Thinking beyond governance and compliance

At a convention organised by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, stakeholders discussed corporate governance, compliance and the way forward

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Praggya Guptaa | December 7, 2016


#Smriti Irani   #ICSI   #Event report   #Institute of Company Secretaries of India  


The need of good corporate governance and compliances, and demonetisation were some of the main discussion points at the three-day annual convention of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) held in Ahmedabad during November 17-19. With the theme of ‘Powering Governance – Empowering Stakeholders’, the 44th convention saw participation of more than 1,500 stakeholders from across the country including CSs, CAs, cost accounting professionals, corporate leaders and industry bodies.

Vijay Rupani, Gujarat chief minister, said in the inaugural session that the present government is working like a corporate body. Therefore, in future we will need company secretaries for villages to secretariat. He said that for true empowerment, our country needs a strategy to address the various challenges such as poverty, reforms in agriculture, cooperation between centre and states, transparency, delivery of services, job creation, development of infrastructure, ease of business and convenience, etc.

Mamta Binani, president, ICSI, while addressing the gathering, said, “Company secretaries have the necessary competence to handle all issues concerning governance and ensuring compliance.” People are now looking at company secretaries not only as compliance managers but also as strategic leaders for their organisations, she added.

MS Sahoo, chairman, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, highlighted that company secretaries in governance mechanism under institutions not only increase public trust with institution stability, but also create institutional capability to harness more business opportunities.

Mrugank Paranjape, MD & CEO, Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), said that company secretaries are needed not only for good governance but they are also important for business growth and sustenance. “In the financial and commodity market, a robust governance structure can tremendously help market to unfold more opportunities for business sustainability and to create long-term economic impact,” said Paranjape.

MCX has signed an MoU with ICSI to realise the power of strong governance in nurturing institutions. “This will enable us in bringing transparency and governance in our nature of business,” Paranjape added.  

Narrating how Siemens came out of bad times, its India managing director Sunil Mathur highlighted the importance and value of establishing good corporate governance in their organisation. He also mentioned that there should be a synergy among CSs, CEOs and CFOs. Rather than focusing on who is right we should focus on what is right, he said.

In her valedictory address, Smriti Irani, minister of textiles, urged, “Company secretaries should move forward from their compliance roles to a bigger role of powering governance.” She appreciated ICSI for organising a convention of this magnitude and reiterated that company secretaries should envisage and execute a much larger role in empowering governance.

The conference also witnessed a panel discussion on the emerging role of professionals by 2022. The panel talked about the role of technology for CS professionals for streamlining their work and for capacity building. Some deliberations that came out during the conference included merger of the institutes of CA, CS and cost accounts, and revision in curriculum of CS profession which must include role of technology and subjects for their larger roles in an organisation. It was also discussed that companies must involve CSs in business strategies while at the same time these professionals must equip themselves for the bigger role. Another important discussion point was that a target should be kept for CSs to have at least 10 percent share in the list of CEOs.

Governance Now was a media partner in this event.

(The article appears in the December 1-15, 2016 issue)

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