ICICI Bank: The Corporate Governance Problem of India Continues

I have previously written about the particular agency problem for promoter-led companies: protecting minority shareholders. Promoters have considerable leeway to siphon corporate resources away from the minority shareholders via skewed contracts with related companies (e.g., tunnelling profits to firms where the promoter shareholding is larger) and undeserving pecuniary benefits for promoters (e.g., paying for marriage…

Why I Quit Facebook?

Last week, I closed my Facebook accounts. This seems to contradict the popularity of Facebook. It now has two billion users worldwide, of whom 1.4 billion are active daily users! While I understand the old rule that if you are not paying for a service, you are the product being sold, ultimately the privacy concerns…

Do We Need Chief Strategy Officers?

The Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is a curious position. Some companies have them, while in other companies, such a position does not exist. In the latter, when you enquire why there is no Chief Strategy Officer in the organization, the CEO will dismiss the idea that such a position would add any value.  As one…

Are Independent Directors Independent?

Thank you everyone for your support of last week’s blog “How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata Chairman”. It received over a million views between my blog, social media, and websites of publications. Besides, it also appeared in the print editions of more than 30 national and regional newspapers. The separation of control from ownership…

How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata Chairman

On 24 October 2016, Cyrus was in his Bombay House 4th floor office examining what seemed like a routine agenda for the Tata Sons board meeting that was scheduled to start in five minutes at 14:00 hours. Through the grapevine, Cyrus had heard that some of the board members had an unscheduled informal meeting earlier…

In India, nothing is too much trouble

One of the remarkable things that strikes visitors, especially foreigners, about India is the warmth of the people one encounters. Individuals think nothing about dropping everything and going out of their way to help you without any expectation of reciprocity. They even get embarrassed if you so much as thank them for their generosity.

Au Revoir 2016

Welcome to the last blog of 2016. Since this weekend blog was set up, I have written 38 posts, which are aimed to be consumed in about 10 minutes. It is now emailed to more than 750 subscribers. But via postings on http://www.scroll.in and http://www.linkedin.com, another 10,000 to 100,000 views a week are garnered. Signing…

The Interview That Never Ran

A primary function of PR agencies that are hired by companies is to feed journalists with stories / questions that will reflect poorly on the other side. Last week, I received one such set of gotcha questions from a senior journalist of one of India’s leading newspapers. For some reason, despite the tight deadline given…

Just Fired, and Moving On

An old school friend advised me that in the Indian context, it is better not to mention I have been fired to anyone as it would have a deleterious impact on my reputation and job prospects. Better, he said, say “resigned”. As all of you now know from last week’s blog “I just got fired”,…

I Just Got Fired!

“Calling all the people here to see the show Calling for my demons now to let me go I need something, give me something wonderful” As someone who almost opted to become a professional DJ, it’s fortunate that my favourite song of this year is Love and Hate by Michael Kiwanuka, with the lyrics above….