Joint stock company is the dominant form of business organisation for organised and large industrial and commercial activities in most economies of the world. In India, joint stock companies belonging to both public and private sectors account for about a third of the factories, more than 80 per cent of the capital, sixty per cent of the workers, seventy eight per cent of the gross output and net value added in the organized industrial sector. More than 95 per cent of the registered R&D units in India are owned by joint stock companies. Thus the corporate and industrial sectors are inseparable. Increasingly, study of various industries is being based on company level data instead of the traditional Annual Survey of Industries which has factory as the unit of reference.
Company level studies have a specific advantage over those relying on factory as a unit because the decision making authority is the company management and not the manager at the factory or at a branch. Questions like what to produce, how much to invest, how to raise finances, how much to spend on R&D and advertisement, where to get technology from, at what price to sell and in which markets, how to diversify, etc. are decided at company level. It could, indeed be the case that such decisions are taken at the group level, with each company playing its role as part of a well-knit entity. The health and prospects of an industry are not based merely on the value added but on the characteristics and behaviour of key players in the industry. These factors coupled with the availability of organizational information and operational data on an increasing scale appear to be responsible for the shift to company level studies. It would be no exaggeration to say that practically all studies of foreign direct investment, leaving aside those following the macroeconomic approach, are based on company level data. In the face of growing importance of the services sector in the economy and there being no comparable data source like the Annual Survey of Industries, sectoral studies of services are also being based on company level data.
While the use of company level data by economists for analytical purposes has been increasing, there appears to be inadequate appreciation of the specifics of the Indian corporate sector, various concepts involved, limitations of the reported data, further avenues for research thrown open by the enhanced disclosure requirements for stock exchange listed companies, etc. Equally important is the awareness of the relevant policy environment. Empirical studies which fail to take note of the limitations of the data and which are based on inadequate or poor understanding of the public policy provisions may result in incomplete or even improper portrayal of the prevailing situation and might end up offering incorrect policy prescriptions. It is evident that these essential elements of research on corporate sector do not normally form part of the economics curriculum.
The Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID) is the first specialised social science institution set up under the grant-in-aid scheme of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) to conduct studies relating to corporate sector and industrial policy and had its origins in the ICSSR long term research programme “Regulatory Administration of the Private Corporate Sector in India”. Besides the long experience in preparing empirical studies on different aspects of the Indian corporate sector in the context of various official policies, the ISID has to its credit the creation of a number of databases and also using the commercially available databases for a long time.
Over the years, the ISID (and the Corporate Studies Group at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, its predecessor) had also the opportunity to interact with a large number of researchers who came to access its databases. This interaction suggested the need for sufficiently exposing the scholars, especially the young ones, who have just embarked on their research or those wishing to pursue research in economics about the scope, concepts and data sources regarding the Indian corporate sector. The primary objective of the course is, therefore, to help the participants conceptualize issues relating to the Indian corporate sector and improve their ability to undertake research on those issues with appropriate data.
The focus of the training programme is on the Indian corporate sector with strong emphasis on the data sources. Participants would be familiarized with various data sources and will be encouraged to have hands on practice with a few popular ones. A broad outline of the issues that shall be covered is as follows:
- Institution of Joint-Stock Company: relative advantages over other types of organizations, ownership and control aspects;
- Corporate Sector in India: historical background, changing role of different sub-sectors in the Indian economy, business groups;
- Policy Environment: pre-1991 and post-1991 regulatory environment; company law, anti-monopoly legislation, sectoral regulations;
- Finance: capital structure, financial ratios and their significance, equity and debt, market and institutional finance, domestic and foreign, capital issues, pattern of equity ownership, corporate governance;
- Foreign investment: concept, identification, inward and outward, technology transfer; and
- Corporate restructuring: mergers, acquisitions, privatization, sickness, business failures;
- Corporate Disclosures: annual reports, prospectuses, supplementary information supplied to (available from) regulatory bodies, concepts, economic significance and practical limitations.
Apart from lectures, audio-visual presentations and interactive sessions, sufficient time will be earmarked for hands on experience on computers.
The course is aimed at advancing the knowledge of young researchers in academic institutions and teachers in colleges and university departments who are primarily from the economics discipline and whose work is related to the Indian corporate sector. Applications for participation in the course shall be invited from all over the country, through advertisements in professional journals and through direct mailing to university departments, colleges and institutions. The batch would be restricted to 25 participants so that each one can be given adequate personal attention. Selection would be based on relevance of the topic under research/proposed to be taken up.
Selected participants need to pay a nominal fee: lecturers or equivalent—800; scholars getting fellowship—400; and those without any fellowship or financial support—200. The selected scholars will be paid to and fro Second Class railway fare from the place of study/work. For outstation participants there is provision for boarding and lodging in Delhi for the duration of the programme.
Those desirous of participating in the programme may kindly send their brief CV along with a write-up of around 1,000 words on their research topic so as to reach the Programme Coordinator, preferably through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, before August 20, 2010.
The programme is sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.
Institute for Studies in Industrial Development
4 Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi - 110070 INDIA
Telephone: +91 11 2676 1606/07
Fax: +91 11 2676 1631