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As CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal assumes the role of the 72nd President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), he shares a vision to drive transformative change through the accountancy profession. With gratitude and determination, he outlines his commitment to elevating the esteemed profession to greater heights.

CA. Agarwal acknowledges the exemplary leadership of the outgoing President, CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, and welcomes the new Vice President, CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda. Reflecting on ICAI’s rich history since its establishment in 1949, he recognizes the institute’s pivotal role in shaping India’s financial landscape and becoming the world’s largest accounting body.

The President highlights ICAI’s global influence, with a presence in 81 cities across 47 countries and collaborations with leading global accounting bodies. He discusses India’s economic advancements, emphasizing the profession’s critical role in navigating the path of reforms-driven growth and contributing to sustainability reporting.

CA. Agarwal underscores the profession’s commitment to progress, technological advancements, and ethical practices. He introduces the roadmap for the year, encapsulated in ‘DRISHTI,’ focusing on Digitalisation, Research, Integrity, Skills, Handholding, Transparency, and Independence.

The President addresses the escalating participation of women in the profession, with 29% women members and 43% women students. He quotes Mr. Kofi Annan, highlighting the effectiveness of women’s empowerment as a tool for development.

Reflecting on the ethos of ICAI, CA. Agarwal emphasizes the paramount importance of ethical conduct, citing the institute’s commitment to upholding the Code of Ethics since 1964. The emblem of the Garuda symbolizes a keen vision, soaring heights, and a profound sense of responsibility towards safeguarding fiscal integrity.

As CA. Agarwal steers ICAI towards unprecedented heights, he calls for a collaborative and empowered culture. With a resolute commitment to pioneering innovation, fostering excellence, and driving sustainable growth, the President envisions a future where ICAI propels into an even more inspiring and impactful era.

ICAI President's Vision Charting a Course for Future Growth

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

President’s Message – March 2024

Dear Professional Colleagues,

It is with great humility and honour that I assume the role as the 72nd President of our esteemed Institute, with the vision to catalyse a transformative change through the enabling role of the accountancy profession for our nation. As I turn a new leaf in my journey and accept the mantle of presidency stepping into this position of leadership, it fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and elation, yet I’m aware of the responsibility that accompanies it, which I wholeheartedly accept with sincerity and determination. I pray to the Almighty to grant me with the strength and fortitude to elevate our esteemed profession to an even higher pedestal and demonstrate my worthiness of the trust bestowed upon me.

As I step into this role, I am deeply appreciative of the outstanding leadership provided by our outgoing President, CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, in spearheading the profession and solidifying the Institute’s foundation. I extend a warm welcome to the new Vice President CA. Charanjot Singh Nanda. I am sure that his incisive knowledge, experience, and professional expertise will significantly help the Council in ushering the profession towards the golden era fueling ambitions, forging legacies, powering India’s rise in every aspiration and achievement, taking the profession to unprecedented heights. I also take opportunity to thank the Past President CA.(Dr.) Debashis Mitra for his guidance and contribution in development of the profession. Together, we shall forge a new path that leads to new heights for ICAI and bring to fruition our collective vision of Profession@2049.

As I reflect upon the rich history and profound vision that led to the establishment of our eminent Institute, I recognize the foresightedness of our forefathers who identified the crucial need for professional standards, financial discipline, and revenue augmentation in post-independence India. This Institute, born out of their vision and determination, was formally recognized by an Act of Parliament on 1st July 1949 as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Over the span of 75 years, the Institute has flourished under the steadfast leadership of my distinguished predecessors whose resilience, astuteness, and commitment have paved the way for the profession to achieve its current standing. Their invaluable contributions have been instrumental in establishing the eminence of ICAI, leading to its phenomenal growth from its modest beginnings with just a few hundred members, and evolving as the world’s largest accounting body.

ICAI has not only played a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of our nation but has also been a beacon of excellence on the global stage. Since our formation, it was our foresight to work towards building global accounting profession, as a developed accounting profession supports and nurtures the economic development of a nation. Recognizing the interconnectedness of economies and globalization of businesses, over the years the institute has built the foundation for the global accountancy profession as founding members of IFAC, CAPA, SAFA and other global forums to elevate the standing of the accounting profession worldwide, contributing to the growth and integrity of global financial markets. Since establishment of Doha Chapter in 1981, the institute has strived to build the Indian Chartered Accountancy into a global brand and now we are present in 81 cities across 47 countries as well as by entering into 24 MRAs/MoUs with leading global accounting bodies and institutions. Today our influence reaches far beyond borders, and our members are recognized for their integrity and competence in the international business community.

Today Indian economy is ascending on global landscape and as per IMF India will be the fastest growing economy for the coming year and will lead the recovery of global economy. As per ICRIER, we are the third largest digital economy, our Digital Physical infrastructure is being applauded globally for its ability to extend the healthcare and financial services promoting inclusivity and societal development. Today due to the economic and structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code our economy is now moving from informal to formal sector leading to robust economic growth, as also strengthening the Indian banking sector respectively. Similarly, we are the youngest country globally fueling our entrepreneurial spirit, intellectual talent, markets coupled with Govt. schemes like Digital India, Startup India, Skill India and Make in India, leading India to become the third-largest global start-up ecosystem and rising star in global manufacturing chain. With all these economic advancements, India is taking all necessary measures towards making sustainability reporting mainstream as India move towards its commitment of becoming carbon neutral by 2070. In this journey of India to emerge as a developed and self-reliant economy the role of our profession will be critical in navigating the path of reforms driven growth as also building the models and frameworks for the New India.

