Corporate Governance Report
Our corporate governance philosophy
Corporate governance is an ethically driven business process that is committed to values aimed at enhancing an organization's wealth generating capacity. This is ensured by taking ethical business decisions and conducting business with a firm commitment to values, while meeting stakeholders' expectations. At Infosys, it is imperative that our company affairs are managed in a fair and transparent manner. This is vital to gain and retain the trust of our stakeholders.
Our corporate governance framework ensures effective engagement with our stakeholders and helps us evolve with changing times. The publication of the Cadbury Report in the U.K. in 1992 was a significant event in modern corporate governance. The report recommended the arrangement of company boards and accounting systems to reduce corporate governance risks and failures. The enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002, resulted in the senior management individually certifying the accuracy of their company's financial information. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act looks to build a safer, more stable financial system to set the foundation for sound economic growth and job safety.
Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sought to amend the equity listing agreement to bring in additional corporate governance norms for listed entities. These norms provide for stricter disclosures and protection of investor rights, including equitable treatment for minority and foreign shareholders.
Many of the amendments are effective from October 1, 2014. The amended rules require companies to get shareholders' approval for related party transactions, establish whistleblower mechanisms, elaborate disclosures on pay packages and have at least one woman director on their boards.
The amended norms are aligned with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, and is aimed to encourage companies to ‘adopt best practices on corporate governance’.
We believe that an active, well-informed and independent board is necessary to ensure the highest standards of corporate governance. It is well-recognized that an effective Board is a pre-requisite for a strong and effective corporate governance. At Infosys, the Board of Directors (‘the Board’) is at the core of our corporate governance practice and oversees how the Management serves and protects the long-term interests of our stakeholders.
Our corporate governance framework ensures that we make timely disclosures and share accurate information regarding our financials and performance, as well as the leadership and governance of the Company.
Our corporate governance philosophy is based on the following principles:
- Corporate governance standards should go beyond the law and satisfy the spirit of the law, not just the letter of the law
- When in doubt, disclose. Ensure transparency and maintain a high level of disclosure
- Clearly distinguish between personal conveniences and corporate resources
- Communicate externally, and truthfully, about how the Company is run internally
- Comply with the laws of all countries in which we operate
- Have a simple and transparent corporate structure driven solely by business needs
- The Management is the trustee of the shareholders' capital and not the owner
We firmly believe that Board independence is essential to bring objectivity and transparency in the Management and in the dealings of the Company. As on March 31, 2014, the majority of our Board members – seven out of 13 – are independent members. An independent director is nominated as the chairperson of each of the audit, management development and compensation, stakeholders relationship, nominations and governance, risk management and corporate social responsibility committees.
As part of our commitment to follow global best practices, we substantially comply with the Euroshareholders Corporate Governance Guidelines 2000 and the recommendations of the Conference Board Commission on Public Trusts and Private Enterprises in the U.S. We also adhere to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) principles.
Corporate governance guidelines
Over the years, the Board has developed corporate governance guidelines to help fulfill our corporate responsibility towards our stakeholders. These guidelines ensure that the Board will have the necessary authority and processes in place to review and evaluate our operations when required. Further, these guidelines allow the Board to make decisions that are independent of the Management. The Board may change these guidelines regularly to achieve our stated objectives.