The Company Secretary is: • An in-house legal expert; a compliance officer of the Company. • An expert in corporate laws, securities laws & capital market and corporate governance • Chief adviser to the board of directors on best practices in corporate governance • Responsible for all regulatory compliance of company • Corporate planner and strategic manager
Is it the Right Career for Me?
If you have good judgmental quality, legal aptitude, interest in current affairs and good administrative ability then company secretary is an ideal career path for you. Other essential skills required for this job profile include good communication skills, a firm grounding in accountancy, secretarial practice and keen mind to learn new things.
Clearing your 10+2 is the basic criteria for making a move towards this particular career path. At this level, you can join the foundation level course. However, you can also get admission to the executive level of the company secretary course if you have earned your graduate degree or any other equivalent or higher academic qualification.
Role of a Company Secretary A Company Secretary being multidisciplinary professional renders services in the following areas:
1. General/ Strategic Management 2. Corporate Communication and Public Relations 3. Human Resources Management 4. Information Technology
How to be a Company Secretary- Step-by-Step
Overall, there are three qualifying stages for becoming a company secretary, namely, the foundation level, the executive level and the Professional level. You can join the foundation course after completing your 10+2. Alternatively, you can complete you graduation, post-graduation or any other professional qualification to seek admission directly into the executive level.
Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for the foundation course. The duration of the foundation course is eight months. Students are required to pass the foundation examination within three years from the date of their admission.
Once you have cleared the foundation course and your age is not less than 17 years, then you can apply for the Executive level. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts students) and those who have passed Inter level from ICWAI or ICAI or any other recognised accountancy institution in India or abroad can directly enrol into the executive course without going for the foundation course.
Professional Level The final stage of the company secretary course imparts training on a wide variety of specialised subjects.
Training is an important aspect of the company secretary course. You will have to undergo short term training programs during the intermediate level and after the final level examination of the company secretary course. These short term trainings improve your communication and management skills and also help in personality development.
Furthermore, you will have to acquire practical training after completing the intermediate or final level examination to obtain an Associate Membership of ICSI. This training is essential since it gives valuable insight into the working of the corporate sector and also provides practical exposure to industry standards. This training can be completed in companies sponsored by ICSI or under the guidance of a practicing company secretary.
Once you have successfully completed the professional level course along with the practical training you are admitted into the institute as an Associate Company Secretary. From this point onwards, you can look for prospective job openings.
EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS OF CS A qualified Company Secretary has openings in Employment and as Practising Independent Professional. • Companies with a paid up share capital of Rs.5 crore or more are compulsorily required to appoint a whole-time Company Secretary under Companies Act,2013.
• All companies seeking listing on Stock Exchange are required to appoint a whole-time Company Secretary.
• Membership of the Institute is recognized for appointment to superior posts and services under Central Government
• Membership of the Institute is a recognized qualification for recruitment from Grade I to Grade IV in the Accounts branch of the Indian Company Law Service.
• Almost every kind of organization whose affairs are conducted by boards, councils or other association, federation, authority, commission or like , finds it useful to appoint a person who holds the qualification of Company Secretaries in key administrative position..
Company Secretary as an independent professional
Company Secretaries in Practice render services in the following areas: 1. Legal, Secretarial and Corporate Governance 2. Corporate Restructuring 3. Foreign Collaborations and Joint Ventures 4. Arbitration and Conciliation 5. Financial Management 6. Project Planning 7. Capital Market and Investor Relations 8. Due Diligence 9. Corporate Advisory Services
Pay Package for a Company Secretary
The average salary for a Corporate Secretary is Rs 502,965 per year. A skill in Corporate Governance is associated with high pay for this job. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this field.
As per the Companies Act, 2013, every company that has a paid-up share capital of Rs 5 crores or above has to employ a full time company secretary. The ICSI has developed and regulated the profession of company secretaries in the country. Hence, there are ample career opportunities for company secretaries in various sectors across the nation.
According to ICSI the projected demand for company secretary professionals is set to touch 50,000 by 2015. Presently, there are 22,000 company secretaries in the country.