The only woman director on the board of Infosys Technologies quit last year, and the usually politically-correct company does not have a single woman on the board of the company or its subsidiaries
It is considered to be a company with the highest standards of corporate governance, best financial reporting standards and is said to be most conscious about what is politically correct. But at a time when Murli Deora, Union minister for corporate affairs, is threatening to make it mandatory for all companies to have a woman director, we found that Infosys Technologies, the torchbearer of best corporate practices, has none.
Rama Bijapurkar, the lone woman director on the board of Infosys, quit in April last year. What is more surprising though, is how low-key her exit has been. In fact, we discovered that Ms Bijapurkar was no longer on the board only while checking on the implications of the rejig that would occur at Infosys. A quick search produced a further surprise. Ms Bijapurkar resigned in April 2010 and a notice to this effect was sent to the stock exchanges at the time.
Yet, not even the 24x7 business media that endlessly dissect trivial business developments, found this worth a detailed mention; nor did any of the several publications that regularly carry her columns. After all, a position on the Infosys board is one of the most coveted directorships in the country today.
Ms Bijapurkar joined the Infosys board in March 2001 and quit in just under a decade, effective 13th April 2010. At the time, NR Narayana Murthy recorded the board's appreciation saying, "Rama has been a highly productive member of the Board and we will miss her. We wish her all the best for the future." There was no mention about why she quit, no excuses about health or personal reasons, no statement about nation-building or looking for greener pastures-although which pasture could be greener than a directorship at Infosys?
Our attempts to find out why Ms Bijapurkar quit have drawn a blank so far. Ms Bijapurkar has not responded to our email query and Mr Narayana Murthy has not responded to our text message. Of the three other directors whom we asked, Omkar Goswami said, "We follow a rule that we collectively made a few years ago. All questions regarding the Board would be answered by Mr Murthy as the Chairman". TV Mohandas Pai, who announced his decision to quit on Friday, said, "It is best Murthy answers this; it is not fair for me to answer." Deepak Satawlekar, who is a director and also a member of the nominations committee, said, "The stock exchanges were informed of her leaving the board. The nominations committee is deliberating on the induction of additional directors."
What he does not say is that Ms Bijapurkar quit a year ago. Some insiders tell us that she resigned a few months earlier and that her resignation was accepted only in April last year. The replies seem to indicate that there is more to the exit than meets the eye and it is curious that while the nominations committee has inducted a new director (Ravi Venkatesan), it has not found a woman suitable to induct on the board.
All that will change if the corporate affairs ministry has its way. The ministry's proposal requires all companies with five or more independent directors to ensure that at least one of the directors is a woman. Isn't it ironical that even corporate India will pay lip service only to the contribution of women, and induct them as directors only when the government mandates a quota.
According to the FDP, RIL was meant to put 22 wells on stream by April 2011 to achieve a production level of 61.88 mmscmd. But as of today only 18 wells are in production with the output too from these wells-at 43.44 mmscmd instead of the planned 53.4 mmscmd
New Delhi: In a surprise move, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has refused to approve Reliance Industries' spending on the KG-D6 gas fields unless the Mukesh Ambani-run company agrees to drill more wells on the prolific gas block, reports PTI.
The DGH, which as per the norm has to approve exploration and production spending on a block at the beginning of the fiscal, has been holding back approval for Reliance's 2010-11 budget for several months.
Reliance submitted revised spending on the eastern offshore KG-D6 block for 2010-11 along with proposed budget for the current fiscal but DGH sent it back seeking a recast, sources in know of the development said.
DGH, they said, wants Reliance to include cost of drilling of two more wells on the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields-first of the 18 gas discoveries that have been put into production, in the budget.
This despite being told that expenditure on additional wells would be a drain as they would be tapping the same pool of resources. The 18 wells are capable of recovering resources on the D1 and D3 fields and additional wells would not help in raising output, sources said.
While a Reliance spokesperson declined to give comments, DGH director general SK Srivastava did not take calls made seeking comments.
DGH has been unhappy over Reliance's inability to stick to the approved Field Development Plan (FDP) for D1 and D3 gas fields in the KG-D6 block, leading to significantly lower level of gas production from what was okayed.
According to the FDP, Reliance was meant to put 22 wells on stream by April 2011 to achieve a production level of 61.88 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd). The plan envisaged an output of 80 mmscmd from a total of 31 wells by April 2012.
But the situation on the ground is markedly different from what was promised. As of today only 18 wells are in production. Output too from these wells-at 43.44 mmscmd instead of the planned 53.4 mmscmd-are lower than what was inscribed in the FDP.
Reliance, however, says drilling more wells will not solve the drop in production which was a result of fall in pressure and increased water stream in the wells.
The company has submitted all technical data supporting its claims but DGH does not seem satisfied.
Sources said DGH has also lowered the in-place reserves at Reliance's NEC-25 deep-sea block off the Orissa cost. While Reliance had pegged in-place reserves at about 5 trillion cubic feet, DGH says only 3.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) resources are present in the discoveries the company has made so far.
DGH now wants Reliance to recast the Field Development Plan for the discoveries in the NEC-25 accordingly, they added.
State Bank of India will provide financing for both, the passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles range
Tata Motors has signed an agreement with State Bank of India (SBI) for providing channel financing facilities to the Tata Motors dealers. The bank will provide financing for both, the passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles range.
The dealers of Tata Motors will now have access to ready upstream finance from SBI to meet their working capital requirements in addition to their existing retail finance arrangements.
SBI ranks as an important retail financier for Tata Motors today and this tie up is a further step to achieve a holistic value chain support which will help the company achieve its growth aspirations, and improve the Bank's retail penetration. SBI has evolved a new technology platform for achieving benchmark levels of service in inventory funding.
According to SBI, the electronic dealer finance platform will provide best-in-class customer experience to the dealers, thereby effectively partnering Tata Motors in realising the company's growth ambitions.
On Tuesday, Tata Motors ended 0.38% down at Rs1,203.30 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while SBI declined 0.52% to Rs2,738.55. The benchmark Sensex ended 0.16% up at 19,121.83.