Understanding and Navigating India’s Complex Compliance Universe – India Employer Forum Webinar #3

India’s employer regulatory cholesterol universe is vast and complex: There are more than 69,000 compliances with over 26,000 of them having imprisonment clauses in India and over 25,000 of the total compliances are from the central government’s side. These numbers, in a nutshell, show how difficult it is to do business in India with smaller companies suffering more to be compliant with their smaller budgets. Reports show that out of 63 million enterprises spread across India, there are only 1 million formal employers. More than 98% of Indian employers stay small by choice. This breeds informal, sub-scale and uncompetitive enterprises that don’t have the productivity to grow, pay minimum wages, or afford to offer workers social security. Adding complexity to this mesh is the fact that the regulatory compliances change at a rate that’s administratively astonishing. You need an army of compliance officers to keep track of, leave alone file, these changes.

In the webinar on 9th Aug 2022, we had a productive discussion on these compliance codes by eminent corporate leaders, highlighting ways to navigate and understand India’s complex compliance universe and how the regulatory framework requires a reboot.

The webinar had three eminent industry experts who shared their views about the compliance universe and its impact on corporate India. The entire session was moderated by Dr. Runa Maitra, Founder and Director of People Talent International.

To share her views on the topic, one of the speakers was Nidhi Prasad, Director of HR & Compliance, Ather Energy. According to Nidhi, “When we look at any ecosystem, there are a lot of stakeholders. There is an employer on one side, there are employees on another side. The place where you know the employees live forms the social structure around it, and then there are regulatory authorities, and then there is a government which makes the policies. So, in any ecosystem for it to thrive and grow, there is equal participation where each of them becomes an equal partner for the progress”. 

Nidhi Prasad | Director – HR & Compliance | Ather Energy

The webinar also had Jitin Parekh, Company Secretary and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Aegon Life as a speaker. Jitin comes from a strong compliance background and added valuable points to the discussion. He said, “Best of the compliance professionals in India will miss the total compliances. The sheer number of compliances that we need to ensure is more than 60,000 compliances and that makes me believe that India is one of the largest or the most regulated countries in the world, and therefore, it increases the complexity of compliances and obviously it affects the business.”

Jitin Parekh | Chief Compliance & Legal Officer | Aegon Life

The third expert on the speakers’ panel was Rishi Agrawal, Co-founder & CEO, TeamLease RegTech. Rishi made some very appropriate deductions. He said, “26,034 among the 69,233 compliances, which makes it about 37% have provision for jail time. It is a big hindrance and a big hurdle in India’s group story. Among the 63 million enterprises in India, only 1 million are formal enterprises. Only half a million are active contributors to ESI and PF, only 70,000 have revenues of greater than 5 crores, and only 23,500 have a paid share capital of more than 10 crores and only about 8,000 out of them are listed”

Rishi Agrawal | Co-Founder & CEO | TeamLease RegTech

The panel discussion ended with a Q&A session where members of the audience, mostly HR professionals from various companies, enthusiastically posed their doubts and queries to the panel members.

The India Employer Forum webinar on ‘Understanding and Navigating India’s Complex Compliance Universe’ was relevant for the time and had people who added value to the discussion by bringing in different perspectives.

View the entire session here: Understanding and Navigating India’s Complex Compliance Universe – India Employer Forum Webinar #3

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