Guest Discussion: Mr Ashish Deshmukh

31 May 2018

Brief Introduction

Mr Ashish Deshmukh is a serial entrepreneur and has ventures in audit, cost accounting, education & Gas energy. He has been part of several ventures and has been working in the industry for more than 20 years. His vast expertise & experience has helped several corporates in audit, cost accounting and so on. Today, we have him as a guest in our company and below are the excerpts of discussion with him.

What kind of business you are in?

We started our Success Story with a big failure. I commenced my career with Marico Industries in 1994 and that inculcated an entrepreneur zeal into me. After working for several companies like PIX Transmissions Ltd, Eros Metals, Mahanagar Gas Ltd, TATA Motors Ltd, Global Steel Philippines, and Reliance SEZ, etc. The urge to start our own was pushing me not to settle in job. Finally, I left Reliance from DGM (Finance) position in Feb 2008 and We started with a galvanizing plant at Jejuri MIDC. Whatever property, we gathered through working with these industries in India and Philippines, were invested in this venture.
But, the mistakes that are prone to happen from first generation entrepreneur like me, influenced the business. Huge Capital Investment without proper Marketing Planning affected the cash flow. Organisation could not be developed because of huge pressure. I used to stay 24-Hours at the Plant looking after Production, Purchase, Maintenance, Despatches, Accounting, etc. I was like one-man army, fighting with all odds. Slowly, meagre cash flow made company to be slipped into Non-Performing Asset (NPA). Bank of Baroda took the charge of Plant in 2013 and sold Land and Building at Plant as well as collateral securities like our house. Somehow, I came out of that nightmare.
Going back to Job would not have supported the huge personal loans piled on Head. Earnings from Job can make both ends meet but unable to repay loan. That time, I took the decision to start my own cost accounting practice. ADA (Ashish Deshmukh & Associates) was set-up in rented house where family was staying. I still remember the task of getting first Client. He walked in our building and we sat in balcony where I set up my small table. Slowly, practice started growing. We took the huge office in Jay Ganesh Vision. Now, we are 4 Partners and we have more than 50 Clients.
Mainly, we work in Cost Audit. Being an Engineer and Cost Accountant, we have set up integrated approach for energy savings and hence saving the cost. ADA has become a good brand for Cost Reduction, among Co-operative Sugar Industry in Maharashtra. Besides, Cost Audit, we are working as Indirect Taxation experts in GST, Service Tax, Excise and VAT.
I took the membership with Institution of Engineers (India) and that consultancy also added to our core business.  
After messed up with first venture, I took the job of teaching for CMA Students at Pimpri Chapter in evening time. There I discovered the need of Prathampass (my second venture). At the time of our Engineering, study material on subject was available on every subject. But, in case of professional studies like CA, CMA, CS Course, such external study notes are not available. Being an intelligent student in Dhamangaon (my Native Place), students used to come to me for guess questions that may be asked in the exam. I thought to make an IT start-up based on that idea-"What will come in the Exam?" was the real hit among CMA and CS Students. Yet, we must start with CA which is huge Market.

How long you are in this Business?

It looks like we have just started because you face a new challenge every day. But so far, we are in working in the field for more than 20 years.

What prompted you to do your own business?

I had no business background and so instead of doing regular corporate job, I decided to do this adventure …I came to VJTI, Mumbai for Engineering from small town without anything. Hence, thought keeps me provoking that I did not bring anything here and I am not supposed to take out anything from here. But, certainly, I can make things here in smart cities in better form. We kept the tagline for City Rise as "Behind every smart City, there is CITYRISE"

You have recently ventured into Gas business; can you elaborate about it?

Third Venture came into existence accidentally.  We had a Cost Audit for MNGL (Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd). While doing audit for them, I realized many required services for City Gas Distribution can be catered by us, like Direct Marketing Agency, Meter Reading and Bill Collection, Third Party Inspection Agency for Pipeline Projects, etc. We had our Company (Shri Malhar Galvanizing and Engineering Pvt Ltd) constituted in 2009 but in dormant stage after 2013. We changed the name of Company as "CityRise Gas Energy Pvt Ltd" and started our work in Pune and Indore. Now, we have Work Orders in CityRise amounting to Rs. 5 Cr. We have offices in Pune, Indore, and Lucknow. Very soon, we will venture into Bangalore and Delhi too

How much is the investment per connection?

