Pavan the youngest elected President of the ICSI in the year, 2003

Pavan’s academic ability, deep insight into various subjects and fervour that the CS syllabus should be integrated and balanced with a forward-looking approach to meet the expectations of all stakeholders, prompted the then President, ICSI to nominate him as the One-man Syllabus Review Committee. After scrutinizing every little detail and making comparative analysis of the syllabus with the syllabus of two other sister professional institutes, various B Schools , Graduate and Postgraduate courses in Commerce of various universities and the syllabus for LL.B and LL. M courses, Pavan drafted the new syllabus for the course of C S , strongly recommending that besides Company Law, other corporate and allied laws should also be given equal importance for the profession to be diversified in its approach.

Also on the other hand, envisioning that Information Technology would become a strength for any organization to grow, Pavan emphasized the importance of using information technology both for the growth of the C S profession and improvement in the working of the ICSI. Since huge finances were involved in computerization, the then Secretary, ICSI had apprehensions whether young Pavan, without any background in the field of IT would be able to guide the Institute in switching over to its use. However, he soon gauged his technical abilities which led everyone to believe in his ability and laid the foundation of the computerization of the ICSI. The Council gave him a nick name of Bill Gates of the ICSI. Rest as they say, is history. ICSI became the first Institute among its sister professional Institutions that computerized its examinations results. It is because of his vision that today ICSI is a fully computerized organization providing all most all its services online. And that is how Pavan came a step closer to realizing his dream of preparing the ICSI and the profession of Company Secretaries for the future challenges, by remaining competent or even at times getting an edge over the other institutes through its optimum use of information technology.

Apart from his dynamic thinking and endearing nature, another aspect of Pavan’s personality, which impressed everyone was that he would attend every meeting only after doing thorough homework and gathering complete information on the subject matter. While few Council members would be more concerned about grammar and punctuation during presentations and meetings, Pavan made it evident tha the only meant business.

Pavan again contested the election to the Central Council of the ICSI for the term 2001-2003 from the same constituency. His candidature proved its popularity by receiving the highest number of 1st preference votes yet again that year. , After being elected, he again began working towards bringing positive changes to the organization, the most prominent one being the institution of ICSI Corporate Governance Award. It was because of initiative of Mr. P.V.S. Jagan Mohan Rao, the then President and Pavan’s efforts that the CGA was instituted in the ICSI in the year 2001, to promote good Corporate Governance practices in India. Pavan was given the responsibility to finalise the nitty gritties of the award. There were no precedents or set methodology for adjudging the huge Corporate and he toiled for days together with the Institute’s academic wing in evolving methodologies and modalities for evaluating the good corporate governance practices adopted by the companies for giving the award. With time the award gained a lot of prestige and stakes became very high for the Jury, which comprised of prominent jurists, bureaucrats and industry leaders. The first ICSI Corporate Governance Awards were presented by H.E. Shri Krishan Kant, the then Hon’ble Vice President of India. Following the success of the Award Function, the Council again entrusted Pavan with the responsibility to organize the next award ceremony too, in which the award was presented by H.E. Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the then Vice President of India. He went on to add another feather to his hat, when during his Presidency in 2003 Shri L. K. Advani, the then Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of India, conferred the CG Award to the awardees.

Pavan was born and brought up in Kasganj, a small town of Uttar Pradesh in February 1964. He was the youngest of the siblings with three elder brothers and one elder sister. Being born in a modest family background with no resources at his disposal had worked its way towards preparing Pavan for the greater challenges of life from the very beginning. His first entrepreneurial experience dates back to 1974 when he was in 5th standard and the struggle was to collect enough money to buy toffees for his nephew. For this the idea that he, a mere 10 years old had invented might shock the wits of all experienced mature minds. He would collect plain images of Gods and transform them by sticking glitter to parts of the photograph and selling them for the price of new among his classmates during school interval. The profit earned after deducting the cost of glitter and adhesive would fetch him enough money to buy toffees and chocolates to please his little nephew. The entrepreneurial spirit in him only continued to grow with the passing years and in 1979 when he was in 9th standard, he had started the business of giving books on rent. The books and novels were brought from Chandni Chowk, Delhi all the way to Kasganj by changing a couple of local trains and buses to travel while donning three huge bags of books bundled in them. The fact that Pavan never took money from his parents ever since then is one of the many remarkable milestones of his journey.Thereafter, in the year 2002, Pavan was elected as the Vice President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. As a Vice President, he did everything he could do to help the President and cast the Vice Presidency in a positive and constructive light.

