The Centre for Corporate and Tax Law (CCTL), NALSAR hosted Prof. Umakanth Varottil, Associate Professor at National University of Singapore (NUS). Prof. Umakanth delivered a talk on ‘The Stakeholder Responsibility of Corporate Boards’ at SAARC Law Centre on September 26, 2018.
Prof. Umakanth specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance and has co-authored/co-edited four books, published articles in international journals and founded the IndiaCorpLaw Blog. Prior to his foray into academia, he was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India and is currently on the advisory board of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
Abstract of the talk: The interests of stakeholders (besides shareholders) have become quite prominent to necessitate their recognition by corporate boards. Apart from legal requirements, global trends point towards greater stakeholder engagement as a means to enhance the reputation of companies. Corporate law reform in India has introduced duties of directors on boards to act in the interests of stakeholders such as employees, community and the environment. The talk outlined the background to stakeholder responsibility, discussed the structure of the Companies Act, 2013 in India on the topic, and concluded with the significant challenges that emerge and practical considerations that need to be tackled.