City Gas Distribution Company makes investment Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000 per Connection

Is it safe? How?

PNG (Piped Natural Gas) is the safest mean among Gas Fuels. LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) is being heavier than air, on leakages, settles down and may catch fire on igniting match stick or on putting electricity switch on. But, in case of PNG, being lighter than air, it escapes immediately to an atmosphere. You might have witnessed CNG Filling in vehicles. Natural Gas must be compressed and then fill up in cylinder at high pressure. Cylinders must be made up of high thickness still to withstand the pressure. At atmospheric pressure, Natural Gas is not at all hazardous, as it escapes to atmosphere.

What is reliability? Meaning could there be shortage of gas and people will have no gas in their homes. Can it happen?

Very apt question. Many times, people ask us this question. In India, ONGC has Natural Gas extraction licence and GAIL has Gas Transportation Licence. CityGas Distribution Companies buy Natural Gas from transporter companies and sell in the city through their laid pipelines. Natural Gas is so abundant in India that India can supply it to entire World. We export Natural Gas to Japan to run their Power Plants. There are many innovations are coming up like electricity generations from Natural Gas without combustion (by Chemical Process).  
In India, all City Gas Distribution companies promises un-interrupted supply based on the logic that even if transporter companies stopped selling gas, still the gas inventory in their Pipeline could supply the households in the city for 7-8 days. Hence shortage of gas in India and people will have no gas in their homes is just the fantasy.

As a home maker, what precautions are needed when you have pipeline gas in the home? Is there a website where people can get educated on this?

Every CGD Company, on their websites mentioned Safety Dos and Don’ts. As I mentioned earlier, Natural Gas being safe in Nature, you do not require special safety attention to it.

Do you provide gas connections to housing societies? If so where can people contact, you?

Yes, Housing Gas Societies are major customers under Domestic Sector. We approach people in designated area. We give presentation on benefits of PNG to society members. After that collect NOC from Society for door to door marketing. We fill up Registration Forms from every Household and submit it to respective CGD Company for further action. There is commitment from CGD Companies to convert every Household from LPG to PNG within 6 Months from the date of registration.

We are based out of Pune, Maharashtra and people can always connect with me on

M: +91-7758060463, O: +91-20-46720349,

If I am traveling, then our office can support all enquiries and take it further.

Is government promoting Gas Pipelines? If yes, why?

India Government realized importance of PNG. We have natural gas reservoirs wherein entire world's requirement can be fulfilled. But, unfortunately, we are importing LPG from Gulf or Iran. This is just like we have lot of food at home, still we are ordering food from Hotel and paying for that.
With the advent of New Government in 2014, PM Office is taking daily update from City Gas Distribution Companies and setting some targets for them. Slowly, Government must stop subsidy on LPG and push LPG to rural areas under Ujwala Yojna for below poverty sector. Use of Piped Natural Gas is environment friendly and help to reduce pollution. BPL people cut trees for cooking the food. Ujwala Yojna would stopped Deforestation too.
Our CityRise is also trying to get one complete city for gasification. It all depends how we get Investors in coming 2 months.

What do you think Government should do more to make this as a norm?

Smart Cities in India should be on CNG to curb vehicular pollution and PNG for Industrial, Commercial and Domestic Use. PNGRB (Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board) has opened a tender to gasify around 75 smart cities in India. Pre-bid Meeting at Delhi were attended by all major Gas Players in the World like Osaka Gas-Japan, POSCO-Daewoo-South Korea, many USA, and UAE entities. Government should bring increasingly cities under the ambit of Piped Gas.

So, in near future, would we see all urban areas connected with Gas pipe and LPG cylinders will be history?

Yes. Indeed, all urban areas would be on PNG and LPG cylinders will be in rural areas. After 20 Years, LPG Cylinders would be the History

Thank you very much for sharing your views for our readers and all the best to you in your ventures.

Thank you.