Annual reports mirror not only the financial health but the moral strength as well of a company. The finer ones prioritise the transparency keeping the investors at the center of its objective and others simply fail the same. Hence the need of recognising the good and the bad is paramount today at a time when the corporate world is getting increasingly abuzz with the words — frauds and faulted— that is undesirable in a fair business eco-system.
The Free Press Journal, for the first time in India, is taking the task of recognising the Best Annual Reports. An Award that is bestowed upon India's most admirable corporate annual report in at least five key industry segments, including Banking & Finance, Information Technology, FMCG, Aviation, Healthcare, will consider the content that describe the top players’ business fundmentals, financial strength or weekness, operational and ethical practices, among others. Ultimately, the goal is to judge them to see how transparently these have been reflected in the investors’ Holy Book—that is an Annual Report.
The awardees are decided by a high-powered independent jury chaired by none other than M Damodaran, former SEBI chairman. The Jury also comprises Ketan Dalal, former PwC Tax Leader and current Managing Director of Katalyst Advisors, Abizer Diwanji, senior partner at EY India, Marezban Bharucha, Managing Partner at the law firm of Bharucha & Associates.
In addition to the routine judging criteria, the Jury will consider the least cautionary flags waved by the auditors in the annual reports and would also include those which, the Jury believe, are without the cautionary flags that ought to have been there. The Jury would also seek opinions from veteran corporate lawyers and chartered accountants in this respect.
The annual reports that have a friendlier presentation for their shareholders, which seeks not to conceal things or gloss over any details, and the reports that have something to say about the benefits they have brought to their shareholders and to the society at large, will be the other factors to be considered by the Jury.
There will be mainly 3 categories of companies in all the selected industry sectors such as Large companies with turnover of over Rs.5,000 crore in the given year; Medium sized ones with business volumes of over Rs.1,000 crore, but upto Rs.5,000 crore; and Small ones with sales of over Rs.500 crore and not more than Rs.1,000 crore.
A closely monitored shortlisting process in each category would then turn up at the final round with just 4-5 annual reports for the jury to consider. The Free Press Journal would be organizing this marquee annual event begining with the banking sector and later extending to other sectors.
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