Compliance is not merely about filing forms or about slogans. Rajneesh Jaswal argues it should be about instilling a culture of compliance
Ideas surrounding corporate governance, culture and values, and compliance have recently erupted on the Indian corporate canvas and a lot has been said regarding actions or inaction relating to them. Such discussions are welcome and indicative of corporate maturity but often get lost in legal jargon, courtroom procedures, gossip and everything else that goes along with a juicy story.
Corporate governance is typically equated with promoters’ thoughts on how management should act (or not), or simply conforming to the requirements of company law. Compliance is often pictured as harried corporate secretarial and legal professionals ensuring that numerous forms related to applicable laws are filed within the prescribed time.
In between the jingoism of corporate visions and missions and the mechanical filing of forms, lies the unspoken, albeit very important space of corporate culture and its impact on the behaviour of companies and their employees.
Examples of the costs of non-compliance – in fines and penalties, fees for lawyers and others, and loss of shareholder value – support the position that the right corporate culture is not just a snooty ambition, but a carefully weighed business decision.
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RAJNEESH JASWAL is head of legal at Metro Cash and Carry India. The views expressed are personal.