Chair of the future—India perspective

Global developments over the last few years have challenged the status quo with an increasingly widespread belief that corporations cannot and should not ignore the world around them, but rather, engage members of the society and act to address the challenges we face. Now, more than ever, stakeholders expect organisations to do the right thing and do them well. These expectations range from action on environmental and social issues and trusting an organisation to safeguard private data, to requiring organisations to have strong governance mechanisms, amongst others. In short,
stakeholders are holding organisations accountable for being trustworthy. Thus, trust must evolve from being merely a chance outcome to a strategic priority for the management and the Board, alike.

It is clear that CEOs and business leaders face challenging headwinds, and primarily, shoulder the responsibility of steering organisations to meet the many expectations as listed above. The Chairs and Boards that they lead, have to increasingly take on the role of stewardship, in addition to the supervisory role that they are expected to play.

Finding the right balance is the biggest responsibility of the Chair and Board; however, our interactions with the Chairs of Indian corporations give us a sense of optimism. For the India component of the project, Atul Dhawan, Chairperson, Deloitte India, interviewed 35 Chairs of Indian corporations (17 executive Chairs and 18 non-executive Chairs). They provided great insights, not limited to their views on what the Boards of today are currently addressing, but also on the role of the Chair itself, and how it can elevate the Board to the next level—to become the Board of the future.

Did you find this useful?