Company Secretary: A pivotal corporate position!
With the overall growth in the Indian industry scenario, the role of a company secretary has undergone tremendous transformation. Unlike what the name suggests, company secretary is not just another secretary in an organisation, rather a company secretary is often a senior official in the management who directly deals with the top people in the hierarchy.
With the role of company secretary diversifying each day he slips into a variety of roles in areas like -
- Corporate governance and secretarial services
- Corporate laws advisory and representation services
- Financial markets services
- Banking services
- Financial and accounting services
- Taxation services
- International trade and WTO services, etc
President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), R Sridharan recently said that the demand for company secretaries in India is on the rise and is outstripping supply. Every year, around 2000 graduates complete the company secretary examinations but the demand is for much more people.
This further highlights the importance of Company Secretaries in India.
Roles and responsibilities of a company secretary
As stated before, a company secretary must slip into a variety of roles inside a company. Some of the roles assumed by a company secretary in India are-
Supporting executive: A company secretary has to brief the board of directors about different aspects and functions of business. He ensures that the decisions taken by the board are implemented. A company secretary acts as bridge between directors, managers and employees.
Legal advisor: Company secretaries have the requisite knowledge of acts such as the Companies Act and hence they are equipped to offer legal advice to companies.
Corporate policymaker: Since they already work in close connection with board of directors, they play a key role in making long and short-term corporate policies. Company secretaries are responsible for drafting policies and ensuring their implementation.
Principal Secretary: Under this capacity, they are required to manage all the aspects of corporate meetings like annual general meetings, board meetings, client and vendor meetings, meetings with public and private delegations etc. They often manage corporate events too.
Consultant: As a legal consultant, company secretaries help various individuals in different positions in the company in the implementation of statutory regulations as required by various acts and laws.
Governance official: A company secretary looks after the general governance of a company. The CS executive is aware about meetings, voting procedures and other administrative aspects of the business.
Company Secretary in India
In India, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has developed and now regulates the company secretary course. The ICSI is a national professional body constituted under the Act of Parliament. The ICSI conducts CS examination at 84 centres across India. Currently, over 3.6 lakh students are enrolled in the company secretary course.