India Inc staring at ‘integrity crisis’, top management ought to act: Survey


PTI, Jan 23, 2022, 5:35 PM IST

Credit: iStock Photo

India Inc is staring at an ”integrity crisis” in the second year of the pandemic, a survey done by a consultancy firm has revealed.

The global survey conducted by the consultancy firm EY, which saw executives from 100 companies, including chief executives, board members and also mid-management personnel participate, has found concerning details like 59 per cent of the respondents feeling there are executives who would not mind compromising on integrity for short-term gains.

Over half of the Indian participants in the survey also said that they did not report a misconduct, which is much higher than the 30 per cent average globally, the survey said.

In what can impact the ability to curtail further frauds, more than a third (39 per cent) of the respondents expressed apprehension about the whistle-blowing channels, saying the concerns raised may not be acted upon.

”It is very important for organisations to guard against risks and the tone has to be set from the top,” Arpinder Singh, the India leader for the firm’s forensic and integrity services vertical, told PTI.

He pointed to another finding, wherein 33 per cent of the respondents reported that their own organization has experienced ”significant fraud” in the aftermath of the pandemic, and added that India ranks second among 54 countries surveyed on this count.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said the pandemic and the ensuing changes in the business environment have made it difficult for businesses to conduct themselves with integrity. Drawing from his experience, Singh said there are some specific risks which have been observed during the pandemic, which include frauds around money transfers because in the virtual world, there is a tendency not to run specific checks on a document before clearing for payment.

Also, instances of money getting siphoned-off are also being reported, and discovered only during an audit, he added.

Apart from that, onboarding of third parties sans much of diligence is leading to instances and fraud, he said, adding that appointment of gig workers is another challenge where there have been troubles around misrepresentation on resumes and also impersonation.

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