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We provide an overview of Indian corporate governance practices, based primarily on responses to a 2006 survey of 370 Indian public companies. Compliance with legal norms is reasonably high in most areas, but not complete. We identify areas where Indian corporate governance is relatively strong and weak, and areas where regulation might usefully be either relaxed or strengthened. On the whole, Indian corporate governance rules appear appropriate for larger companies, but could use some strengthening in the area of related party transactions, and some relaxation for smaller companies. Executive compensation is low by U.S. standards and is not currently a problem area.

We also examine whether there is a cross-sectional relationship between measures of governance and measures of firm performance and find evidence of a positive relationship for an overall governance index and for an index covering shareholder rights. We find an overall association, which is stronger for more profitable firms and firms with stronger growth opportunities. A subindex for shareholder rights is individually significant, but subindices for board structure (board independence and committee structure), disclosure, board procedure, and related party transactions are not significant. The non-results for board structure contrast to other recent studies, and suggest that India's legal requirements are sufficiently strict so that overcompliance does not produce valuation gains.

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