Madras Chamber launches forum for aspiring women directors – Bussiness Line – 22nd Feb’15
Ranaja Kumar, Chairperson of the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds, speaking at the valedictory function of the aspiring women directors programme held by the chamber. Ram Venkataramani, Vice President, MCCI & MD, IP Rings Ltd, and Gayathri Sriram, Managing Director, Ucal Auto Pvt. Ltd, are also seen.
Chennai, Feb 22:  
The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry has launched a women directors forum consisting of 30 women, including directors and senior level managers of various companies. The forum was formed at the end of the two day exclusive program for aspiring women directors held by the chamber.

Ranaja Kumar, Chairperson of the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds and former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, launched the forum on Saturday.

The idea of such a forum is to have frequent interactions among the trainees on various subjects, and to meet every quarter for exchange of ideas, said Gayathri Sriram, Managing Director, Ucal Auto Pvt. Ltd, and a member of the chamber’s general committee. She had initiated this training program.

The program organised by the chamber jointly with the Great Lakes Institute of Management dealt on issues like business strategies, the roles and responsibilities of directors and the nuances of the Companies Act 2013, reading and interpreting financial statements and assertive communication and board dynamics.
Business Standard

'Independent directors should be assertive, not overawed'
IANS  |  Chennai  
February 21, 2015 Last Updated at 23:02 IST

Be assertive, not get overawed by the company size or other personalities, know the industry, elicit answers when in doubt, do the home work before attending board meetings were some of the tips given by a seasoned chairman of several company boards to aspiring women directors here Saturday.

"Never be overawed by a company's size or other personalities in the board. Further one has to be assertive at the board meeting. Views expressed at the board meeting have to be supported by data and facts," said Ranjana Kumar, former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank.

Kumar who also headed NABARD, Canara Bank and a director in several corporate boards was addressing a Training Programme for Aspiring Women Directors, organised by Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

She told the gathering to remember that independent directors represent the shareholders. Kumar also urged the aspirants to go through in detail not only the board meeting agenda papers, but also the minutes of previous board meeting.

Similarly in the case of any decision taken by the CEO coming up for board's ratification should be carefully looked into, she said, adding it would be better if the chairman of the board gives an update on those things that had happened between the earlier board meeting and the current one, to set the mood at ease.

"Sufficient time should be there for the board to deliberate on various matters. However these days board meetings end within two hours," Kumar said.

As the corporate policies are decided by the board, it should be seen that the policies are dynamic-subject to be changed based on the evolving situation- and not rigid, Kumar said.

She said only when the economy is on the downswing issues like corporate governance, corporate ethics are looked into, which incidentally should not be so.

Kumar said the two reasons for corporate failures are greed and excess leverage, but both should be balanced for a company's growth.

She said in most cases the slip in corporate governance is initiated by the promoters.
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