Who are share holder, promoter, and director? What is the role and rights of them?

Author: EQSIS
Published Date: June 29, 2024
Infographic illustrating roles and rights of shareholders, promoters, and directors in Indian companies, including differences, roles in company law, and corporate governance impact.

Who are share holder, promoter, and director

Understanding the Roles and Rights of Shareholders, Promoters, and Directors in Indian Companies

In Indian companies, understanding the roles and rights of shareholders, promoters, and directors is crucial. These stakeholders have unique responsibilities and influence the company’s success. This article explains their roles and rights in a simple manner, with examples from Indian companies.


A shareholder is someone who owns shares in a company. They are part-owners and have invested money to buy these shares. In India, shareholders can be individuals or institutions.

Types of Shareholders

  • Individual Shareholders: People who own shares, like you and me if we own the shares of any company as an individual.
  • Institutional Shareholders: Organizations such as mutual funds, insurance companies, and banks that hold shares. For example, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) holds shares in many Indian companies.

Rights of Shareholders

  • Right to Sell Shares: Shareholders can sell their shares on the stock market.
  • Right to Vote: Shareholders can vote on important decisions during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).
  • Right to Dividends: If the company declares dividends, shareholders get a portion of the profits.


Promoters are individuals or entities that start and develop the company. They play a key role in setting up the company and getting it running. In India, promoters can be founders or major stakeholders.

Types of Promoters

  • Professional Promoters: Experts hired to start companies.
  • Occasional Promoters: Entrepreneurs who start companies occasionally.
  • Financial Promoters: Banks and investment firms that help set up companies.

Rights of Promoters

  • Idea Conception: Promoters come up with the business idea and plan.
  • Preliminary Investigations: They check if the business idea will work.
  • Document Preparation: Promoters prepare legal documents to register the company.
  • Fundraising: They raise money to start the business.

Example in India

Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries, is a prominent promoter. He played a crucial role in the growth and diversification of Reliance.


Directors are individuals elected by shareholders to oversee the company’s operations. They ensure the company is managed well and meets its goals.

Types of Directors

  • Executive Directors: Part of the company’s management team, like Sanjiv Mehta, the CEO of Hindustan Unilever.
  • Non-Executive Directors: Independent directors who provide unbiased oversight.
  • Managing Directors: Senior executives who manage daily operations, like Pawan Munjal of Hero MotoCorp.

Rights of Directors

  • Strategic Planning: Developing long-term goals for the company.
  • Performance Oversight: Monitoring how well the company is doing.
  • Board Interaction: Working with other board members.
  • Reporting Duties: Reporting to shareholders and other stakeholders.

Roles of Directors

  • Strategic Planning: Setting the company’s direction.
  • Performance Management: Overseeing operations.
  • Board Collaboration: Working with the board on decisions.
  • Stakeholder Reporting: Communicating with shareholders.

Key Differences Between Shareholders and Directors

  • Ownership vs. Management: Shareholders own the company; directors manage it.
  • Rights: Shareholders have rights to dividends and votes; directors have management rights.
  • Responsibilities: Shareholders invest capital; directors oversee operations.

Key Differences Between Promoters and Directors

  • Stage of Involvement: Promoters are involved in the beginning; directors manage ongoing operations.
  • Legal Status: Promoters are not formal employees; directors have legal duties.
  • Roles: Promoters focus on starting the company; directors focus on managing it.

Key Differences Between Promoters and Shareholders

  • Initial vs. Ongoing Involvement: Promoters are key in the initial stages; shareholders are involved throughout.
  • Legal Status: Promoters have no formal ownership; shareholders have equity stakes.
  • Roles: Promoters set up the company; shareholders invest and vote.

Roles and Rights of Shareholders

  • Right to Sell Shares: Shareholders can sell their shares on the stock market. This provides liquidity and the potential to profit from share value appreciation.
  • Right to Vote: Shareholders can vote on major decisions during the annual general meeting (AGM), such as electing board members and approving mergers.
  • Right to Dividends: If the company declares dividends, shareholders are entitled to a portion of the profits based on the number of shares they own.

Additional Rights

  • Access to Information: Shareholders can access financial reports and other important documents.
  • Right to Sue for Wrongdoing: Shareholders can take legal action if they believe the company is being mismanaged.

Roles and Rights of Directors

  • Strategic Planning: Directors set the company’s strategic direction. This involves developing long-term goals and formulating plans to achieve them.
  • Performance Oversight: Monitoring the company’s performance is a key responsibility of directors. They ensure that the management team is effectively executing the strategic plan and meeting performance targets.
  • Board Interaction: Directors work closely with other board members to make critical decisions and provide oversight. This collaborative approach ensures that diverse perspectives are considered in the decision-making process.
  • Reporting Duties: Directors have a duty to report the company’s performance to shareholders and other stakeholders. This includes presenting financial statements and providing updates on strategic initiatives.

Common FAQs about Shareholders, Promoters, and Directors

What is the difference between a promoter and a director?

Promoters start the company by developing the business idea and raising funds, while directors manage the company’s ongoing operations and strategic planning.

Can a person be both a shareholder and a director?

Yes, a person can be both a shareholder and a director. This means they have ownership in the company and a role in its management.

What rights do shareholders have in a company?

Shareholders have rights including voting on major decisions, receiving dividends, and selling their shares. They also have the right to access company information and sue for mismanagement.

What responsibilities do promoters have?

Promoters are responsible for conceiving the business idea, conducting feasibility studies, preparing legal documents, and raising initial capital to launch the company.

How do directors influence company strategy?

Directors influence company strategy by setting long-term goals, developing strategic plans, overseeing performance, and working collaboratively with the board to make key decisions.

What legal protections are available for shareholders?

Shareholders are protected by Indian company law, which grants them rights such as voting, access to information, and the ability to take legal action if the company is mismanaged.

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