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Grow with Governance: ESG is the umbrella for CSR, says Vedanta's Roma Balwani

Grow with Governance: ESG is the umbrella for CSR, says Vedanta's Roma Balwani

By Bharathy Iyer and Jescilia K
Calendar

Aug 06 th 2021

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Grow with Governance: ESG is the umbrella for CSR, says Vedanta's Roma Balwani

Learn, unlearn and relearn gives you a wholesome approach to life, opines Roma Balwani, President -- Brand and Communications of Vedanta Group. Balwani, who is also an Independent Director and board member with John Cockerill India, shares her corporate journey and view on governance. She further explains the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) in an interview with MentorMyBoard’s (MMB) Bharathy Iyer and Free Press Journal’s (FPJ) Jescilia K. This interview is part of the ongoing series titled ‘Grow with Governance’ organised by MMB and FPJ.

https://youtu.be/zLaEZtvALPg

Edited excerpts:

How did your board journey start from being an employee to becoming a board member?

My board journey started accidentally at Mahindra. One of the companies that were supposed to close down was a listed entity. Thus, there was a need to have all the directors. And then by rotation, I was introduced to the board of that Mahindra company.

Learning from that experience was the learning of a lifetime -- learning both as a professional and board member. I learnt how the regulatory framework of carrying on the board duties are allocated; how do you contribute as a board member; how responsible are you to stakeholders and shareholders; to go through the regulatory process I learned the value of ethics and governance, among other learnings.

I was not always in communication. I started off with Larsen & Toubro at the administration level. It helped me understand the general roles of management and other aspects of the business.

When my daughter was born, I took a hiatus from my professional career. During that time, I explored my creative side and was introduced to branding. So, these various experiences were a melting pot for me.

When you learn, unlearn and relearn that gives you a wholesome approach to personal and professional life.

What is your view on new SEBI regulations vis-a-vis reputational risk?

The new regulation for the Board Directors puts a lot of responsibility on organisations.

When you are part of the board, you bring your own brand, reputation, credibility apart from the experience you bring to the board -- these factors cannot be discounted.

Young professionals need to be aware of the organisation before joining the board as reputational risk can either make or break the organisation.

Governance is seen as a hindrance at times. Your view.

Governance is non-negotiable in an organisation — if this mantra is followed then it carries the weight and relevance across the organisation. This is very critical in today’s day and age.

It is important that every person in the company follows the ethics of an organisation and aligns with the code of conduct. This will ensure that these values do not lie only at the board level, but are cascaded down to the last person in the organisation.

Can you share your international experience?

My experience in John Cockerill gave me an insight on how businesses are international, how stakeholders are impacting your business, allowing me to understand the best practices around the world among other insights.

On the board of John Cockerill India, there is the chairman, finance director and technical head from the parent company based out of Belgium. When you have such a well-rounded board, you get a lot of insight and learning. And in turn, you show them the economy, democracy of India, cultural fabric, and the way employees in Indian function. I think marrying both is relevant in this scenario where the business is based out of India but you are bringing in all the international flavours into that business proposition.

Is there any literary work that shaped your journey?

There is a book by Jim Collins’ Good to Great. It is about the journey to becoming 'great' from 'good'.

Has more awareness around ESG simplified your CSR task?

It has not been simplified. You still need to demystify it for CSR teams. For instance, natural resource company Vedanta looks at CSR as a social license to operate. In that case, they need to look at employment, education, issues faced by stakeholders among other things.

In the case of ESG, there is an ‘E’ and ‘G’ to it. They understand the ‘S’. But they do not marry all of them together.

In Vedanta, we are carrying out a big project on social performance that is a pilot project in the interiors of Odisha. Here social performance is the key to know how a business runs in harmony with the community. Social performance is to understand the impact of CSR. ESG creates a measurable tool.

CSR comes under the social performance attribute. Today, ESG is the umbrella for CSR.

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Category

  • All
  • Boardrooms
  • BOARDROOMS
  • Independent Directors
  • Role of Board
  • Mindset Shifts of Boards
  • Independent Directors and Promoters
  • Sustainability / ESG
  • business implication
  • employee exits
  • COMMITTEE MEETINGS
  • Union Budget
  • Independent Director
  • Grow with Governance
  • Grow with Governance
  • INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
  • Entrepreneurial Board
  • ESG & ITS IMPORTANCE
  • leadership coaching
  • Change Management
  • Advisory Boards
  • Boards
  • Boardroom
  • Brand Yourself as a Leader of the Company
  • Kindness
  • Are you hesitant to speak in the Boardroom!
  • Governance & ESG
  • Directors
  • Independent Directors
  • Corporate Governance
  • Leader development
  • Gratitude, Purpose
  • decision making
  • Systematic Investment Plans in Emotional Intelligence
  • Corporate Governance
  • The Board’s Role in ESG!
  • Balance Boards
  • Agility and Compassion
  • Governance and Board
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Directors,Promoter Directors
  • Board Members, Directors and Independent Directors
  • Board and Senior Management
  • New Directors
  • Cyber Insurance
  • Salary Increment
  • Economy Growth
  • Human Resources
  • Generating Wealth Beyond Money
  • Agile Mindset for Leadership
  • Aspiring Independent Directors
  • Board Leadership
  • Corporate Governance & Women on Boards
  • BOARD MEMBER
  • SME
  • WOMEN DIRECTOR
  • BOARD MEMBERS

