By virtue of integrated knowledge of multiple disciplines of law, management, finance and corporate governance, a company secretary (CS) is the vital link between a company and its board of directors, shareholders, government and other agencies. Organisations which conduct their affairs through boards, councils or other corporate structures — be it a company, trust, association, federation, authority, commission or the like — find it useful to appoint a qualified CS in key administrative position.
“As a member of the top management, company secretaries have come to be accepted as indispensable professionals to ensure good corporate governance. They play a key role in coordinating with the various statutory bodies, registrars of companies, department of corporate affairs and Company Law Board in connection with the approvals, sanctions and consents under the various corporate laws,” says R Sridharan, president, Institute of Company Secretaries India (ICSI). A CS is the chief advisor to the board of directors on best practices in corporate governance, an in-house corporate expert, corporate planner and strategic manager, an expert in corporate laws, securities laws and capital market and corporate governance, and a compliance officer of the company responsible for all regulatory compliances of company.
“It’s a very challenging profession as you have to follow the Companies’ Act, which has a very dynamic nature because it gets modified almost on a daily basis. Perseverance, coordination, compliance, and comprehension are few of the key skills required. One should have the ability to interpret laws, rules and regulations and follow them accordingly. It is important for them to be articulate, as they constantly interact with government authorities,” says Pawan Rustagi, vice president and company secretary, JK Tyre and Industry Ltd.
The CS course is a correspondence course offered by ICSI, and students who have passed their 10+2 exam in any stream except fine arts can appear for the foundation level exam after nine months.
After clearing the second level, which is the executive level, job prospects open up. The final level, or the professional level exam, has five elective subjects. The duration for the course is minimum three-and-a-half years.
Fully qualified professionals are offered salary packages starting at Rs. 10 lakh per annum
Rs. I take home
A fresher can earn anywhere in between Rs. 3.5 lakh and Rs. 5.5 lakh per annum
I love my job because...
A CS gets an opportunity to deal with complex corporate problems and interact with all the prominent people in an organisation so it is essential to be on one’s toes all the time
It is essential to have a legalistic and analytical bent of mind. This field provides stability and gives you the opportunity to reach a level of a deputy general manager or general manager within a short span of five to six years. It is important for them to be articulate, as they constantly interact with government and other authorities