As reflected in the words of Shri Jagadeep Dhankhar, Hon’ble Vice-President of India “As we collectively shape India’s destiny for 2047, you (Chartered Accountants) are nerve centre, epicentre of big change, your efforts, your farsighted approach, your commitment will make Bharat the most developed nation on this planet. While institutions are vital for democratic governance and nurturing of democratic values, ICAI has been playing a stellar role in building, standardising, and sustaining the financial framework of the nation.”

Our profession has always been at the forefront of promoting public interest and now is the catalyst for balanced growth. As a profession and as an institution it is our strength to support the aspirations and expectations of each stakeholder from a common man to industry and government across the financial value chain. The profession is reimaging and reinventing itself to the demands and drivers of the market and working to put in place new financial reporting frameworks and standards with impetus on technology and sustainability reporting and at the same time unlocking value creation. We are constantly endeavouring to unlock the technology driven value creation at the same time steering the policy and practices towards protecting data privacy and protection in the interest of society. We are striving to inspire and fuel the innovational spirit of our youth to be job creator, as well as support our Industry & MSMEs become world-class while being sustainable.

Our commitment to progress is unwavering, deeply rooted in the ethos of a “Viksit Bharat.” India’s trajectory towards technological progress also stands as the cornerstone of societal advancements. ICAI is committed to realising the vision of a developed nation, working collaboratively to advance the economic landscape of the nation by seamlessly integrating technological prowess and fostering sustainable reporting and practices. We shall continue to work and support the Government in its journey of progress and reforms steering the economic progress.

As we work towards achieving our collective vision of India’s ascent as a developed nation in the next 25 years, the role of the Institute as well as its members becomes paramount. In this era of digital revolution wherein every piece of data carries the stamp of a Chartered Accountant’s certification, our responsibility is immense to ensure the firm affirmation of honesty and fairness, supported by the highest standards of integrity. In view of the advancements in the domain of technology and to adeptly navigate this evolving terrain, the Institute is taking all essential measures to imbibe the necessary technological skills amongst the members and students to excel as global professionals by embracing artificial intelligence, block chain technology and leveraging advancements to our competitive advantage.

As we pause to reflect upon our journey of progress and envision the path ahead, it is essential to recognize the role of our nation’s women and in shaping our destiny and it fills me with pride to share the significant strides as a profession we have made towards gender equality as our 29% members are women and 43% are students. The escalating participation of women is noteworthy, and I’m confident that with their skills and capabilities, they are poised to lead our profession in the next 25 years. On the upcoming International Women’s Day, I am reminded of the profound words of Mr. Kofi Annan, “There is no tool for development more effective than empowerment of women.” Let’s honour their resilience, strength, unwavering spirit, and reaffirm our commitment to foster an inclusive environment.

With a resolute commitment to put India first, led us forge ahead, guided by the principles of service to our nation, profession as well as ourselves. Together, we can lay the groundwork where excellence and national progress go hand in hand by embodying the tenets of ‘TRUST’ – Technology, Research, Union development, Sustainability, and Transparency, as we move ahead to achieve the vision of $30 trillion economy. The roadmap for this year is envisioned in ‘DRISHTI’ signifying D- Digitalisation; R- Research; I- Integrity; S- Skills, H- Handholding; T- Transparency and I- Independence. Details about same are coming separately inside the journal.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the ethos of our Institute, I am reminded of the paramount importance of ethical conduct as was noted by our Past President CA. (Dr.) R.C. Cooper in the preface to the first edition of ICAI’s Code of Ethics, “No booklet of this nature can achieve the object of outlining every possible act which may or may not constitute sound ethical conduct because the practice of professional ethics is largely a matter of conscience and the determination of members to distinguish between what is right and wrong. Ethics provides an understanding to differentiate between our right to do and what is right to do. Very rightly, the Institute urges its members to search their hearts and conscience whenever in doubt, and thereby assist towards the maintenance of high principles of professional conduct, as is expected of the constitution of a regulated profession.” Since 1964, the unwavering commitment of our members to uphold the Code of Ethics has earned us the title of trustees of Public Interest. Our dedication to ethical practices sets us apart and reinforces our credibility in the eyes of the nation.

The emblem of the Garuda bestowed upon us by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh represents not just a keen vision and soaring heights, but also a profound sense of responsibility. We are entrusted with safeguarding the fiscal integrity and our tireless efforts over the past 75 years have fortified the financial discipline of our country.

As we continue our journey of the next 25 years, I assure to steer the Institute towards unprecedented heights of success, fostering a culture of collaboration and empowerment. With resolute commitment, let us carry this responsibility with pride and dedication, pioneering innovation, fostering excellence, driving sustainable growth, and ensuring that our efforts contribute to the enduring prosperity of our beloved nation.

Together, Let’s chart a course for the future, leveraging our glorious past to propel ICAI into an even more inspiring and impactful era.

Best Wishes,

CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal
President, ICAI
Delhi, 29th February, 2024

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