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India enjoys a growing compliance sector

Posted by: Laurence Simons 07/09/15

Data from the most recent Compliance Trends Survey by Deloitte – which we have previously written on here – has revealed further information regarding the discipline of compliance within organisations across the globe.

One interesting discovery was that only 26% of Indian companies have full-time chief compliance officers working for them, compared with 58% of companies at a global level. This equates to roughly 62% of Indian companies having a designated CCO, but the majority included in the survey also reported having additional responsibilities outside of their specialism.

Yet the report also revealed that there has been an abrupt increase in regulatory enforcement within the business sector in India. Because of this, compliance risk is enjoying ascension from a standard business function to a key element within the boardroom, management and audit committee agendas, meaning that more jobs in compliance are becoming available. The country’s complex regulation regimes, which require regular interactions with multiple regulators, also carry significant penalties including major fines and jail time – even if the non-compliance was made in error. This in itself serves as a deterrent from neglecting legislation and practices, and companies are becoming increasingly keen to bring compliance officers on board.

So what does this mean for India’s compliance sector? With a reputation as an emerging economy and a large amount of attraction and investment from big global powers such as the US, it is unlikely that these figures will remain as low. The role of the compliance officer is shifting globally from that of an advisor and regulator, to a key seat on the business strategists’ table – and this is mirrored in the changing attitudes towards the discipline in India. It is likely that as the compliance sector grows, so will interest from overseas companies looking to root branches in the country. And with all this in mind, the future looks bright for compliance in India.

*364 companies took part in the research, of which 37 were from India. The largest proportion was from the consumer & industrial sector, but respondents also worked within technology, media, telecoms and financial services.