Alliance for Integrity (AfIn) holds Anti-Corruption Day Dialogue

The Alliance for Integrity (AfIn), in cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), presented the findings of an extensive survey on “Corruption in India” on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day. 75 senior managers (of companies operating in India) who were part of the survey provided partly unexpected responses to the question on how to deal with the issue of corruption in one of the most important economies of the future.

A key finding of the survey is that senior management in India thinks that corruption negatively affects companies operating in India. More than four-fifths of those polled are of the opinion that without anti-corruption programmes, their companies would risk economic losses.

The qualitative survey, based on data collected in September and October 2014, highlights that there is a significant demand for initiatives like AfIn. Almost unanimously (96%), the respondents agreed that the time is right to promote collective action on the ground against corruption. AfIn will use this momentum and work together with its core group and strategic partners to further elaborate on the findings and strive to bring sustainable change.

“Corruption is a debasing activity,” said Mr. Salil Singhal, former Chairman of CII. “In tune with the paradigm shift in many areas in the country today, corruption can be mitigated by creating a conducive economic environment. The findings of this survey will go a long way in understanding and defining solutions.”

The keynote address, focussed on crony capitalism, was delivered by Sanjay Singh, Principal Resident Representative, Tata Services. Mr. Singh highlighted the significance of technology in ensuring transparency at all levels.

The launch of the survey report was followed by a panel discussion, to discuss the key findings of the survey, and identify and prioritise AfIn’s action areas for 2015, and map out approaches to reduce corruption risks for companies operating in India. The panelists included, among others, Mr. Heiko Warnken, Head, Economic Cooperation and Development, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Ramani Iyer, Corporate Manager, Forbes Marshall, and steering group member, AfIn.

Mr. Warnken opined that corruption is an underlying issue in all sectors of development cooperation. “The corporate sector and strong leadership can play a crucial role to change the rules of the game”, he said.

Panellists at the discussion

Panellists at the discussion : Sebastian Wegner (policy analyst), Ramani Iyer (Corporate Manager, Forbes Marshall), Harsh Srivastava (Senior VP, Corporate Affairs, SREI Infrastructure Finance), Heiko Warnken (Head, Economic Cooperation and Development, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sherbir Panag (Criminal lawyer), Aditya Sood (discussion moderator)

The panel discussion also included interesting perspectives on corruption from the audience.

AfIn is an initiative initiated and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Global Compact Network (DGCN).

Key findings
69% of respondents do not think that companies are sufficiently aware of anti-corruption regulations in India. However, respondents also see the government as part of the solution. 96% of respondents think that it is the right time to promote collective action against corruption.

About the survey

The Alliance for Integrity in cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) conducted a survey between September and October 2014 among senior management with experience in anti-corruption compliance of companies operating in India. Based on the survey and discussions with stakeholders in Delhi and Mumbai in November 2014, key opportunities and challenges of reducing corruption risks have been identified and outlined.

About Alliance for Integrity

Alliance for Integrity (AfIn) is a business driven multi-stakeholder initiative between multinational companies, civil society, political organizations and international institutions. The aim of AfIn is to promote integrity among companies, their business partners and other relevant actors in the economic system. In addition, it contributes to better framework conditions by fostering dialogue between the public and private sector.