Covid has made the world realise that most of the meetings can happen very effectively over video call and there is no real requirement of holding physical meetings. This is more so when the number of participants are higher.
Right2Vote has launched an online AGM or Electronic Annual General Meeting (eAGM) or Video Conference service to help the customers meet online. This service aims to be an efficient alternative to physical meetings of groups like shareholders in a company, committee of creditors, vendors, members of association, members of a housing society etc.
Video conference or online AGM service has many advantages:
- Saves cost: People across the world can join via their mobile or computer and need not travel all the way. Also, there is no need to book meeting halls in five-star hotels, no need to book hotel rooms for people, no need to arrange transportation.
- Saves time: Scheduling any meeting takes up a lot of time in arrangement, travel etc. With eAGM time wasted in wasteful travel etc is avoided and people can switch in and out of meetings within seconds.
- Helps in higher participation: As people can participate anytime from anywhere, participation in meetings is much better. People who earlier used to drop out as they did not have time to travel for the meeting are able to join via video conference.
- Helps in keeping video records: We have provided the facility to video record the proceeding of the meeting. This not only helps if you want to share with members who were not able to attend but also helps in keeping a record in case of any future litigation.
Right2Vote's online AGM platform can be used for various activities. Many of our customers who use the eVoting services of Right2Vote also uses the eAGM facility as many of these voting events are held during Annual General Meetings (AGM), Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), meeting of Committee of Creditors (CoC), alumni meets or monthly review meetings.
With Covid related physical gathering restrictions by the government, online AGM has become even more useful. Even listed companies have been allowed to hold eAGMs instead of physical meetings to avoid physical gathering of people and the risk of covid. Many organizations are going for hybrid meetings where members who can join for a physical meeting, join physically, and the rest join via video conference.
A few of the major use cases for Right2Vote's eAGM facility include:
- Shareholder meetings: Shareholders of a company might be distributed all across the world. eAGM facility allows shareholders to join meetings via video conference facility. It is a regulatory requirement under The Indian Companies Act for shareholders to meet at regular intervals for key decision-making. This is applicable not only for listed companies but also very small companies which might have only 2 shareholders.
- Creditor's meeting: Creditors of companies in insolvency cases and also otherwise need to meet at regular intervals to discuss and decide on various company matters. Creditors are generally busy people and traveling to every meeting is difficult. Video conference platforms allow them to join meetings remotely on short notice without wasting time.
- Members meeting in a housing society: Housing societies meet annually for their AGM and also meet regularly to discuss various matters which might also need to be voted upon. Many members of the housing society are not residents in the society and hence video conference facility helps these members to participate in the meeting.
- Members meeting in an association: There are thousands of associations in the country in the form of trade associations, professional associations, homeowners' associations, and other associations of people with common interests. Members of all these associations need to meet at regular intervals to discuss and decide on various matters of mutual interest. eAGM facility allows all the members from across the world to join and participate.
- Meeting of members of a trust or an NGO: Members of organizations like Lions Club, Rotary Club, YMCA need to meet regularly to discuss and decide on important matters. They meet annually for their Annual General Meeting, but they also meet at shorter intervals for various other matters. All these meetings can happen via video conference which would not only save cost but also increase participation.
- Alumni meet of a college or a school: Most colleges and schools these days try to have annual alumni meet so that their alumni can stay connected. However, participation in these meetings is very low as most members are residents all across the world and it is not practically possible for them to travel to the institute just for the meeting. With the eAGM facility, these educational institutes can substantially increase the participation of alumni.
Right2Vote's online AGM platform is a very feature-rich platform and has many features. It has almost all the features present in popular video conference facility including:
- Mic on and off
- Camera on and off
- Video recording
- Mute all
- Screen share
- Invite others to join
- Waiting room
- Raise hand
- Various exclusive rights to host
Over and above these feature Right2Vote's eAGM feature also provide some unique features which include:
- OTP-based authentication: One of the biggest challenges faced in popular video conference platforms is that anybody can log into the meeting if he has access to the meeting link. And as the meeting link is circulated freely by members on Whatsapp groups, it is very easy to get hold of the meeting link. Many hosts have faced very embarrassing situations due to such easy access of the platform to people with wrong intentions. In Right2Vote's eAGM platform, all the invited users have to get themselves authenticated via OTP before logging into the platform. Only people who are invited to eAGM can participate and others are denied access. This ensures better conduct of the meeting without any risk of leak of information or risk of miscreants disturbing the meeting.
- Predefined display name: Another major issue in other video conference platforms is that it is difficult to make out who has joined the meeting. Most of the name appears to be the name of the mobile phones through which the member is logging in. In Right2Vote's eAGM platform, the host of the meeting can input the name of the members along with other identifiers like membership member and when the member joins his full name with the membership number is displayed. The members do not have the right to change their display names. This helps in better conduct of the meeting and members do not have to guess whom they are talking to.
- Attendance sheet: Right2Vote's eAGM platform also provides an additional feature of attendance record at the end of the meeting. The sheet provides details like the name of the attendee, his login ID, his IP address. The attendance sheet is very useful for meeting the regulatory requirement relating to quorum. It also helps to have a record of members who were present in the meeting and case of any dispute or litigation can be cited as proof of the presence of members during the meeting.
Right2Vote recommends its clients to use the eVoting and eAGM services together. While using both the services together, the client can, during the meeting, call for voting among members and announce the result during the eAGM itself. The result screen can be shared with the voters in the eAGM for transparency.