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CII unveils Corporate Governance Charter for startups

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has unveiled a comprehensive Corporate Governance Charter aimed at fostering robust governance frameworks within India's burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Recognizing the critical role of governance in sustainable business practices, the charter outlines various recommendations and structures tailored to the unique needs and life cycles of startups.

Strategic importance and vision

The charter is designed to guide startups through different stages of their development—from inception to going public. It emphasizes the importance of embedding good governance early, which could significantly benefit startups by enhancing stakeholders' trust, improving access to finance, and increasing the chances of long-term survival.


R Dinesh, President of CII, highlighted the charter's strategic value, stating, "This charter is designed for entities incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 only, and therefore the term 'Startup'. However, entities in the nature of sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, or partnerships may adopt similar structures/ guidelines for corporate governance within their organization."

Guidance and tools for implementation

The governance charter provides a framework and includes practical tools like an online self-evaluative governance scorecard. This tool allows startups to assess and track their governance practices over time, ensuring continuous improvement and alignment with best practices.

Kunal Bahl, Chairman of the CII National Startup Council and Co-founder of Titan Capital & Snapdeal, remarked on the critical need for foundational governance, "It is vital to embed the tenets of good corporate governance from the earliest days of a startup so that, over time, they become part of the organisation's DNA, helping guide and steer the startup and all its stakeholders through various stages of its growth and evolution."

Context and rationale

The launch of this charter comes at a time when governance failures in well-known startups have raised concerns among investors and stakeholders. Recent cases have underscored the necessity for structured governance to prevent management lapses and ensure transparent operations.

The CII's initiative aims to set a benchmark for startups, encouraging them to adopt governance frameworks that will enable them to grow responsibly and become globally competitive enterprises.

Outlook and future steps

With this governance charter, CII aims to support Indian startups in becoming responsible corporate citizens. By establishing well-governed practices, startups are expected to attract more investment, achieve higher operational efficiency, and build lasting trust with all stakeholders involved.

The CII remains committed to enhancing the governance standards of startups in India, contributing to the overall health and maturity of the startup ecosystem.