As many as 20 listed companies that don’t have a single independent woman director on their boards have announced board meetings over the next few days to appoint them, reports Ankit Doshi in Mumbai. The law requires companies to have one woman director on their boards; as part of its endeavour to align the Corporate Governance Code with the new Companies Act, the Securities and Exchange Board of India in February 2014 gave firms till October 1 to appoint least one woman director on their boards which was extended to April 1, 2015.Yet a Prime Database compilation says about 450 companies listed on the NSE were without a woman independent director as on March 17. Among well-known women professionals appointed to boards of firms in recent months are Renu Sud Karnad, Vedika Bhandarkar, Roopa Kudwa, Nirupama Rao and Aarthi Subramanian. More than 50 appointments were made on Tuesday and many companies said they had identified the persons. Among these were Tata International, and Bajaj Auto, as also a host of mid-cap and small-cap firms. While Suman Kirloskar, who has been on the Bajaj Auto board for 12 years, will step down, Gita Piramal will take her place.
Many large-cap and public sector companies are also rushing to meet the March 31 deadline. While Hero MotoCorp named Apollo Hospitals executive vice-chairperson Shobana Kamineni to its board on Friday, Larsen & Toubro and all the three listed Adani Group firms are among those yet to fill this quota, as are ONGC, NTPC, BP, NMDC, GAIL and Power Finance Corporation. Even public sector banks like Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, PNB, Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank are still to comply with the requisite change.