32nd National Convention

Dates: October 7-9, 2004 Venue : Hotel Grand Hyatt, Mumbai
Change usually involves restructuring, repositioning and securing a viable future. Addressing and managing change allows us to remain competitive over the long term. Fear of failure, feeling threatened, and paucity of information are issues that reflect upon the basic self-confidence and dealing with these issues requires strategies and agenda for action.
India has made great strides in the past few decades witnessing remarkable achievements in both, the corporate and economic spheres. However, like other emerging economies, India is also faced with the critical task of making globalisation successful. While, the trend of economic globalisation will continue to provide expanded opportunities and challenges, it is incumbent upon Company Secretaries to develop a Vision and devise strategies for building on their strengths and be prepared to face the upcoming threats.
The flood of knowledge into diverse and changing economies has created a fundamental change in business and economic practices. We are living in an era where timeframes for decision-making have been reduced to nanoseconds and rapid change is fragmenting the rules of the game. Understanding the nature of change requires looking beyond what is fragmenting in the present and focus upon what is coming together as new systems of operations and rules of the game.
Professionals like Company Secretaries cannot afford to become prisoners of the present, but have to take a hard look at the future. Ordinary persons tend to focus on their limitations set by the prevailing environment whereas professionals need to visualize the sweeping changes that are on the anvil.
Company Secretaries have made an enviable mark in the field of corporate laws, now they have to gear up for the future. The profession is now ready and vibrating to breed new strategies to face and shape the future. Being aware that the government is out to make the laws simple, short, business friendly and less costly for compliance, Company Secretaries are confident that they will conquer the changing paradigms in Corporate Laws with clinical swiftness and surgical precision. They now recognise the need, backed by tremendous capabilities in them, to conquer newer professional horizons as well.
In these underpinnings, the Institute has decided to organise its 32nd National Convention on the theme Building Strategies for the Future A Professionals Approach to discuss and deliberate upon various intricate issues emerging in the context of the changing paradigm and to devise future strategies for growth and development. The theme is divided in four parts so as to deliberate on the various aspects in the following brain storming technical sessions:
  • Meeting the Giants : Developing Strategies for Global Competition
  • Professionally Managing the Advent of Indian MNCs
  • IPRs - A Gateway to Corporate Globalisation
  • Multi-disciplinary Partnerships for Export of Secretarial Services.
First Technical Session
Meeting the Giants: Developing Strategies for Global Competition
With the globalisation efforts in full swing and consequent freeing of world trade, MNCs from various countries are attracted to India in view of the enormity of the market. Gone are the days of protection and regulated domestic environment. Company Secretaries need to take on the role of advisors to managements of small, medium as well as big Indian companies to enable them overcome the threat of competition from MNCs who have unfathomable financial muscle.
To small enterprises, Company Secretaries could advise on the ways to go global. Because of the Internet and E-commerce, doors have now been opened even for small manufacturers and proprietary software developers and other small new businesses to systematize their operations and integrate themselves with the world economy. Even small firms can obtain ISO certifications and improve their people, processes and purposes in order to cater to the customers from the various parts of the world through E-commerce. Planning for better supply chain management and disintermediation will help even small enterprises to take on the competition from multi-nationals.
The futuristic services that can be provided to small enterprises can also be interpolated to enrich the business value of medium enterprises to make them attractive for MNCs as constituents for business alliance or as joint venture partners. Alliances, mergers, franchising or other strategies allow small and medium enterprises to have an interface directly or indirectly with MNCs.
MNCs are now operating in all major fields of business in India from the FMCG to the Automobile sector. They are resorting to acquisitions, takeovers, entering into foreign collaborations and joint ventures, listing on the stock exchanges etc. The MNCs also own a number of patents, designs, trade marks, etc.
In order to enable the Indian corporates to successfully play the game of business with the giant MNCs, one needs to learn and come on top of the MNC way of doing business. As hardcore professionals, Company Secretaries can provide effective support to Indian corporates in taking on the MNCs.
This technical session has been devised to discuss corporate and business strategies to meet and to grow with competition from international players and to prepare Company Secretaries to advise and guide the corporates in India to face the challenges of competition from MNCs. This Session will also discuss strategies to steer small, medium and traditional large firms into modern Indian MNCs of the Twenty First Century.
Second Technical Session
Professionally Managing the Advent of Indian MNCs
The companies from developing countries find it difficult to compete against established giants, partly because they are rocked with low confidence levels and partly due to their culturally embedded mindset. Even 10 years ago this was the thought about Indian companies, but today, the global ambitions of Indian companies indicate that the powerful forces of change are astir.
Cross-border takeovers and mergers as well as alliances demand market knowledge and valuation skills as also expertise in competition laws, tax laws and corporate laws of other countries. Indian corporates are also fast assimilating techniques to buy or take over foreign companies in the latters own territories. Therefore, Company Secretaries need to imbibe the techniques and skills to help Indian companies spread their tentacles abroad. Learning the process of due diligence, negotiating strategies and valuation skills would make Company Secretaries more confident in the days of globalisation. They also need to understand the strategies to gather multi-national domain knowledge of business.
