The India Board Report has been published by Hunt Partners—in conjunction with AZB Partners and PwC—biennially since 2005. The India Board Report (IBR) is a first-of-its-kind, definitive survey on board composition, effectiveness, and governance best-practices of publicly-listed companies in India.
The last edition of the India Board Report, published in 2015-16, delved deep into two very topical areas, viz. the professionalism and workload of Independent Directors, and Board diversity. The workload of Independent Directors is a current topic and has been subject to regulations in the Companies Act, 2013, as well as more recent pronouncements on what constitutes an ‘overboarded’ director. Readers may recall an episode with the country’s largest private-sector mortgage lender, wherein a special resolution to re-appoint the Chairman was vehemently opposed by proxy advisory firms – on the premise that the director was overboarded. The recommendations of the Kotak Committee on Corporate Governance in respect of public-companies appointing at least 1 woman Independent Director should hasten the progress around greater diversity on the Board. As Dr. Chris Pierce, PhD writes in the Foreword of IBR 2015-16, “…around the world, the diversity of boards is becoming increasingly valuable as a mechanism for challenging ‘group think’ and stimulating innovation in strategies.”