Ram Venkataramani
Ram Venkataramani
Dear Members,
 
We are at the beginning of another financial year 2018-2019 with a lot of enthusiasm, hopes, and plans for the future.
 
The businesses in the year 2017 had challenges in different forms, the most significant being the GST – a new tax regime. The Industries are still grappling with the changes and it looks like it will take some more time for things to settle down.
 
The Chamber has had a successful year, thanks to the support from members. The Chamber with the same zeal is all set to welcome this financial year with a host of programs and value added activities for our members.
 
To reminisce the important activities of the last FY: The Chamber continued its series of GST awareness programs last year and is geared up to have more round tables, seminars , discussions etc to update the members on the latest amendments. Not only in GST, the Chamber had a successful Q & A session on the Companies Act 2013 and is updating the members through the bulletin and website of the latest changes brought through the Companies Act 2017.
 
We had the privilege of hosting the first Urban Thinkers Campus conference of UN Habitat in Chennai with the theme” Chennai as a Global City”, coinciding with the 6th Anniversary of the Sustainable Chennai Forum. The Urban Thinkers Campus was conducted across two days and covered three themes, namely, Resilience & Smart Cities”; “Inclusion, City's Expansion and Social Infrastructure”; “Global Investment Destination & Governance”. Each session had a panel of 5-6 eminent speakers who engaged in presentations, deliberations and discussions on topics of their domain expertise and provided food for thought on the challenges and issues in the City. The Urban Thinkers Campus concluded with a Valedictory plenary, which was presided by the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu, Mr.O.Panneerselvam. This program became a milestone event in the Chamber and has provided many action points for the Chamber to act upon. This year, again, we are the proud winner of the bid to host a Conference on “Roadmap to Zero Waste in Chennai” under the same platform on a big scale in October 2018.
 
Under the Sustainable Chennai Forum (SCF) initiative, this year water took the front seat! The Chamber took part in the Water Conclaves held in Chennai apart from the Water expo stressing the importance of Water conservation and management. The Chamber is in discussion with the Corporation of Chennai for restoration of water bodies through the CSR activities of our member companies.
 
The CSR Conference which was held for the 3rd consecutive year had a unique concept of round tables with NGOs and Corporate to provide an opportunity to network and scale up their activities. Further, the MCCI CSR Awards launched this year, to promote projects that would synergize and maximize social impact, would definitely be a small step that would lead to a giant leap in the coming years.
 
The Skill Development initiative with Pan IIT Alumni Reach for India (PARFI) would continue to train the unskilled and to up skill the semi skilled workforce to improve the employability and promote employment. The Chamber, having members predominantly from the manufacturing sector has major plans to focus on manufacturing conclave and expos with a special focus on Defence, Aerospace, Industry 4.0, automation and IOT which are changing the manufacturing landscape of the State.
 
The Chamber’s certificate courses on IR and CSR have been a great success. This year, more such courses on HR, EXIM, and Lean Manufacturing would be added, apart from the existing courses to benefit more members on different topics that are relevant for the growth of the Industries.
 
Apart from these initiatives, the Chamber’s regular activities such as Power Conference, Trade= Meets, Tax Workshops and more would continue to meet the members’ needs. The Chamber has also plans to hold series of sector wise member meets to understand their requirements and pursue activities that would benefit the members in the respective sectors. I am confident that we will have the support of members and hope to get the valuable inputs and suggestions from all of you.
 
The Expert Committees, our think tanks are planning to have conferences, seminars and new initiatives in their respective area of work. The regular training programs, Industrial Visits, awareness programs on the latest laws would continue to be part and parcel of the Chamber’s activities.
 
The above are just the tip of the ice berg of the proposed activities and as always, Madras Chamber would like to work closely with the member companies and in sync with the changing needs and demands of the industries and the economic environment. I sincerely request you to extend your fullest support to us to enable us to support you.
 
Wishing you all a very Happy Financial Year 2018-19.
April 2018
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