You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Heavyweights keen to follow women director rule in spirit

Study of BSE 200 firms finds only 7 of 80 new appointments from promoter family

Abhineet Kumar  |  Mumbai 

The Securities and Exchange of India (Sebi)’s directive to listed for at least one woman on their of directors has seen different responses from the top rung and the herd. A majority of listed have appointed family members to fulfil the directive. However, the top 200 listed on the report a happier trend. Of these, as many as 96 already had at least one woman on their Another 80 made fresh appointments since Sebi’s directive in February last year. And, of these 80 appointments, only seven are from the promoter family. More interesting, of the 80 new appointments, 51 are becoming a on a for the first time, with only five from the promoter family. Which shows these seem to have done a thorough exercise to seek professionals of calibre. “Large would usually be more conscious of their image and even if family members are in a position to contribute on the board, perhaps they would not want that situation, and look for independent professional directors,” says Ketan Dalal, managing partner (west) at PwC. The list of first-timers include former member of the International Finance Corporation management group, Farida Khambata, who has joined the of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

And, business historian Gita Piramal, who has joined the of Bajaj Auto. A study by Delhi-based financial services firm, Prime Database showed a different trend when it tracked 1,478 listed on the National Stock Exchange. There were 987 who did not have a woman when announced its directive last year. And, 674 have complied since then — a majority of the appointments being from the promoter family. “Large have a greater presence of institutional investors. Hence, their corporate governance requirements are more stringent and it shows investor push in selecting valuable candidates,” says Pranav Haldia, managing at Prime Database. However, there is also another other side of the coin, one which makes many hesitant to join smaller The new Act has made the duties and liabilities of the much more stringent. Hence, woman professionals are also more cautious in their selection, with a preference for large companies, with robust practices, for corporate governance. “From the perspective of directors, it is understandable why they are more selective in joining companies,” says Amit Tandon, co-founder at proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services. “They need the comfort, especially when joining a company’s for the first time and large, well-governed offer this,” he adds.

First Published: Mon, April 06 2015. 00:49 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU