ICSI hosted the 24th annual conference of practising company secretaries. The theme of the program is company secretaries – stepping beyond boundaries. The dates were the 6th and 17th of July, 2023. The ICSI president requested sponsorship, advertisement and registration from the members to make it a memorable event. Recently, the Indian economy grow with a mark of six to seven per cent on average. India prioritises the commercial sector with a vision of sustainable and inclusive growth. India has mentioned in the G20 meeting that the industries are exposed to design global agenda. The four sub-themes of the conference are emerging opportunities: expectations and challenges, arbitration and ADR: Augmenting professional spectrum, MSME and start-ups, social stock exchange and social audit, and enhancing the appearance before tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies. The venue of this program is Novotel Vishakhapatnam, Varun Beach, and Vishakhapatnam.
The sponsorship tariff falls in the category of 35,000 to 8, 00,000. The different types of sponsors are principal sponsor, co-sponsor, platinum sponsor, gold sponsor, sponsorships for bags, silver sponsor, advertisement in souvenir, and sponsors for pen and pad for conferences, stalls and banners. ICSI president mentioned that company secretaries in practice have crossed the milestone of 35 years, and it is the right time to expand their knowledge. The company secretaries should look beyond conventional opportunities. The new board operates with a mission to enrich the knowledge base of company secretaries. The blog reveals the past and future of ICSI.
The new board of ICSI:
The quality review board of ICSI takes care of the quality of work of the company secretaries working under ICSI. The board will provide recommendations, review the secretarial services and provide guidance to improve the quality. ICSI had recently initiated the academic board. This academic board will take care of the syllabus, training, technological changes, regulatory changes, economic development, evaluation and mode of education. The ICSI has a secretarial standards committee and an auditing standards committee. The board comprised the participants from members and non-members. Non-members are professionals from other fields with expertise and knowledge.
Topics of the speakers:
The topics of discussion are in the below content with some valuable insights.
Expectations and challenges:
India has climbed and crossed numbers for ease of doing business in the ranking of the World Bank. India stood after hundred countries in the olden days. Now, India is in the 63rd rank. The change is because the company secretaries working to satisfy the expectations of the stakeholders. The chairman, company secretaries and directors are realising the fact the work process requires technical understanding. Company secretaries work as a link between the firm and the board. Company secretaries are the protector of the best practices in the company.
Arbitration and ADR: Augmenting professional spectrum:
ICSI is resolving disputes through ADR. Currently, the ADR in Hyderabad campus is taking care of the disputes. In future, the institute is planning to open such centres in Kolkatta, Mumbai and Manesar.
MSME and start-ups:
Company secretaries help SMEs with project financing. He does the due diligence check in the process of fund management. A company secretary would ensure growth in MSME as he understands the compliances and MSME schemes. Business minds think about the idea and fail to make up their mind about environmental laws. Here the role of company secretaries contributes to the MSME, SME and start-up companies.
Social stock exchange and social audit:
Social audit enterprises disclose the annual impact report and fund utilization every quarter. Social enterprises are not-for-profit entities listed on the SSE exchange. The professionals working as social auditors should be chartered accountants or hold national institutes of securities certificates. The applicant must have experience in the area of social impact assessment. The social audit standards are published by the ICAI. There are independent standards for the social standards in each domain. ICSI also organised the social auditors of social auditors. The board has released a set of rules for ICSI social audit standards.
Enhancing traits of appearance before tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies:
ICSI released guidelines for the attire and conduct of company secretaries, in 2019. The guideline is to enhance the decorum for the company secretaryship profession before judicial bodies like NCLT, SEBI, and NCLAT. It safeguards the dignity of the profession. Prevent company secretaries in front of judicial authorities. Guide company secretaries for the administration of justice and inappropriate attire. The set of guidelines builds a brand image for the company secretaries.
Initiatives of ICSI:
ICSI has initiated various associations for the welfare of the company secretaries. Such institutions are as follows: ICSI International ADR centre, the digital revolution and e-learning revolution for the benefit of students, and start-up and MSME catalyst and institute of social auditors. The following points describe the advantages of the initiatives of the ICSI:
The ADR of ICSI operating in the Hyderabad campus provides solutions to international disputes. ICSI president said that the institute has plans to open such centres in Manesar, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
The Association of international arbitration, the London Court of international arbitration, and the international chamber of Commerce offer many opportunities for company secretaries. As the cases in courts are increasing, the Indian government perceive arbitration centres as a speedy way to resolve disputes. Collaboration in the MNC demands an effective business relationship.
The dispute between the two parties first comes from the knowledge of a company secretary and chartered accountant. Later the corporate dispute goes to the discussion table of advocates. The company secretaries have experience in drafting agreements, negotiating the terms with government authorities and representing the problems faced by the clients. The dispute centre help for the smooth functioning of business partnerships.
ICSI had joined the Digi Locker of the Indian Government. It safeguards the identity cards and certificates of the members. The e-learning revolution promotes online courses and video lectures with digital platforms. The source of learning material for free promotes the knowledge of the students. Instances of such courses are as follows: online crash courses, e-vidya vahini and mock tests. ICSI is moving offline training to a digital platform to benefit several students. ICSI has overseas appearances through digital platforms. ICSI overseas centres operate in Singapore, the UK, Australia, the USA and UAE. Technology and digital platform promote the training schedules, administration and global partnership for ICSI.
Foreign country opportunities for company secretaries:
The overseas centres of ICSI are promoting the value of the India-based institute, ICSI. Foreign countries recognise and utilise Indian intellectual minds. Many Indians work in Australia, Middle-east, New Zealand, Africa, Singapore, the UK, Malaysia and Thailand.
The annual conference is the right time to remember the initiatives of ICSI, the speech of eminent personalities, and the challenges for the profession of company secretary.