Archive

  • 2021
    • April (3)
      • Will you drive your vehicle without a dashboard?
      • Are you making SIPs to improve your Emotional Intelligence
      • Corporate Governance needs a Moral Compass – Ethics in Indian Boardrooms!
    • August (9)
      • Grow with Governance: ESG is the umbrella for CSR, says Vedanta's Roma Balwani
      • Grow with Governance: PadUp Ventures' Rajat Jain Demystifies Correlation of Governance and Economic Growth
      • Grow with Governance: Family governance impacts the culture of a family-run business, says Equations Advisors' Mita Dixit
      • Entrepreneurial Board
      • NEW REGULATORY PROVISIONS RELATED TO INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS
      • ESG & ITS IMPORTANCE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF BOARD MEETING
      • Start early, don't wait till retirement to become an Independent Director, says Increate Value Advisors' Milind Sarwate
      • The winding road of leadership coaching in the post-pandemic era
      • Challenges of Organizational Culture Change
    • February (4)
      • Re-examination of Purpose by the Boards in Post -Pandemic Era
      • What Makes Great Boards Great! Performance Evaluation by Boards and Role of Independent Directors
      • Promoter Director – Time to become Custodian of Governance!
      • Diversity and Inclusion – The Board Perspective!
    • January (2)
      • New Directors - Have you done your due diligence
      • Cyber Security Insurance and Boards
    • July (7)
      • Why Advisory Boards Are Important for Indian Business Corporates?
      • Grow with Governance: ESG essential to repair the damage economic activities caused to the earth, says CA Shailesh Haribhakti
      • Top 10 areas to contribute in Boards as Independent Directors
      • Top 10 Questions to Ask in Boardrooms!
      • Essential HOWs of Boardroom!
      • Kindness is key
      • How to Brand Yourself as a Leader of the Company?
    • June (6)
      • Leading from the Boardroom
      • Are you hesitant to speak in the Boardroom!
      • The Neem Project a Leadership case study
      • Directors Liability in India
      • Why do promoters need Independent Directors?
      • Corporate Governance Deviation – Infosys Case Study
    • March (4)
      • Board Refreshment: Finding the Right Balance for your Board!
      • HR Governance and Board – How Important Is It?
      • Agility and Compassion: Two Pillars for Boards in the Post Pandemic Era!
      • Modernizing Governance: The Board’s Role in ESG!
    • May (3)
      • Restructuring appraisals in 2021 – Gratitude, Purpose & Meritocracy
      • How do you make your personal Brand?
      • Leadership Coaching: How does it help Leaders
    • October (2)
      • Are Independent Director’s required on the Board?
      • 'Ethics & Governance' lesson should start from school, says Federal Bank's Independent Director, Sankarshan Basu
    • September (3)
      • Grow with Governance: As an Independent Director ensure your voice is heard, says Apurva Purohit
      • Grow with Governance: Push for ESG agenda; pool CSR funds to maximise impact, says Ranganath NK, former MD of Grundfos Pumps
      • Grow with Governance: Boards should prepare companies for different risks, says National Insurance Academy's G Srinivasan
  • 2020
    • August (4)
      • WOMEN DIRECTOR-An Emerge
      • ARE YOUR BOARD MEMBERS SAVVY WITH FINANCIAL TERMS AND EXCEL IN FINANCIAL LITERACY QUOTIENT AS PER COMPANIES ACT 2013 MANDATES.
      • BOARD MEMBER SELECTION- A TASK OF PERFECTION
      • SME IPO – AN OPPORTUNITY TO CAPITALIZE YOUR BUSINESS
    • December (3)
      • Good or bad, Salary Increments always cause a heartburn among employees
      • Is Economic Progress Enough?
      • Emotional Intelligence
    • November (3)
      • Generating Wealth Beyond Money
      • "Agile Mindset for Leadership"
      • Tips for Aspiring Independent Directors
    • September (3)
      • Independent Director
      • Lean Thinking Boards
      • Corporate Governance & Women on Boards
  • 2022
    • August (1)
      • Liability of Independent Directors – An Important Aspect of Corporate Governance
    • February (4)
      • A Hero's Farewell: How to handle employee exits with dignity
      • Green Bonds: An Instrument for Financing a Sustainable Future
      • Tool for effectiveness of Board Committees - Ask Right Questions
      • Russia-Ukraine war and India’s Business Implication
    • July (2)
      • Stagnation or Evolution – Mindset Shifts of Boards when Company sees Stagnated Growth
      • Risk Assessment and Minimization Procedures – Role of Board
    • March (2)
      • A study on Sustainability Report of Container Shipping Companies.
      • India and The ESG impact of Crypto Currencies
    • May (1)
      • Independent Directors liability under GST
    • November (1)
      • Workplace Sexual Harassment and the Role of Board
    • October (2)
      • How many Boards are too many?
      • Women in Indian Boardrooms Vs Diversity = Inversely Proportionate
    • September (2)
      • Organizing for the Future – Important keys to becoming future ready
      • Are you ready to serve on the Board?