Mumbai :6/2/24: The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), the apex think tank of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, hosted the inaugural edition of ‘The Great Indian Board Reboot: Roadshow 2024’ at the NSE Headquarters in Mumbai on 31 January 2024.
This landmark inaugural event, conducted in partnership with National Stock Exchange – NSE India and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), marked a significant milestone in the Indian corporate governance landscape, bringing together over 200 delegates, including prominent business leaders, regulatory authorities, and corporate governance experts.
The event underscored the evolving challenges and opportunities in corporate governance, with a special emphasis on board renewal, diversity, and the integration of new technologies and regulatory frameworks.
Earlier, Dr. Niraj Gupta, Head of Corporate Governance & Public Policy at IICA, delivered the presiding address, setting the tone for the event. Mr. Mathew John, Programme Manager at IICA, extended a warm welcome to the attendees.
Keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Ankit Sharma, Chief Regulatory Officer of NSE India, and Ms. Kamala K., Chief Regulatory Officer of BSE. Mr. Sharma highlighted the critical role of corporate governance in balancing economic, social, individual, and community goals, emphasizing the importance of diversity and adaptability in board compositions for future strategic directions. Ms. Kamala discussed the transformative journey of Indian businesses and the necessity for boards to adapt and reboot in response to disruptions, changes in the business landscape, and the emergence of new sectors. Ms. Kamala provided compelling statistics on the evolution of board compositions over the past 25 years, stressing the increased responsibilities of directors and the need for a diverse skill set in the digital age.
The event featured two insightful panel discussions:
‘Navigating Board Renewal Challenges and Opportunities’, moderated by Mr. Shailesh Haribhakti, Chairman of Blue Star Ltd, included panelists Mr. Nawshir Mirza, Board Member, Thermax Ltd; Mr. Robin Banerjee, Board Member, VIP Clothing Ltd; and Mr. Sandeep Parekh, Board Member, HDFC Bank Ltd. The panel explored the necessity for boards to proactively address the rapid pace of technological advancements and the importance of continuous learning, unlearning, and relearning. Panelists emphasised the critical role of boards in safeguarding against disruption, fostering innovation, and ensuring the representation of diverse stakeholder interests, particularly environmental sustainability.
‘Gender Diversity and Beyond’, led by Mr. Deepak Shetty, Former Secretary, Government of India; featured Dr. Santrupt Misra, Former Director – HR, Aditya Birla Group of Companies and ex-Board Member; Ms. Richa Arora, Board Member, First meridian Ltd; Ms. Sutapa Banerjee, Board Member, Zomato Ltd; and Ms. Savithri Parekh, Head – Compliance, Reliance Industries Ltd. This panel highlighted the importance of broadening the spectrum of diversity in board compositions to include not just gender, but also age, industry experience, and skills to enhance corporate strategy and governance. The discussion emphasised the need for boards to reflect the changing demographics and technological landscape, ensuring that they are equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
The programme was coordinated by Dr. Niraj Gupta, Mr. Mathew John, Mr. Manoj Singh, Chief Programme Executive, IICA, and Mr. Ashish Kumar, Senior Research Associate, IICA.
‘The Great Indian Board Reboot: Roadshow 2024’ is aimed at setting a new benchmark in discussions around corporate governance in India, with its insights and strategies expected to significantly influence the future direction of board compositions and governance practices in Indian corporations