255 / 2021
Quote of the day
“The more you multitask, the less deliberative you become; the less able to think and reason out a problem. “
I was a panelist at a Business Forum’s annual event recently. 3 women panelists (a dancer-cum-art school founder, a doctor-cum-speciality care centre founder and myself) shared our thoughts on “Women as changemakers'' – the need to encourage a girl child to dream big, to help her convert them into goals, to support and empower her to turn it into a profession, the struggles of work-life balance as a woman, perseverance and fighting against societal stereotypes, change in individual and institutional mindsets required (to me the family, employing organisation and society all three are institutions), how a woman must negotiate what she wants, how she must create a support system early in her life much before the need arises to have a career, the choices she makes, the need to believe in herself and stay committed, the contrast between feminism (a movement that is identified with strong emotional expression) and women empowerment (a bigger and more encompassing, purposeful action).
All of us agreed that a woman is herself an embodiment of change all through her life – puberty, marriage, child-birth, menopause – each stage triggering different kinds of changes physically, physiologically, biologically, emotionally and intellectually. Every woman has a different story to share – some manage it well, others don’t. While metamorphosizing ourselves, if we are able to bring some positive changes in the surroundings around us, it will be a life well lived.
Surprisingly none of us brought out the most commonly attributed competency of a woman – multi-tasking. While this is heralded as a strength of our tribe, research shows that multi-tasking is not actually productive. While daily chores do need parallel tasking in the interest of time, the same is not true where cognitive abilities are involved. It is said there is a 40% reduction in productivity due to multitasking though it appears that we are able to handle many things at the same time. We are doing this all the time - at workplace, juggling between a phone call, messaging, email, now virtual meetings (which provides ample room for distractions) in the illusion that we are able to attend to multiple assignments. This is all the more so for a person in a consulting organisation that caters to many customers. I find this happening to my colleagues and me as well, as we are in the constant race to handle client requirements. I do notice how fatigued they are at the end of the day and still find many things incomplete. What is the way out ? Prioritising, creating a to-do-list, setting aside time for personal messages, not responding to emails constantly, setting client expectations right that they cannot expect instantaneous response always (sometimes yes but not always), collating issues and preferring a single call over repeated calls and emails which distract one’s attention, delegate and most importantly learn to say NO. Toughest thing for many of us ! Multitasking involves both goal shifting and role activation each time the brain shifts from one to another. This adds a small time delay which hurts your overall productivity. Since the brain is supposed to be trained to do one thing at a time, it is said that the cognitive abilities of the brain is impaired during multitasking. It also leads to stress which is the number one cause for most diseases, both physical and mental. Most often those multitasking do not realise they are doing it and find it difficult not to stay distracted. Recommendation is – limit the number of tasks to just two at any given time AND follow the ‘20 minute rule’ i.e. be at a task at least for 20 minutes before jumping to another one. This is likely to reduce the negative effect of multitasking in case avoiding is not an option. In this fast paced world, therefore mindfulness, meditation, yoga, silence etc. take significance to help us have single minded devotion at a task. I believe reducing multitasking (complete elimination may not be possible) can lead to sustainable and quality living which is the current goal of most people !
I have reflected on two entirely different topics of women as change makers and multitasking but I guess weaning away from juggling multiple things will enhance the contribution of women in the long run. Perhaps this is the shortest ever issue of Samhita with updates only from MCA. As short as the month of February itself. Most Ministries seem to be done for now. Or so we think. Since the Government has made One Person Companies attractive to entrepreneurs as they start up on their solo journey, this 255th issue of Samhita carries a comprehensive article on OPCs in a Q&A form in a simple, easy to understand language for promoters. Lets excel in English focuses on the choice of words we have in indicating a certain tone in the written conversation. What difference tone and pauses make – trust me relationships are built or broken several times on this alone !
For any previous issues of Samhita and the readers’ feedback, please visit http://www.sharadasc.com/resource-center/.
OPCs made more attractive for startups
Pursuant to the removal of restrictions placed on the paid-up capital and turnover of OPCs, the structure of an OPC has become attractive for startups and small businesses. The choice of conversion now lies with the promoter of the OPC which would enable it to grow without any additional compliances applicable to normal private companies.
A detailed Q&A by Ashwini Hegde and Sreenivasan Narasimhan, Associates explains the structure of an OPC and the applicable compliances under Companies Act, 2013.
MCA Notifications and Updates
Reduced offer period for Rights Issue
A rights issue is an option exercisable by existing shareholders of a company to purchase further share capital in proportion to their current holding. Companies Act, 2013, provides that the Rights offer shall be made by notice specifying the number of shares offered and limiting a time not less than 15 days and not exceeding 30 days from the date of the offer.
The Company Law Committee in it’s report proposed a reduction in the minimum period for which the offer should remain open. The same stand was taken by SEBI in it’s discussion paper on Right’s Issue.
Taking into consideration the recommendations by the Company Law Committee, MCA has notified that w.e.f. 01.04.2021, the minimum offer period shall be reduced to 7 days (existing 15 days).
Definition of listed companies – Amended
The definition of Listed companies to explicitly exclude the following classes of companies:
Public companies which have not listed their equity shares on a recognised stock exchange but have listed their –
Non-Convertible Debt securities issued on private placement basis.
Non-Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares issued on private placement basis.
Private companies which have listed their non-convertible debt securities on private placement basis on a recognised stock exchange.
Public companies which are listed on permitted foreign stock exchanges.
The above changes are in line with the CLC’s recommendations and provide relied to such companies from SEBI compliances as well as certain Company Law compliances like Secretarial Audit.
Producer Companies Rules, 2021
The Producer Companies Rules, 2021 was notified on 11.02.2021. Highlights of the Rules are as follows:
Change in Registered Office - Rules w.r.t. change in Registered Office of a Company within the state and from one state to another shall also be applicable to a Producer Company.
Investment of general reserves – Producer companies are required to make investments out of their general reserves in specified securities listed in the Rules.
Penalty sections applicable to LLPs
MCA through a post on it’s website announced that it shall extend the applicability of certain sections of the Companies Act, 2013 to LLPs. The sectioned so mentioned in the post are:
The post also mentioned necessary adaptations and modifications shall be made to the above sections before making them applicable to LLPs. It is clear that LLPs are also going to be under stricter regulatory scrutiny of MCA.