|New Delhi, December 16th 2003
ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance for the
year 2003 presented by Deputy Prime Minister at New Delhi
Corporate Governance- The latest buzzword in the global corporate
environment, as a framework embraces law, ethics and management practices
for wealth creation, management and sharing. Corporate governance is not
only the key to corporate excellence but it is basic to social and national
excellence because compliance of law, ethics and best management practices
lead to upliftment of all segments of society.
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), in continuance of its
commitment to good corporate governance, bestows the ICSI National Award for
Excellence in Corporate Governance every year to the Best-Governed Companies
in India. For the third consecutive year, ICSI presented these Awards to the
recognized companies from the Indian Corporate Scenario on Monday, December
15, 2003 at 4.30 p.m. at Vigyan Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi.
The function commenced with a Panel Discussion on ‘Corporate Governance- Key
to Corporate Excellence’. The dignitaries on panel included:
Shri Naresh Chandra, Former Cabinet Secretary
Shri Anil D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, BSES Ltd.
Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Vice-CMD, HSBC Securities & Capital Markets (India)
Shri Ravi Narain, Managing Director & CEO, National Stock Exchange of India
Shri Deepak S. Parekh, Chairman, HDFC and Shri R. Ravimohan, Managing
Director & CEO, CRISIL
The Invocation, "Saraswati Vandana" and lighting of the lamp was followed by
a welcome address by the President, ICSI, Mr. Pavan Kumar Vijay. Shri G N
Bajpai, Chairman SEBI, Shri MMK Sardana, Secretary, DCA, Hon’ble Justice
Shri M N Venkatachaliah, Chairman, Jury & Former Chief Justice of India and
Shri S Gangopadhyay, Council Member and Chairman, Corporate Governance Award
Committee conferred their knowledge and expertise on the dais.
Shri G N Bajpai, Chairman, SEBI called on the corporate sector to adopt good
corporate governance standards, stating that such an approach would make
business sense. He stated that standards of ethical behaviour could be
prescribed by regulators even while admitting that ethics could not be
legislated. He said that corporates should practise good governance in
substance, and not in form alone.
Shri MMK Sardana, Secretary, DCA remarked ICSI as the youngest Institute to
create a niche for its Company Secretaries. He also praised for instituting
Corporate Governance Awards and for bringing it to the limelight, thus
receiving appreciation from the corporate world. He said that a Company
Secretary can add substance and glitz to a company's working. He also added
that a Company Secretary will certainly play a much more important role in
service industry in years to come.
Shri L.K. Advani, Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of India, then presented the
"ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance for the Year
2003" to the two Best-Governed Companies in the Private Sector and a
Best-Governed Company in the Public Sector.
Of the 4785 eligible companies, 25 companies from different spheres were
shortlisted. HDFC and Reliance Industries Limited were conferred with the
honour of Best Governed Companies in the Private Sector. Mr. Deepak S.
Parekh, Chairman, HDFC and Mr. Anil D Ambani, Vice-Chairman and MD, Reliance
Industries Ltd; received the Awards.
Mr. Deepak S. Parekh, in his acceptance speech praised the ICSI for its
commitment to corporate law and for its sincere effort in encouraging
ethical corporate practices. "I am privileged to accept this award on behalf
of each and every employee of HDFC and this award reinforces HDFC’s
commitment to work in an ethical manner" said the honoured Chairman.
Mr. Anil Ambani paid tributes to his late father and Chairman, Reliance
Industries Limited on conferment of the Award. "Of all the awards Reliance
Industries has received till date, this award will be closest to my father’s
heart." He paid his gratitude to all the employees, shareholders and
Reliance family of 80,000 for confiding in Reliance with their trust and
"Corporate Governance is a function of your state of mind and of your heart.
If your emotions, feelings and attitudes are not true, no action will be
ethical." The suave MD of RIL wrapped his acceptance to the award with maxim
to the corporate world "If you can dream it, you can do it. "
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited was conferred with the honour of
Best Governed Company in the Public Sector which was duly received by Mr.
Subir Raha, CMD. Mr. Raha was in a triumphant mood, "This is the third award
for ONGC in as many months and I wish we carry on the same way." He credited
fellow directors, his Company Secretaries and their team and the 40,000
shareholders for the superior results shown by ONGC throughout the year. "We
are proud to join the top Oil and Gas companies in the world in terms of
production, distribution and governance. We have struggled hard since our
inception and are enjoying the recognition it’s enjoying today."
The Company Secretaries of the awardee companies, Mr. Susir Kumar M. (HDFC),
Mr. K Sethuraman, Vice President (Corporate & Secretarial) (RIL) & Mr. H C
Shah (ONGC) were also honoured for their precious contributions.
The ICSI Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on the eminent corporate
personality, Mr. Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Group, for Translating
Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality. Mr. R.K. Krishna Kumar-
Director, Tata Group accepted the award on his behalf as Mr. Ratan Tata was
chairing a shareholders meeting in Mumbai.
A Book on Corporate Governance was also released on the occasion. The Book
on Corporate Governance contains Modules for best practices relating to
disclosure of various items of compliances in the light of revised clause 49
of the listing agreement and is a friendly treatise on Corporate Governance
for Corporates and Professionals.
Shri. L.K. Advani, opined that "Governance is just not a buzzword in the
corporate world, but is relevant in the political scenario too". Though we
got self governance in 1947, we were not able to translate it to good
governance" He also called for good governance in the political scenario in
Deliberating on the achievements of Indian companies in the global
environment, Shri Advani added, "India has a vision of stars and the 21st
century belongs to India. The company secretaries have a vital role to play,
as it is he who has to be the creator of wealth but with ethics,
truthfulness, transparency and accountability." He appreciated the efforts
of the Institute in encouraging ethics and honesty in the corporate
environment today and thanked them for the privilege of making him the Chief
Guest for the function.
After the address by the Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. N.K. Jain,
Secretary, ICSI delivered the vote of thanks with the ode to the nation, the
National Anthem signed off the gala evening at Vigyan Bhawan.