The MCCI Journey & Growth Story
Starting its journey way back in 1901, the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) has emerged as one of the most dynamic and front-ranking Chambers in the city of Kolkata. Being born in an environment of National Upsurge, it’s prime objective has been to provide a sense of integrity, secularity and idealism to the business community of Eastern India. The Chamber today is steadily making it’s presence felt across the country and abroad, through well-thought out, meaningful initiatives aimed at taking Indian Industry to a higher growth trajectory.
Historically, the Chamber carries with it a legacy of uniting the business community in Kolkata, forming an organisation and raising its voice of concern against all sorts of injustice in the pre–independence days. It played a significant nationalist role at different times of the last 117 years of it’s existence. The Chamber has always been in the forefront of challenges faced and policy-actions taken by the emerging India, championing the cause of indigenous industry as generators of maximum wealth and employment for the millions of people in India.
The MCCI started its function in the name of ‘Vaishya Mitra Sabha’, which was renamed as the ‘Merchants’ Committee’ in 1904 and membership was opened to all. It plunged itself into the Swadeshi Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921. In 1952, the name was changed into ‘Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce’, which was ultimately changed to “Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry” in 2016, to re-affirm and reflect its focus on trade, commerce & industry.
To be the leading chamber of Eastern India providing the crucial link between businesses and the policy makers, creating an economic environment which helps members prosper and flourish benefitting all stake holders in the economy.
- To establish ourselves as the leading chamber of Eastern India including the North East by aggressively expanding member base especially among medium scale Industry and rising corporate houses.
- To liaise with the Govt. and administration to promote the cause of businesses and members.
- To help the Govt. especially the Govt. of West Bengal and North East States to create the right economic policy and socio-economic environment for the development of business.
- To point out the deficiencies in Govt. Policy in economic matters without being constrained to be politically correct.
- To create member awareness about various policy and law changes including future policy directions to enable them to adjust better in a fast changing economic environment.
- To disseminate information & knowledge to members on a continuous basis on very economic issue, national and international opportunities and B2B opportunities.
- To carry out research in all economic areas and publish them at regular intervals.
- To help bring member grievances to the State Administration to enable quick relief.
- To promote and assist in the efforts aimed at improving the competitiveness of the members and to encourage and help them to utilize various business opportunities arising in this globalised digital age.
- To ensure wide participation of members in Chamber initiatives by taking up relevant and important economic issues which are of interest to members.
- To align strongly with the Govt. of West Bengal and the North Eastern States and partner the State Government in all it’s developmental activities & initiatives and facilitate the growth of focus sectors / areas like MSMEs, Textiles, Start-Ups and IT & ITeS.
- To strengthen Policy Advocacy services, and submit Research Reports focusing on sectoral opportunities as well as macro-economic trends to the State Government as well as Central Ministries, Departments and Regulators at regular intervals.
- To forge partnerships & collaborations with counterpart Chambers, Research Agencies, Trade Associations through signing of MoUs to ensure national and global reach.
- To align with Media and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a better visibility of the MCCI brand among Government & Industry circles.
- To promote Ethical Business Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility among members and contribute towards the enhancement of their brand image among public at large.
- To actively promote the cause of Women Empowerment by taking up meaningful initiatives through the MLF wing of the Chamber.
Evolution of the Chamber
The Chamber has spread out its wings over the years, to cover a wide spectrum of industries, trade & services. While being a strong voice of small and medium enterprises, the Chamber has pro-actively advocated that in a mixed economy like ours, the Public and Private Sectors are complementary to each other, and can together create an inclusive and futuristic India.
MCCI has members covering a wide cross-section of small, medium & large industries, trade, different professions and services, apart from indirect members through various industry and trade associations affiliated to the Chamber. The administration rests in the hands of the Executive Committee, comprised of upto 157 members drawn from different sectors of industry, trade, profession, past Presidents and Trustees. Currently, there are several Standing Committees under the Executive Committee, looking after various key aspects of the industry, trade and services sectors.
The Committee, headed by the President, appoints various Standing Committees, to deal with specific issues emerging in the areas of their concern. There is an Advisory Council, headed by a Chairman to offer guidance to the Committee on major issues. The Chamber also has a developmental wing called MCC Foundation, whose major thrust is on development of rural areas & socio-economic upliftment of the rural sector.
In the recent years, the Chamber has successfully led Business Delegations to countries including Myanmar, China, Vietnam and Bahrain, and held focused B-2-B interactions & meetings between relevant stakeholders to foster & facilitate bilateral trade, JVs and FDI.
Conference facilities of the Chamber include two well-equipped Conference Halls – Somany Conference Hall with a seating capacity of 100 persons and Jhajharia Committee Room, which can accommodate 20 persons, both of which are frequently used for business meetings.
Major thrust areas of the Chamber
Major thrust areas of the Chamber are
- Interaction with the Central and State Governments, various apex bodies & institutions set up by the Union Government including the NITI Aayog, RBI, SEBI etc, Foreign Diplomatic Missions and other concerned authorities for promotion of industry and trade.
- Focused initiatives on development and promotion of industry & trade, organising Meetings, Seminars, Symposia on several contemporary macro & sectoral issues, and provide a platform for discussion and deliberations amongst the stakeholders.
- Dissemination of information & knowledge to members on a continuous basis on corporate laws & rules, economic & tax issues and national & international business opportunities.
- Policy Advocacy and liaison with the Union and State Governments for creation and formulation of right economic policies aimed at boosting socio-economic development and industrial growth. Initiating necessary steps against critical bottlenecks/ deficiencies to ensure faster growth of industry and commerce and submission of Policy Blueprints & Representations for necessary action.
- Facilitating and organizing Trade Delegations to and receive Trade Delegations from different countries to foster better relations with them and create a conducive environment for rapid growth of industry and foreign trade by connecting Indian businesses with their global partners.
- Forging partnerships & collaborations with counterpart Chambers, national & international Research & Development Agencies, Trade Associations through signing of MoUs to ensure national and global reach.
- Aligning with the Print & Electronic Media and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a better visibility of the MCCI brand amongst Government & Industry circles.