Business Today

A Lasting Impression

By Shailesh Haribhakti   Delhi     Print Edition: February 26, 2017
A Lasting Impression
The Essential Book of Corporate Governance BY G.N. BAJPAI PAGES: 335 PRICE: Rs 595 SAGE PUBLICATIONS

Most Indians have held Mr. Bajpai in awe. A word or sentence shared with him in his glory years is all it took to create a lasting legacy of remembrance. The interaction with his extraordinary book on a subject most dear to his heart can transform any professional, owner or manager. It can contribute immeasurably to creating value.

The Essential Book of Corporate Governance has an extraordinary sweep of history, philosophy, pedagogy, and simple applied common sense.

It begins with a dramatic brief history of the way human kind has evolved into a data-ist society today, encompassing hunting, gathering, agriculture, industry, and information technology. He then dwells upon the evolution of the Joint Stock Company as the most sustainable and long-standing standard bearer of the economic revolution that is ongoing. He skillfully introduces the key pillars of governance. It is with an almost romantic expertise that he deals with complex subjects such as boardroom practices, related party transactions, accounting and financial reporting standards, and disclosures. Risk management receives a deserved pride of place after he has created the book context with his four pillars. Of particular relevance is the idea of scenario planning. This is followed up by a masterly analysis of how corporate governance ratings are actually given.

All these complex subjects are explained as if your most favourite professor is patiently sharing experiences. The text is replete with examples, diagrams, and clear processes to follow. Great governance comes alive right before the reader's eye! The ease of language and the excellent turn of phrase completely mesmerise the reader, and lead to maximum absorption of the complex material. All this is followed up by live examples of fabled case studies from all over the world. At the end of the case studies, all that must be avoided becomes crystal clear. The annexures are a reflection of the way he dealt with regulatory cholesterol, and converted it into life giving blood.

Global context, his incredible and unique experience as a leader of India's largest financial giant, as a respected regulator and a storied board member all come together in this must-read book. Every person involved in corporate India can gain immensely by imbibing the lessons he shares so abundantly. If this book is interwoven into the fabric of governance, a new dawn will emerge, taking India to the very top of the world in terms of quality of governance. ~

The writer is Founder & Chief Mentor, Baker Tilly DHC Pvt. Ltd.

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