IndianOil Board gets secured, confidential, anywhere-access to its documents with Diligent Boards

IndianOil is India’s flagship Maharatna national oil company with business interests straddling the entire hydrocarbon value chain – from refining, pipeline transportation and marketing of petroleum products to Research & Development, Exploration & Production, and Marketing of natural gas and petrochemicals. By venturing into the Renewables and the Nuclear Energy, the company has grown and evolved itself from a pure petroleum refining and marketing company to a full-fledged energy company with 33,000 employees.

CHALLENGE

IndianOil is India’s largest commercial enterprise and the leading Indian corporate in Fortune’s prestigious ‘Global 500’ listing of world’s largest corporates. Having to cope with being one of the world’s largest corporations, its management team and Board are kept quite busy. The Board of Directors comprises 13 members who meet monthly. Additionally, there are 13 Board Committees where meetings are held on a regular basis. Board members need to receive and review board papers ahead of each meeting which means the Board pack needs to reach every Director seven-days in advance. To make this happen, two persons working four days each month were appointed to prepare the immense amount of papers (approx. 6000 pages) needed to be printed and distributed. This was neither eco-friendly nor quick, efficient or secure. The Board packs were hefty and heavy. Furthermore, it was a huge task for some of the Directors who sit on multiple committees to attend meetings carrying heavy loads of paper. So, they were more than happy when in mid-2016, they went digital with Diligent Boards taking the helm.

APPROACH

Company Secretary for IndianOil, Raju Ranganathan, oversaw the tremendous task of finding the right board portal vendor. He looked at three vendors. “One of them was an Indian company and the other two, including Diligent, were foreign companies. Diligent, was highly recommended by one of our Independent Directors who was using Diligent at his company, Mindtree Technology.”
Being thorough, Raju said that he also talked to Diligent’s other customers – Essar and Bosch where both gave excellent references. But it wasn’t just these comments that made Raju choose Diligent. His group had listed the top criteria they wanted in a Board portal. It needed to:

  • Be User-Friendly for all the Board Directors
  • Meet High Security Standards with top components of confidentiality
  • Have Ease-of-Access so that all Board Members, anywhere, anytime could
    access it

“We chose Diligent after we looked at what other vendors’ offerings were,” said Raju. “The biggest advantage Diligent had was a tried and tested ready-to-use software. It had all the features that Board Members could possibly look for.”

RESULTS

Raju arranged for hands-on training for the Directors with the help of the Diligent customer support team.
“It only took 30 minutes for our Directors to master the Board Portal since the system is so simple and easy-to-use,” remarked Raju. On the day of the first live board meeting, June 28, 2016, Diligent’s customer support team were on high alert to ensure a successful meeting.
“It went very smoothly,” said Raju. “In fact, all the Board Members were very happy and comfortable using Diligent Boards.” Raju mentioned that one of the functional Directors requested that the committees’ papers also be sent through Diligent Boards. “We had not intended to do that right away, but we felt very comfortable with the process, so we uploaded the rest without any problem at all.”
While ease-of-use was another important reason why the company chose Diligent, perhaps even more important was that IndianOil had been especially wary about security, having had some security issues before. But Raju said, “The important thing is that now with Diligent Boards, it isn’t happening anymore.”
With close to a year of being online with Diligent, IndianOil is very satisfied per Raju.
“In the beginning, one of the things we also heard before choosing Diligent was that they provided excellent services, and we found this to be very true. And, we were really amazed by the Diligent Boards solution – it is so simple and easy to use.”

  • We were really amazed by the Diligent Boards solution – it is so simple and easy to use.
  • Raju Ranganathan

    Company Secretary

    In fact, our Directors who had never used a digital board before were able to learn how it worked in just 30 minutes.