Shri Subair Kolakkadan, President, Calicut Chamber of Commerce,

Dr. Siddeek Ahmed, Chairman, Irham Group,

Shri Ashok Kumar R., Chief Editor, Business Plus,

Dr. K. Moidu, Chairman, Airport Committee,

Shri Rajesh Kunhappan, Secretary, Calicut Chamber of Commerce,

Shri M. Muzhammil, Chairman, Organizing Committee,

Shri T.P. Ahamed Koya,

Chevalior C.E. Chakkunny,

Shri M.K. Nazar, Treasurer, Calicut Chamber of Commerce,

प्रियसहोदरीसहोदरनमारे[Priya Sahodaree Sahodaranmare],

ल्लारकुमएन्टेनमस्कारम[Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram],

ल्लावर्कुमसुखमाणो?[Ellavarkkum Sukham Aano?].

I am very happy to inaugurate the 20th Annual Celebrations of the Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I am glad that this yearlong Celebration involves the conduct of many programmes which offer suggestions for the development of Kozhikode and adjoining areas.

At the outset, let me congratulate the office bearers and members and share their joy in this Chamber completing twenty years of activities as an affiliate of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I also congratulate all those who have been presented awards today.

I am informed that the Calicut Chamber of Commerce, was conceived by some prominent industrialists to work for the betterment of the business community of Kozhikode.  Officially inaugurated by Shri T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner in 1998, the Chamber has been rendering remarkable service to society in general and the industrial and commercial spheres of Malabar region in particular. It is heartening to note that the Chamber has always given due importance to the common good of the society and the country at large, in all its efforts to protect and promote the trade interests of its members.

Some of the projects undertaken by the Chamber, like Career Futura for Educational Development, Destination Malabar for Tourism and Foreign Investment Conference with Hamriya Freezone Authorities have helped to boost the morale of the industrial sector in Kozhikode.

The role of Commerce and Business as key factors in ushering in progress has gained wider acceptance in recent years. But, a broader social outlook has always been a character of business and commerce in India. Indian mythology sees business as a legitimate, integral part of society, with the core of function of creating wealth for all. Our Vedic thoughts highlighted the need for a social and economic order based on the ideal of Sarva Loka Hitamorthe well being of all stakeholders. We see an extension of this ideal in the Gandhian concept which says that the man who goes into business to do WELL, stays in it to do GOOD.

Perhaps it is this social consciousness which encouraged many of our business houses to strengthen their involvement in the process of social development even before the Government made corporate social responsibility a legal obligation. Today, our businesses are aware that ethical norms and codes of conduct are to be practiced in right earnest.  And no progress, worth its name, can afford to ignore the common man, whose hard earned income breathes life into every market.  

We should also ponder over whether the actual social obligation of a business is limited to the share of profit that goes into social welfare activities. Of late, especially in the last two decades, we have been hearing of too many business scams and seeing business magnates going behind bars, not just in India, but even abroad. The roots of many of these scams lie in the unscrupulous race for success, which involves violation of laws and resorting to unfair practices.  To avoid this dangerous trend, professional bodies like Chamber of Commerce should volunteer to sensitize its members on the need to follow fair practices and to fulfill legal obligations.

I am glad that the Chamber has been actively in touch with Government and related agencies with regard to matters such as Central and state taxes, welfare schemes, licensing, rehabilitation etc. Interactions to apprise the business community about Goods and Services Tax, Foreign Taxes and customs and requirements related to Food safety and Security Authority of India and Legal Metrology will also equip the business community to be more socially responsible.

I have come to know that Calicut or Kozhikode had once enjoyed the status of the commercial capital of Malabar.  But, in course of time, the pride of place diminished gradually, due to several reasons, including the emergence of more centers of trade. However, this legacy can be regained through a series of concerted efforts and I feel that the Calicut Chamber of Commerce, with over 1000 members, has a pivotal role to play in the process.

I am happy that on the completion of 20th year of  service, the Chamber is proud of its efforts to  boost development in infrastructure, especially, the Airport, Sea Port, Railways and Roads through participation, negotiation and at times, through agitations. The Chamber’s philanthropic initiatives during the devastating flood in Kerala, also merit mention.

However, the true contribution of the Chamber of Commerce will be assessed in terms of the actions it has planned for the future. It is laudable that along with the setting up a new office building and honouring of Young Entrepreneurs, the Chamber is planning to hold an Investors’ Meet to boost Industries and tourism, with emphasis on the Malabar Travel Mart. The Chamber’s interest in speeding up the acquisition of additional land for the development of Calicut International Airport is also a positive step.

In this fast paced age of globalization, many new avenues for growth and progress are at our beck and call.  We   have to prepare ourselves professionally to tap the global opportunities and to face the new challenges that lie ahead. Many of such opportunities lie in the world of new technologies, on which our younger generation has a better grasp and grip. Therefore, our Chambers of Commerce and Industry must make it a policy to encourage start up ventures that leverage new technologies. This will certainly be appreciated as a futuristic step.

I would like to conclude by reminding the members of the Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry that business should contribute not only to the gross national product, but also to the gross national happiness, which is an indicator of a better quality of life.  Your contribution to the nation’s happiness index has to be through highest standards of social commitment and involvement. I would end by reminding you of the essence of a hymn in Atharva Veda, which tells us that the wealth we create with one hundred hands, must do good to society through a thousand hands.

I wish you success, growth and satisfaction in your profession. I also pray that you be blessed with a more positive attitude towards the welfare of society.


लोका: समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु 


Jai Hind