RBSA Advisors – We are 50 Years Young now

1971 -1980 (Founding years of RBSA)

The enduring story of RBSA Advisors, as it is known today, began in 1971 with Mr. Ramesh B. Shah, our Founder Chairman & Mentor, in then a princely but dusty small town, Jaipur. Mr. Shah still continues to remain our Chairman and Mentor.

Our Founder, Mr. Ramesh B. Shah was born on 5th March, 1939 as the fourth child to parents Mrs. Chanchalben and Mr. Bhagwanji Raichand Shah, a freedom fighter & social reformer. When Mr. Shah was born, his father was imprisoned by the British, while fighting for India’s Independence just prior to the Quit India movement. This was a humble, hardworking & middle-class family in a small town.

He completed Civil Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi in 1962 and joined Jaipur Metals & Electricals Ltd. as a work-shop engineer. Through his sheer hardwork, sincerity and focus, he managed to complete Mechanical Engineering and Graduation in Law even while working full time.

Mr. Shah was mentored and introduced to, then the new profession of Valuation, by Mr. Kailash Nath Bhargava, an eminent retired Chief Engineer. He started exploring Valuation as an alternate profession, while working full-time on the shop floor. He used to work two jobs – his day job was at the shop floor, but early mornings & evenings were devoted to Valuation.

Mr. Shah founded his individual Valuation practice, in his own home-attic-office, by buying a second-hand office table & chair.

The story of RBSA’s founding remains incomplete without mention of Mrs. Surekha Shah, founder’s better half & lifelong companion. She stood with him rock solid in all ups and downs. In initial years, she joined & assisted Mr. Shah in writing Valuation reports by her own hand as they could not even afford a typewriter then.

The 1970s were period of struggle, turmoil and slow growth for India. India had two wars in the 1960s, a war in 1971, political turmoil and emergency in 1975-77. The economy was struggling.

RBSA was born in tough times. That’s our legacy. That’s our DNA.

Mr. Shah took a liking to Valuation as a profession and ‘gave his all to it’. While his beginnings were very small and humble, his name and prestige grew rapidly with every passing year. He differentiated himself and excelled with outstanding quality of Valuation services.

1981 -1990 (Taking roots)

Mr. Shah’s practice had taken roots now. These were the years of consolidation and experimentation. Mr. Shah hired a few staff and associates. As his reputation grew, he became a Valuer of choice for many Banks & Institutions. His work was getting recognized more and more.

At that time, he was the first & only valuer in India, to be registered in both Real Estate and Plant & Machinery. His knowledge in Civil engineering, Mechanical engineering coupled with his Law degree empowered him with a unique perspective to valuation in that period. He started being invited for complex and larger engagements. His dedication, perseverance, focus and hard work started bearing fruit. The practice had spread throughout the State of Rajasthan now.

This was a period of slow growth for India. The end of decade and 1991 saw India facing an Economic & Foreign Currency crisis.

1991 - 2000 (New dynamism)

Mr. Shah’s prestige and reputation as an eminent Valuation professional grew. He was sought as a valuer of choice in Jaipur and Rajasthan. The practice was growing – not just in the State but across the Region.

Towards the end of decade – Mr. Shah was joined by his son – Mr. Rajeev R. Shah, brought a new dynamism and ambition to the firm.

This decade saw the gradual transition of a small practice to a firm – R. B. Shah & Associates (later rechristened as RBSA Advisors). The realization that the next stage of growth can only happen by exploring new geographies dawned.

The 1991 Economic Crisis saw India reforming and opening up its Economy. This was a period of rapid change and reforms. The reforms started unshackling India’s Economic potential.

2001 - 2005 (The growth years)

R. B. Shah & Associates was looking at new opportunities now. This was a period of Economic Reforms in India wherein the Government of India was focused on Disinvestment of the Public Sector Undertakings. The firm sensed this as a great opportunity early-on and pioneered in doing some path breaking work with Government of India on Valuation of large public sector companies.

Early in 2001, Mr. Manish Kaneria, a budding Valuation professional joined the firm. Manish and Rajeev were very close college friends, they decided to take a plunge to open an office in Ahmedabad. This was RBSA’s first step in a new world. Within a few months, a third friend Ms. Mitali Shah also joined the firm. Manish & Mitali have been instrumental in RBSA’s success ever since. Today, Manish leads the firm as COO and Mitali heads the Restructuring practice of the firm.

The knowledge and wisdom received at the Centre for Valuation Studies, ISTAR has gone a long way in shaping the careers and thought process of key members of RBSA.

Towards November 2003, Mr. Rajeev Shah set his eyes on Mumbai, the Financial Capital of the country. An office in Mumbai energized the firm, opened up new opportunities and laid the foundations of rapid growth.

The firm started getting known for handling complex & large Valuation engagements throughout India now. It was in this period that the firm also won its first major International assignment in the Middle East.

2006 - 2010 (Bold decisions)

Over next few years RBSA built great relationships with large publicly listed Companies, Banks and Financial Institutions. It became a full-service Valuation firm covering all asset classes. The firm grew exponentially in a short period of time.

