Is corporate governance relevant to small enterprises? – S. N. Ananthasubramanian, President, ICSI

21st Oct 2013
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S. N. Ananthasubramanian

Corporate governance is far more relevant to small enterprises, than in the case of large listed corporations, says S. N. Ananthasubramanian, President of the Institute Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). “The large, listed corporations can afford to either hire or engage talent, whereas small enterprises are always short of these resources. One of the most critical resources for the small enterprise, apart from capital, is the human capital,” he reasons, during an exclusive interaction with YourStory. Listen in.Governance of SMEs

ICSI has entered into a tripartite agreement with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) and the Department of Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textile, Government of West Bengal (MSSET), for the growth and development of the MSME sector in West Bengal.

What is envisaged is support for MSSET in organising seminars and trainings for clusters of MSMEs, and the development of a simple, easy to understand summary of company law to be put on the MSSET website. (ICSI will also develop a checklist of statutory compliances required by MSME, informs a communiqué. ICSI would organise guidance to participants on incorporation and management of MSMEs under the Companies Act and the LLP Act, clinics for advice on finance, law and corporate governance, and on the theme ‘How to incorporate a company and comply with legal requirements’ providing one-to-one support to the entrepreneurs.)

Women in the profession

The company secretaryship profession has completely morphed into a more enhanced and substantive one, as a governance advisor or custodian of good governance. Women are joining our profession in large numbers. And there have been women who have risen to very senior positions. For instance, Vijaya Sampath, who is one of the top General Counsels in India, is Advisor to the Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises; she is also the Ombudsperson for Bharti group.

We believe that women joining our profession is in the right direction, because our profession is more head-office-oriented, more board-oriented.

What is important, whether it is men or women, is that essentially it is their upbringing; it is their independence or developing the qualities of independence; having the courage of conviction to express and articulate their views without fear or favour. That will determine the also-rans and those who make it to the top.

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