In the global marketplace, a professional needs to advise corporates to find new outlets for their products and services; outlets with less competition and greater margins. As global buyers, corporates need advice on an enhanced quality and lesser price. When an Indian corporate decides to establish a joint venture, make an alliance, or, acquire foreign enterprise, the professionals would recognise a new challenge, the challenge of fusing cultural diversity of organisation. A strategy to acquire the skills that would navigate and guide cross-cultural negotiations would give a great advantage of value-added professional services. A professional skill that is able to align incompatible and incongruent goals and make cross-border mergers and acquisitions successful would be looked upon as a prized service by an Indian corporate attempting to make its presence felt in an alien country. A thorough professional approach recognises the common factor in diverse cultural ideologies. It then delineates swift fusion of these ideologies to carve out a crossbreed corporate identity with the power to amass corporate business value. Supporting the impulses and drives of Indian business to become multi-nationals requires professional skills of the highest order. The advent of Indian MNCs needs to be supported by professionals by leveraging their learning by managing the knowledge. Since the new generation Indian MNCs are emerging on the global corporate landscape, professionals have to change the way they look at the profession for playing in the global field.
This technical session has been structured to equip Company Secretaries to understand the technicalities involved in spreading the wings by Indian corporates and to make their going global an easier and rewarding experience. The Session will also discuss strategies to negotiate in a cross-cultural environment.
Third Technical Session
IPRs A Gateway To Corporate Globalisation
The economic growth and competitiveness of corporations in developed countries can be attributed to several factors including the long history of industrial development, large number of producers and exporters of technology as also the owner of major part of Intellectual Property Rights registered the world over.
Intellectual Property indeed is now one of the most valuable assets in commercial transactions, be it joint ventures, foreign collaborations, manufacturing, purchase or distribution agreements, or mergers and acquisitions. Licenses to use patents, copyrights and trademarks, are often combined with transfers of know-how and are increasingly an important term in technology transactions. These licenses provide royalty revenues to the owners of Intellectual Property, and enable the distribution of products and technologies to licensees who might not otherwise have had access to them. In such transactions, the licensees may also gain rights to create improvements or derivative works and to develop their own Intellectual Property assets, which can then be cross-licensed or licensed to others.
The Intellectual Property assets indeed are used not only in business transactions, but are also traded in their own right such as online exchanges for the evaluation, buying, selling, and licensing of patents and other forms of Intellectual Property. The owners of intellectual property manage their Intellectual Property as financial assets akin to the way investors manage their stocks, options and other financial instruments. Therefore the issues that require deliberations include how to protect, enhance and manage the IPR portfolio; how to negotiate IPR licensing to the benefit of the organisation, how to evaluate and market the IPRs. Since the IPR litigation involves exorbitant cost, there is a need to devise alternative strategies to protect IPRs and contest the infringement of IPRs.
In light of the above, this technical session has been devised to discuss and deliberate upon the economic value of intellectual property in the knowledge environment, its importance in globalisation efforts of companies, the techniques of IPR valuation and management and strategies for protection, marketing and licensing of IPRs.
Fourth Technical Session
Multi Disciplinary Partnerships for Export of Secretarial Services
Although law in India does not recognise multi-disciplinary partnerships, needs of the changing times appear to be different! A stepped-up pace towards globalization has created an increased demand for multi-disciplinary services. As the future unfolds, client demand will pressurize firms to create business structures that satisfy clients' multi-disciplinary needs, but that will still stay within the boundaries of their own professional rules.
It is, therefore, desired that like-minded professions embrace a framework in which Multi-Disciplinary Partnerships could flourish. New regulations have to be developed around five key principles, credibility, objectivity, protection of the public interest, application of the rules to all firm members, and, perhaps the most important principle, value-based control of the firm. It is also necessary to create definitions of service, standards to maintain objectivity and to ensure re-alignment of professional conduct rules and standards and dumping restrictions on the structure of public practice firms. This will require new skills of collaborating with competitors, negotiating with inequalities, unequal and different leadership roles, deliberations on the difficulties, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses.
The new era of multi-national firms has thrown up new attributes for survival of professional firms. The new ethos requires removal of mental blocks of narrow professionals identities. Firms need to recognise and shape up in response to the velocity, turbulence and instability in the competitive environment. Multi- disciplinary firms are looked upon as a tool of the moderntimes for removing professional deficiencies and create high performance. How to build the congruence of different professional skill-sets in order to service the globalising business is a formidable challenge that the professionals face today. Today it is necessary to build a strategy to address the environmental density created by increasing number of entities in the environment such as competitors, customers, suppliers, etc. As the number of such entities grows, the challenge in integrating a multi-disciplinary firm becomes graver.
This session will discuss and debate both the breeding of multi-disciplinary firms as well as making the existing firms adopt multiple disciplines in order to service the changing needs of the globalised marketplace.
Corporate directors, secretaries and other senior management executives in the corporate and financial services sector, practising professionals in secretarial, financial, legal and management disciplines would benefit from participation in the Convention.
Eminent persons from the Government and industry, including professionals and management experts will address the participants and there would be brainstorming sessions and interactions.
Papers For Discussion
Members who wish to contribute papers for publication in the souvenir or for circulation at the Convention are requested to send the same preferably in a computer floppy or through e-mail [drs2@icsi.edu] with one hard copy or those sending only hard copy may send the same in quadruplicate to the Institute before September 10, 2004. The paper should not normally exceed 15 typed pages. These will be considered by the Articles Screening Committee and the decision of the Institute based on the recommendations of the Screening Committee will be final in all respects. An honorarium of upto Rs. 1,500 will be paid by the Institute for each paper selected for publication in the souvenir or circulation at the Convention.