During this time Mr. Amish Patel, an expert of Industrial Valuation from ISTAR, and Mr. Gautam Mirchandani, an expert in new Business Initiatives joined the firm. Their addition enhanced the quality of deliverables and the firm’s profile.

Towards the end of this decade, RBSA opened offices in Delhi and Bangalore to emerge as the first truly National Valuation firm in India.

During this period, then the world’s largest Valuation firm made an offer to buyout RBSA. However, RBSA had much bigger ambitions. Pursuing an independent journey was a matter of pride and honour for them. In the hindsight, this is one of the best decisions they have ever made in their lives.

The client profile of RBSA started changing towards some of the largest companies in India. It started getting invited to assist on some of the major Merger & Acquisition transactions, Distress Asset transactions of that time.

RBSA also started venturing into Fairness opinion and other M&A advisory services. It received approval as SEBI Registered Category 1 Merchant Bank.

Towards the end of decade, the firm ‘R. B. Shah & Associates’ was rechristened and rebranded as RBSA Advisors.

2011 - 2015 (Spreading wings internationally)

RBSA’s name was now synonymous with high quality Valuation services in India. The firm grew into a team of 100 strong team members across India in 2012.

The firm was increasingly being sought for International assignments in Middle East, South Asia and United Kingdom. It grew and expanded with its clients.

Over 2010-12 the firm ran a ‘Project Udaan’ in which the Senior Management travelled to more than 20 countries across the world to explore markets and build strategic alliances.

RBSA was now increasingly focused on the top end of the market segment, large publicly listed corporations, the largest banks & financial institutions, private equity etc. The Investment Banking practice of RBSA also started taking shape & growing.

In early 2015 RBSA opened its first International office in Dubai to cover the larger GCC and Middle East and North Africa region.

RBSA entered into a strategic alliance with Stout Advisory, USA the #1 Fairness Opinion providers in mid-market in US.

2016 - 2020 (An Integrated Transaction Advisory firm)

This was a period of a Distress Asset and Nonperforming asset clean-up cycle in the Banking system. RBSA emerged as a key player in the Valuation & Financial Advisory services catering to Distress Assets.

Its incredible reputation and market leadership is evident from the fact that - It was appointed on more than 75% of the top Insolvency cases in India where distress debt was exceeding INR 5000 Crores. Out of the top 20 Insolvency Cases in India over past 4 years, RBSA was selected as Valuer in more than 15 of them.

Continuing its global market’s foray, RBSA entered into a Strategic Alliance with Valuation Research Group (VRG), a full-service, independent, global Valuation and advisory services group. VRG’s international offices span five continents with nearly 50 office locations across North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Apart from this, RBSA also setup its office in Singapore to cater to ASEAN Region.

In addition to this, RBSA also diversified in Restructuring & Insolvency services by setting up its own Insolvency Professional Entity. The firm has more than 14 partners, with more than 12 large Distress Companies under its management.

By 2018, RBSA had doubled its strength to 200+ strong professionals!!

In 2019, Mr. Ravishu Shah joined the firm to co-lead the Valuation and Financial Advisory practice.

Keeping a progressive approach in completing the transaction advisory value-chain for its Clients, the Firm also added two new practices in early 2020 – viz., Transaction Services (Financial Due Diligence) being led by Mr. Chetan Khandhadia and Transaction and M&A Tax being led by Mr. Ravi Mehta.

RBSA’s Investment Banking practice was coming of age with several successful closures of large Disinvestment and M&A transactions. The firm has been consistently ranked amongst the top 5 M&A Advisory Firm in India in the League Table of Venture Intelligence and MergerMarkets for last 4 years.

The year 2020 was a year of the terrible Covid 19 pandemic across the World. The economies & businesses across the world were shaken with revenues falling due to lack of demand & lockdowns.

During this pandemic year, RBSA has held its ground and emerged stronger as a fully integrated homegrown and high-end Transaction Advisory Firm. The firm has continued to

  • Keep faith in its people & retained every member of RBSA team during the crisis. The firm also continued to hire and invest in new talent in these critical times.
  • Leverage and build upon its Leadership position in Valuation Advisory services.
  • Execute and close large & complex M&A, Disinvestment and Restructuring assignments.
  • Invest in strengthening new service lines of Transaction Services (Due Diligence) & Transaction Tax.

RBSA was not just born in tough times, it has also survived tough times, and emerged stronger from them.

2021 (Building for the next 50 years)

Today, RBSA Advisors is a leading independent fully integrated and high-end Transaction Advisory firm with service offerings including Valuation, Investment Banking, Restructuring, Due Diligence, Transaction Tax, Risk Advisory and Litigation Support. With a team of more than 250+ professionals, firm is spread across 8 offices in India, Dubai and Singapore.

RBSA has been consistently ranked amongst the top 5 M&A advisory firms by both MergerMarket and Venture Intelligence for last 4 years. The firm has a global reach, having worked with Clients across more than 30 Countries.

As RBSA completes its 50 years in 2021, it stands committed to ‘Building for the next 50 years’.