Last week I was discussing CFO of one of the listed companies about their board vacancy and new members on the board. He informed me that they have inducted two chartered accountants (CA). One CA was already there on their board. I wondered how many CAs a company needs on their board? Company board indicates diversity and inattentiveness of the company.
In most Indian companies we will find CA and lawyers as independent directors. I fail to understand compliance is the only role of the board? Do executive directors not want views from professionals from various fields?
Marketing, HR, Economists, Architects, and why not writers ad artists, for out of the box views , social media expert, IT professionals , film directors , media & communication professionals, international and local domain experts I mean there are many diverse professionals available who can add perhaps more value that legal and finance professionals.
But most companies do not want to think differently. Independent directors should play active role in growth and strategy of the company which is much more than compliance and tax planning or linear thinking. there is noting wrong with CA and lawyers on board but excessive of them wont work.
In light of above today's interview of SBI Chairperson Mrs Bhattacharya is welcome that PSU boards have surfeit of CAs. I think this should be a thinking point for all boards to review critically excessive of anything. Company board need diversity in times we live in. Markets outside is dynamic and need lateral thinking. When war is of talent , limited and lopsided boards will make companies struggle to survive.
(Anti-Disclaimer: I myself is a CA)