Suvarnabhumi Campus, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand played host to the first-ever collaborative venture between two premier institutions, Assumption University and Shri Ram College of Commerce: Asian Conference on Corporate Governance and Business Sustainability (ACCGBS) on October 7-9, 2013.
The 27th Prime Minister of Thailand, His Excellency Abhisit Vejjajiva inaugurated the Conference with his address on “Corporate Governance Reforms in Asia.” He spoke about how South Asia came out of the financial crises in the past and have shown the way towards resurgence of the economies of these countries. The family based system of corporate governance has been attempted to be modernized on the lines of the OECD Principles by introducing the concepts of independent directors, audit committees and disclosure. But the challenges of implementation of the laws and regulations particularly concerning protection of minority interest, and slow legal process are the dampening factors. He also emphasized the inclusion of ordinary citizenry, particularly women, in issues concerning corporate governance, involvement and investment. He commended the efforts of SRCC and AU in putting together this international conference at a point in time when the world is turning its attention on Asia.
Attended by the founder of Assumption University and President Emeritus, Rev Bro Martin, its President, Rev Bro Bancha Saenghiran, Chairman of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Ajay S. Shriram, its Principal, Dr PC Jain, faculty members, students from both institutions, delegates, paper presenters, dignitaries from the academic and corporate communities, it was a coming together of people from all parts of the world. Bro. Bancha welcomed the guests and elaborated on the concept of this collaborative effort.
Ajay Shriram spoke on corporate governance issues in the context of India and referred to how family businesses were tackling matters related to governance. He was appreciative of the initiative between the two institutes as a new beginning in the direction of global collaborations. Conference Secretary, Dr Anil Kumar proposed a Vote of Thanks and expressed his happiness and gratitude to all segments that made the Conference possible.
On the second day of the Conference a Roundtable Discussion: “Exploring Collaborative Pathways in Corporate Governance and Sustainable Business Partnerships” was organized. The Indian Ambassador to Thailand, HE Anil Wadhwa, the Secretary-General of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Kalin Sarasin, the Director, Board of Studies, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Sutanu Sinha, Chief Executive, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Dr Raj S. Dhankar, Dean, FMS, Delhi University and representatives of Tata, Thailand and Birla, Thailand participated.
There were fifteen technical sessions: Strategic Management and Corporate Governance (CG), CG – Performance & SMEs, CSR, Management and Sustainability, Finance & Economics, Education, Marketing and Information Technology etc. By the sheer number of paper presentations, this conference not only addressed the depth of issues but also the diversity and range of topics. In all, fifty-four papers were presented. An eminent jury chaired by Prof Raj S. Dhankar, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, Prof KV Bhanu Murthy, Faculty of Commerce and Business, Delhi University, Vijay Kapur, Director, Board of Studies,
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India adjudged the best papers. The best papers will be published as a special edition of Business Analyst, the bi-annual journal of SRCC.
The Conference provided a great opportunity to interact and learn from each other’s experiences, not only in the conference matters, but more importantly to understand the academic practices and orientation in different parts of the globe, especially in Asia. The ACCGBS 2013 was sponsored by the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG).