Management Consultant Ramakrishnan Speaks His Mind Out

What the government didn’t do in 60 years, they dumped on corporations, Ramakrishnan told FICCI Ladies Organisation.

HYDERABAD, Aug 17 (The CONNECT) – CSR is rubbish, according to V. Ramakrishnan, Founder and MD of Organisation Devt Pvt. Ltd, (ODPL), Singapore.

“What the government didn’t do in 60 years, they dumped on the corporations this responsibility,” Ramakrishnan said speaking at a FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) event on “Women on Family Boards”. 

Social Responsibility can not be dumped, he quipped.

Founded ODPL in 1999 to focus on advising firms improve Enterprise Performance at Board Level, CXO level, team level and individuals.

Ramakrishnan said the board’s role is to govern and not rule.  Is Modi governing or ruling India? he asked the audience and quickly explained that the role of the Board has to be governing and not ruling.

In Governance, ethics are paramount important, he pointed out. Accountability, Integrity, probity (the quality of having strong moral principles) and Transparency are the three pillars of Governance, he said.

He explained what governance is, the roles of the board, duties, major tasks etc.  Governance according to him is a system of directing and controlling the enterprise. Governance is about how a company’s values are created and upheld, and how to decide what course (GPS), the company should take.

He listed the duties of the board of a company–Legitimacy, Care, Minority rights, social responsibility etc

Ramakrishnan also gave 4 tasks of the board: Accountability, Strategic Thinking, Supervising Management and Determining and spelling out outcomes and expectations.

He spoke about the statement of purpose of different companies. Taking the example of Microsoft he said, the company was founded with a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. “Now see where it is.  It’s grown by leaps and bounds. It empowers every person and organization on the planet to achieve more,” he said. 

Kasturi Balaji, Trustee of Palkivala Foundation, said every family must craft its own definition. Family businesses are substantially contributing to the GDP of the country. 

“Composition of families is also changing. There are many older people in families as the life expectancy is increasing,” he said.

This is something which was not witnessed in the past.  This has an impact on the family businesses. People on board should protect all shareholders and especially be fair to minority shareholders, Balaji said.

He explained the complexities, challenges and characteristics of family governance. “In family-run businesses, one should detail the rights and responsibilities of ownership, detail the family’s social and fiscal responsibility and establish policies for dividends and remuneration for the board

Discussing leadership effectively, both speakers pointed out that a leader shouldn’t consider themselves as a single entity instead they are just tools of governance or management.

Welcoming the gathering Ritu Shah, Chairperson, quoting Indra Nooyi said, leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder.  But, if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.