Deepak Parekh to company secretaries
Advocating the need for strong corporate governance practices, veteran banker Deepak Parekh urged company secretaries to adopt the “speak up culture” as well as to differentiate between data and information to enable board members to constructively act on developments.
Addressing the 21st ICSI National Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance on Saturday, the HDFC chairman said the judgement of company secretaries is sacrosanct and they are the bridge between understanding what regulators expects and how the board actually functions.
Parekh said generally, a listed parent company which sits at the top gets all the attention and compliances tend to be in good order.
“But invariably, it is the myriad of smaller, unlisted subsidiary and associate companies which tend to receive less scrutiny and is where the weak points lie. Unethical practices, away from the public eye typically happen at these levels. Genuine regulatory lapses too happen at these levels. So look deep and holistically at your group structure,” he said.
“… your overall compliance is only as good as your weakest link.”
Parekh emphasised on the clarity of communication with the board. “It is easy to dump huge volumes of files and data and believe one is ticking the box on compliance. Recognise the difference between data and information which can enable board members to constructively and proactively act or react.