On 19th January, 2003, in spite of all odds and roadblocks, Pavan, finally emerged triumphant in his long journey that started as an inspiration after observing the Presidency of Mr D.C Jain, as the Council handed over to him the supreme command of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India by electing him as the President for the year. Till date, Pavan holds the distinct honour of becoming the youngest President of the Institute in its history. However, after becoming the President, he had to face a peculiar challenge, that time the post of the Secretary of the institute was lying vacant. He had planned a lot of changes to be implemented but was entangled between the duties of an administrator and a planner simultaneously. This made him take the decision to increase his working hours and take leave without pay from his employer BLB Limited and later on resign altogether. Pavan’s first priority at that time was to fill-up the vacant position of the Secretary, as he always believed that if the Secretariat was strong, the Institute would be strong. The Council would be able to channelize its energy and resources towards developmental activities and be able to execute its plan in a well-defined manner only when the Secretariat was well equipped.

After dealing with similar teething issues during the beginning of his Presidency and skilfully solving them Pavan moved on towards bringing constructive changes to the Institute. In the year, 2003, while he was holding the august office of the President, he began to emphasize that Corporate Governance had become a critical success factor for the sustainable growth of the organizations. With his untiring efforts, he was successful in establishing Corporate Governance as the key function of the ICSI and getting it adopted in the Vision and Mission Statement of the Institute. As a step further in the direction of development, a Post Membership Qualification Course in Corporate Governance was also launched. It was during that period, that the ICSI became a partner of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in setting up the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) for promoting good corporate governance practices in India. Several initiatives taken by the ICSI towards good Corporate Governance earned ICSI the reputation of being a key Corporate Governance Institute.

Pavan strongly felt that the policies, priorities and working of an Institute changes with every new President that holds its command. Every President comes with his own strategies and agenda, resulting in the discontinuation of the plans and targets that were set for the previous year and huge wastage of manpower and resources that were utilised to achieve those targets. Therefore, he insisted upon a Vision Plan that would help the Counselling remaining focused and bind the management and the employees together to achieve the goals enshrined in the plan in a time bound manner. Inspired by his idol, H.E. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the then Hon’ble President of India, Pavan prepared the ICSI Vision Plan 2010 on the basis of SWOT analysis, extensive research of international developments, Perspective Planning Group Report and suggestions received from members and students, and got the same approved from the Council. Later on the Vision Plan became a base book for the successive Councils and Secretariat for the development of the profession.

Pavan, as a strategist also knew that for the expansion and growth of any profession, branding plays an important role as it not only generates awareness but also gives the profession an edge. He, therefore, took several initiatives which helped in creating a brand, enhancing the visibility and providing an appropriate impression about the CS Profession for which it truly stands, to all.

Ahead of this development, Pavan with the objective to provide much needed support and services to members at their door step and to increase the popularity of the profession, guided the ICSI for the appointment of Counsellors in those cities where new Chapters could not be set up but had the potential for growth of the profession. Such Counsellors were expected to act as a bridge between the Institute and the students. The concept of appointment of Counsellors brought huge visibility to the profession and there has been a substantial increase in registration of students since then having the forward looking attitude that he had, Pavan felt the need to evolve a global forum of all the Company Secretaries Institutes world over to create a unified view of the Company Secretaries and adopt a common nomenclature for the profession of CS to develop a brand all over the world. With his initiative an International Federation of Company Secretaries (IFCS) was formed which has since been rechristened as the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA) for furthering the cause of the profession. He with his sincere efforts and vision had put the profession globally on a very high pedestal.

Furthermore, in order to assist SEBI in its drive for protecting the interests of the investors, a visionary decision was then taken by Pavan for setting up Investors Clinics at the Regional Councils and major Chapters wherein the Company Secretaries would advise and guide the Investors on matters like the transfer, transmission, and nomination of shares or other securities, rights of investors and various forums available for redressal of investor grievances. Observing the ICSI’s sincere support towards Investors Protection, SEBI, for the first time in the history of the Institute, organized a joint National Seminar in association with the ICSI on ‘Securities Laws and Capital Markets-The Road Ahead”, in May, 2003, which was inaugurated by Mr G N Bajpai, the then Chairman of SEBI. Developing a close rapport with SEBI, later helped ICSI by way of Clause 49 of Listing Agreement in the Securities law.