Career as Company Secretary (CS)

Career as a Company Secretary (CS)

About Company Secretary (CS)

The recent disturbances in the corporate world have shaken the confidence of business professionals particularly shareholders. At present, there is a massive demand for displaying corporate transparency and credibility by organisations in managing their internal affairs. Most companies are carving to retain the confidence of stakeholders. The top management of the organisations are busy with managing the general working, they hardly get time to mingle with stakeholders and retain/ gain their confidence. In order to tackle that, the organisations/ companies hire qualified and skilled professionals as Company Secretaries. A company secretary plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of a corporate entity. One can confidently believe that a career as company secretary is not only exciting but also rewarding.

Eligibility to become Company Secretary (CS)

A student aspiring to become a company secretary must clear three stages after Class 12. The three stages involved in becoming company secretary include Foundation, Intermediate and Final. Institute of Company Secretaries in India (ICSI) offer ICSI Foundation, Intermediate and Final.

Subjects Combination: Candidates with any stream in Class 12 with zeal to excel in the field are eligible to take up Company Secretary Career.

Eligibility: -

  • After Class 12, students must take up ICSI Foundation course. The duration of the foundation course is eight months. It is mandatory to pass the foundation course within three years of the admission.
  • After qualifying the ICSI Foundation course, students can enrol in ICSI Intermediate Course. However, Graduates and Post Graduates (excluding Fine Arts students) can directly enrol in the Intermediate course without going for the Foundation course.
  • Students who clear ICSI Intermediate course are eligible for the last stage of the ICSI course, i.e., Final.
  • Training is the most important aspect for students pursuing courses in Company Secretary. Students must undergo short-term training programmes during the Intermediate level and after the final level exams of Company Secretary course.
  • For obtaining an Associate Membership of ICAI, it is mandatory to acquire practical training after the completion of Intermediate or Final level course.
  • After the successful completion of practical training and final level ICSI course, these students are eligible as Associate Company Secretary.
  • The career of a Company Secretary begins only after getting eligibility as Associate Company Secretary.

Types of Job Roles Company Secretary (CS)

Check out the different capacities in which a Company Secretary can work. The job profiles of a Company Secretary include the following:

Company Registrar: A company registrar is regarded as an important component of a company/organisation’s hierarchy.

Legal Advisor: A legal advisor assists the company in case of any legal dispute or issue. Legal advisors also make sure that the company complies with the bureaucratic and statutory directives, securities and corporate laws.

Chief Administrative Officer: A chief administrative officer monitors the general administrative activities of the company. These officers are also responsible for safeguarding all legal and other confidential documents of the company.

Corporate Planner: Corporate planner keeps a discerning eye on the expansion opportunities of the company. These officials also take care of mergers, joint ventures, collaborations and takeovers within the company or outside.

Principal Secretary: The responsibility of a principal secretary is to manage all aspects of corporate meetings like board meetings, annual general meetings, meeting with private and government delegations and important clients.

Corporate Policymaker: The responsibility of a corporate policymaker is to plan short term and long term corporate policies of a company. These policymakers also advise the company board when current policies are brought up for review from time to time.

Member of Board of Directors: Sometimes, company secretaries take the responsibility of one of the members of the board of directors of a company to provide secretarial and expert advice.

Miscellaneous Responsibilities: Apart from roles mentioned above, company secretaries are also required for tax management of a company, filing of tax and assessment of tax.  

Employment Opportunities for Company Secretary

A qualified company secretary is capable of finding a job in the public and private sectors, financial institutions and banks. Company secretaries are also required in company law boards, various government departments, Department of Company Affairs etc. Top organisations offer attractive pay packages to company secretaries.

Company secretaries can also set up their own consultancy after obtaining a certificate of practice. Companies with a paid up share of Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 2 crores are required to hire/ employ the services of practicing company secretaries for issuing corporate compliance certificates.

Since company secretaries have immense knowledge of a wide range of subjects, they can take up the position of a lecturer/ visiting faculty in different academic institutes.

Top Recruiting Agencies for Company Secretary

As per Companies Act 1956, any company with a paid-up share capital of Rs. 2 crores must appoint a full-time company secretary. Therefore, the employment scope for company secretaries in India is vast and diversified. During the course, students must take up an internship in companies with a share capital of Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 2 crores.

Pay Scale/Salary of Company Secretary (CS)

Company Secretary in diverse sectors earns a satisfactory salary. Most companies pay more for highly skilled and experienced Company Secretary. The average salary structure of Company Secretary is detailed below.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (In INR)

Company Secretary

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,00,000

Rs. 9,00,000 – 12,00,000

Legal Advisor

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 4,00,000 – 5,00,000

Rs. 10,00,000

Principal Secretary

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,00,000

Rs. 9,00,000 – 12,00,000

 

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Company Secretary (CS)

Company Secretary and future aspirants can refer some of the books listed below to enhance knowledge.

  • Company Law by Sangeet Kedia
  • CS Executive Company Law by NS Zad
  • Tax Laws and Practice by Sangeet Kedia
  • Cost and Management Accounting by NS Zad
  • Economic and Commercial Laws by Tejpal Seth
  • Taxman Company Accounts and Auditing by NS Zad

Pros of becoming a Company Secretary (CS)

  • The market demand for the career as a Company Secretary is on the upswing.
  • The profession has tremendous growth along with outstanding remuneration.

Cons of becoming a Company Secretary (CS)

  • ICSI course does not have much recognition abroad.
  • Since the responsibilities and roles associated with the position are highly accountable and visible, there is constant pressure on company secretaries to deliver results.

Paths for Being Company Secretary (CS)