuneration of IPs and reimbursement of costs should be done on a timely basis.
What advice do you have for the professionals considering becoming an IP?
First work under a senior for a minimum of two assignments and only then take an independent assignment. As there are multiple things to be taken care of while following a dynamic law, one has to stay up-to-date. Further, the IP should be aware of all the compliances required.
(This interview was conducted by Adv. Parth Indalkar and has been edited for clarity.)
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