Company Secretary: A dynamic career!
Company Secretary is the official who is responsible for efficient administration of a company, especially with regard to the compliance of statutory and regulatory requirements. Company Secretary is the person who ensures that the decisions taken by the board of directors are implemented. This puts him in a very crucial position. And hence, company secretary-ship as a career is today one of the most shining corporate careers.
However, for those who think Company Secretary is just another secretarial position, they must think again. A company secretary career involves advising about legislations and statutory regulations in the company and closely working with the board of directors. A CS helps organize annual general meetings in the company, records minutes of the meeting and prepares agenda with the help of managers and other officials.
In India, section 383A of the Companies Act 1956 mandates that any company with a paid-up share capital of Rs 50 million or more is required to appoint a qualified person as Company Secretary. However, with the world economy becoming volatile day-by-day, the role of company secretary has only increased. The responsibilities of a company secretary in India have increased exponentially. Today’s company secretaries are taking care of corporate governance apart from also looking over legal matters.
Job prospects for a Company Secretary
Company Secretary career in India today offers much more than it did a few decades ago. Apart from private sector, a company secretary is needed by organizations in the public sector, banks and financial institutions. Company Secretary career in India now spans across stock exchanges, the Department of company affairs, company boards and various government departments.
In addition, the government today encourages entrepreneurship, many qualified company secretaries open their own consultancy firms. Premier management institutions like the Indian Institutes of Management or commerce colleges in big cities offer attractive teaching and research positions for those with a CS degree.
Study route for CS career
The Institute of Company Secretaries (ICSI) offers the Company Secretary course in India. One can join foundation course, which is immediately after 10+2. After clearing this, the candidates have to clear the Intermediate Course. However, commerce graduates or postgraduates can also do this course by directly entering from the Intermediate Stage. The same is open for students who have passed out from ICWAI or ICAI or any other recognized accountancy institution. After clearing the Intermediate Course, one has to appear for the Final Course. Candidates also need to undergo training programs during the Intermediate and after the final stage of the written exam.
Once you clear the written exam, candidates must acquire practical training in order to get an Associate Membership of ICSI. After finishing this level, a candidate is admitted into the institute as an Associate Company Secretary and he can start practising.
Indian candidates with a CS degree usually start with Rs 20,000-25,000 per month. However, with time and experience and especially with performance, they rise to a more respected positions taking home Rs 8-12 lakh per annum.