Investor research on integrated reporting by Indian companies
Since the launch of the Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework in December 2013 by IIRC, there have been various investor studies to build a case for it. The studies are global in scope, i.e., with focus on global investors and on global companies mostly headquartered in advanced industrialised countries. These studies tend to serve as references of the changing expectations of investors on disclosures from companies. Expectation of the participating investors are driven by conditions of financial markets, movement of financial flows, and reporting jurisdictions that are different from emerging countries.
Besides the high-level statistics and headlines, there are finer details that should be understood when trying to build investor case for integrated reporting from Indian companies. Currently, there are no India-specific studies to indicate expectations of investors from Indian companies, and the differences between global and Indian investors. Devoid of such insights, Indian companies are not really aware of the expectations of investors and therefore, the aspects of business the companies should focus on.
It is in this context, that CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development is undertaking investor research on integrated reporting by Indian companies. This research will serve as reference for integrated reporting for Indian companies, investors, and regulators.
CESD is undertaking the investor research with two clear objectives.
CESD is conducting this research with the following hypothesis.
H1: Investors, particularly in advanced industrialised markets, are looking for better disclosures on non-financial aspects of Indian companies, preferably in the form of integrated reporting, that help them make informed investment decisions
The investor research will be mainly primary research. Primary research will entail one-one interviews with select Indian and international investors interested in Indian companies. Approximately 30 minutes long, the interviews will be conducted by CESD researchers. These interviews will be open to members of <IR> Lab India to participate in. CESD will share the schedule of interviews as it develops.
Primary research will be complemented by secondary research. Secondary research that corroborate or is diagonally opposite with findings will add to the analysis and perspectives of the CESD research.
Questionnaire development and analysis
A qualitative questionnaire will be developed to guide and structure interviews. CESD researchers will share the draft questionnaire with members of <IR> Lab India for inputs. There will be five to seven broad questions each focussed on specific issue. Keywords and indicators in the questions will contribute to specific topic of analysis.
Selection of investors
CESD will identify two sets of investors to interview. One will be those that are already invested in members of <IR> Lab India. There are around 40 investment firms invested with the eight corporate members of <IR> Lab India. CESD will seek help of corporate members of <IR> Lab India to connect to their investors. Interviews in such cases will not be about the particular company that the investor is invested in. The other set will be investors that are interested in Indian companies. There will be another distinct ten investment firms in the second set. Both sets of investors will be of Indian and foreign origin. CESD will attempt to interview at least 20 investors.
What this study is not about?
The study is scheduled for release in February 2018.