Corporate integrity amidst crisis is an issue with 78% of Indians, says survey

NEW DELHI: It is difficult to maintain corporate integrity for 78 per cent professionals in India, compared to 60 per cent in emerging markets, amidst volatile market conditions, an EY report said on Tuesday.

The EY report comprises the views of over 2,750 board members, managers, and employees from 34 emerging markets which includes 100 professionals surveyed across India.

“Organisations continue to remain vulnerable in volatile market conditions, with 78 per cent of respondents in India admitting that it is challenging to maintain their standards of integrity in periods of rapid change or difficult market conditions,” the report said.

According to the survey, entities in India have faced more action from regulators compared to other emerging markets covered in the survey.

“Amidst shifts in regulatory expectations and economic stress, 60 per cent of respondents from India said that regulators have taken action against their organisation for breaching integrity standards or regulations, compared to 38 per cent in emerging markets,” it said.

At the same time, 65 per cent in India cited that it is difficult to adapt to the speed and volume of changes in regulations as against 45 per cent in the emerging markets.

EY - India and Global Markets Leader for Forensic and Integrity Services, Arpinder Singh delved into the responses of Indian professionals and observed that with 67 per cent of large organisations in India, having reported issues of misconduct to management or a whistle-blowing hotline, the percentage is likely to be similar if not significant in the Indian startup ecosystem.

“As Indian startups continue to grow, introducing strong corporate governance practices will go a long way in enhancing regulatory compliance, preventing fines and penalties and protecting assets and reputation. More and more new age companies must prioritise proper implementation of compliance structures as they can significantly help organisations drive long-term sustainable value,” Singh said.

According to 65 per cent of respondents in India, it is difficult to adapt to the speed and volume of changes in regulations as against 45 per cent in the emerging markets.

The survey shows a gap between what companies said they have in the way of an ESG policy and how they demonstrate accountability.

“Only 33 per cent of emerging market respondents said their company has a policy on either Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or ESG, as compared to 47 per cent in India,” it said.

For 43 per cent of professionals, cyber risk is the top risk when acquiring, partnering or investing in other organisations compared to 28 per cent in emerging markets.

According to the report, 8 per cent respondents in India knew very little of policies procedures for keeping office premises, equipment and networks secure as against 28 per cent in other emerging markets.

The survey was conducted in 33 emerging markets, including in India between June and September 2021, EY said.

Next Story