ICSI Hyderabad Chapter Chairman, Shujath Bin Ali says Company Secretary can become CEO of a company


There is huge gap between the number of companies and company secretaries in India. While companies are in lakhs, there are only 30, 000 employees in India and 75, 000 new company secretaries are required in the future. Jobs are ready once you finish the course. Trading and Production industry requires lot of company secretaries and manufacturing industry is recruiting them in large number. CSs can escalade up to the level of a CEO if one can develop communication skills and leadership qualities. Moreover, a CS can earn up to Rs 1 crore starting from Rs 4 lakhs/ annum. The above details were revealed by Shujath Bin Ali, Chairman, ICSI Hyderabad chapter.

Let us see detailed discussion with him on CS course structure and career prospects.

How is the demand for Company Secretary (CS) course?
There is a wonderful career scope for those who complete this course. Currently, India has only 30, 000 company secretaries but companies are in lakhs. There is a huge shortage of CSs. As the Govt. has announced FDIs, we can expect more new companies. Moreover, existing companies may double in the near future. And so, each company requires a company secretary. There will always be a good demand for CSs when there is a development in industrial sector. Their demand will double in the near future.

Which companies should appoint a company secretary based on their capital?
As per the Govt. orders, any company having a capital of Rs 5 crore or more should compulsorily appoint a company secretary. We are trying to educate those companies that do not have knowledge on this. If a company does not comply with the orders, ministry of corporate affairs have the right to collect a fine of Rs 500/day. Soon, this amount would be hiked.

Are there enough company secretaries?
Currently there is a huge demand. CSs are only in thousands while the companies are in lakhs. Moreover, the number of companies is going to increase and so, present number would not be enough. According to an analysis, India requires 75, 000 company secretaries in the coming 5 years.

What are the eligibilities for CS course and could you brief us about it’s course structure?
Intermediate is the qualification for the course. The duration of the course is 26 months. 
The total course consists of 3 phases – 1st phase Foundation Program lasts for 8 months. It consists of 4 subjects. Second phase is Executive Program that lasts for 9 months and consists of 6 subjects.

Are there campus placements for the successful candidates?
There are various opportunities for the successful candidates. Students can also go for higher education if they do not want to do a job immediately. Self-practice is another good option. Candidates who successfully complete CS course can join as a professor and work as a fellow member in any University without PhD. There is a campus placement cell and the companies directly consult the candidates for jobs. There are many jobs in trading, production; especially manufacturing sector is recruiting many company secretaries.

Could you brief me about the career prospects and pay packages for Company Secretaries?
Engineering students can only dream of becoming CEO of a company. But, CSs can escalade to the levels of Director, Chairman or CEO of a company if they exhibit desired skills developing communication, management and leadership skills.

Coming to the pay packages, a fresh company secretary can draw Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs/annum. Candidates with 10 years experience can draw Rs 25 to Rs 40 lakhs. If they work for more than 15 years, there is a huge demand for them and many of them earn more than Rs 1 crore per annum.

Students say that the course curriculum is difficult as major portion is theory and subjects related to law…
It is true that course is difficult to some extent as it contains law subjects. But, these standards are compulsory for a company secretary to escalade in his career and become an expert. CS course syllabus is a combination of well-balanced subjects. Even Telugu medium students are excelling in the course. If the students work hard, there is no doubt that students can complete the course easily. There is a student induction program for those who feel difficulty with the subjects.

Recently, changes were introduced in CA course. Are you planning any changes in the CS course?
When compared to CA course, there are many positive aspects for the students. There is no age limit to join in CS course. The foundation exam consists of completely objective type questions and there are no negative marks. Previously, degree should be completed to register for Executive program, 2nd level in CS course. However, as per new terms, the final year degree students too can register using their hall ticket.

Changes in CA course structure are on cards. What about CS course structure?
A committee has been appointed for changes in CS course. Syllabus would be changed in 6 months or a year. But, these would be only little changes. Present syllabus has been updated two years back. CS course quality will be taken to higher standards once these changes will be in effect.

How popular are the B Com and M Com courses that were started in collaboration with IGNOU?
The response is great from the students. We are planning to tie up with Osmania University too.

Is it easier to succeed in CS exams while pursuing Degree through regular mode?
It is a good decision. Students can score more marks if they study CS course.

Which is a better option…? Job or Self-practice after completing CS
It all depends on individual’s interest. But, experience is necessary to succeed in career. Without experience, self-practice would be difficult. One can definitely succeed if he/ she self-practice with practical experience.

What are the qualities that a CS course student should develop?
Subject knowledge alone would not fetch you though talented. Subject is just a course to learn its nature. Then, the other skills will help you escalade in career, especially, communication, management and leadership skills.

The training provided by Chapters is facing many criticisms. Your comment
We are happy with our Chapter’s training. We might not provide spoon-feeding to the students as in colleges, but we deliver what is required for them. Students can avail online classes from their through e-gurukula. Virtual classroom, web based training and video conference licenses are provided. Student can successfully complete the course using all these facilities.


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