Breakout Session Day 2

India Inc. Leads by Example – Responsibility in Revival

29 October 2020 | 14:00 – 15:30 IST

Background:

In India, historically, the principle and practice of Business and Human Rights has been well entrenched in it’s trusteeship model and business philosophy. Overtime, particularly in the last decade, efforts to evolve and intensify the uptake business responsibility have been made through the implementation of a mix of both mandatory and voluntary measures. These initiatives have been directed towards equipping businesses with the enabling policies, guidance, frameworks and legislations to adopt responsible business practices that are underpinned by human rights approach. For example, the amendment to the Companies Act (now Companies Act, 2013) to improve corporate governance, such as, Section 166(2) of the Act which casts fiduciary duties upon the directors of a company to act in the best interests of all stakeholders and not just its shareholders. Further, the Act mandates certain classes of companies to appoint at least one woman director in the Board.

Complimenting the regulatory reforms are several policy initiatives that have been undertaken, the beginnings of which can be traced back to 2009 with the release of the Corporate Governance Voluntary Guidelines. Furthering the efforts to promote business responsibility, and in keeping with the global conversation, the MCA developed and released the National Voluntary Guidelines on the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs) in July 2011. This was just a month after the endorsement of the UNGPs in June, 2011. The Business Reporting Framework (BRR), a disclosure and reporting format based on the NVGs was mandated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2012, for the top 100 listed companies by market capitalisation. This requirement was extended to the top 500 listed companies by market capitalisation in 2014.  It is now been mandated for the top 1000 companies. The NVGs have since been revised and updated through an extensive and intensive consultation process and have been released as the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) in March, 2019.

Session Objectives:

The session is expected to have the following objectives

  • To understand the different approaches and good practice examples adopted by businesses to integrate the responsible business conduct
  • To understand the challenges faced by businesses in a post covid world, particularly within the supply chain
  • How does responsible business help build business resilience

Speakers:

Nandini Sharma

Director
CRB

Gyaneshwar Kumar Singh

Joint Secretary
Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India

Shubha Sekhar

Director Human Rights, Eurasia & North Africa
Coca-Cola

Seema Arora

Deputy Director General
Confederation of Indian Industry

Dr. Vidya Tikoo

Senior Vice President - Sustainability
Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

Ashish Garg

President
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India

Viraf Mehta

Adjunct Faculty
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs

DR. BIMAL ARORA

Faculty Member
Aston Business School, UK
Honorary Chairperson
CRB