MCCIA has been doing good work. Even influential political leaders like Mr. Sharad Pawar have helped Mahratta Chamber, not to help the chamber or its members but to support the kind of work it is doing since that in turn will help the people of Pune. Pune has grown industrially and now it's an industrial city and also an education city. Just look at the kind of educational institutes Pune has, schools, colleges, University, the number of hospitals we have, which is huge! There has been tremendous development whether its infrastructure, whether its roads, whether its traffic - these are things that Mahratta Chamber should aim at improving.
MCCIA, right from the beginning, held a very prestigious position. Government authorities were fully convinced about the sincerity of this organization. Whenever they were to come out with the Finance bill, they used to seek our views. The Chamber used to give such balanced views that sometimes we found that the entire list of suggestions which we gave were straightway implemented in the Finance bill. MCCIA has played a very significant and important role in assisting the industry in all its aspects.
Values are very important in your day to day development. You should not think in terms of only your business activities. You should also think in terms of the community that you are involved with. I feel it's the relationship that you establish in your community which helps you in your business growth as well. I don't think I have ever seen a single year when MCCIA hasn't made progress. If you know the process then offer by way of a suggestion, recommendation, how they can improve further and what they can do and how MCCIA can help them to make sure that, that process does improve. We took advantage of that and that benefit is what stands us in good stead there.
After Mumbai, this chamber is very famous in the whole of Maharashtra. Today we are in a very beautiful area and surrounding areas have also had excellent industrial development. We have gone up to Chakan and even further ahead. We have gone to Kharadi, we have gone beyond. The future I think is great. 80 years is very good and that means MCCIA is a strong and very valuable chamber. This chamber should continue to support the growth of various areas of Maharashtra.
The team members, the Executive committee members, the committee chairman, take very serious interest in the activities of the Chamber. They give their time, they give their energy, they give their expertise! I think this is an example which inspires other chambers of commerce in Maharashtra or elsewhere. The instinct of this city of social reformers means you don't look after yourself alone, you think of other areas too. So this is an attitude of the MCCIA, which I would say is a Pune attitude. I am very proud and I am very happy that the culture and traditions if continued, will lead to better quality and bigger competition.
I was really proud to be associated with Mahratta Chamber. It is one of the premier chambers in India and has really made a difference in the growth of industries here. For example, the Software Technology Park was incubated in this Chamber; Bank of Maharashtra, which is one of the top nationalized banks, was promoted by this Chamber; Pune Stock Exchange was promoted by this Chamber; International Convention Centre was promoted by MCCIA. So many other institutions like Food Testing Laboratories, Electronics Testing Laboratories all these were promoted by this Chamber. It is the only chamber which has made agriculture one of its focus areas, especially food processing. MCCIA has made a big contribution in the life of Pune industry.
If members take a keen interest in the Chamber, work for the Chamber, then MCCIA is capable of doing an unlimited number of things. Mumbai being the state capital, the state government will look at the city. Pune has to look at itself and therefore, in MCCIA we focused on what to do in and for Pune itself. So when the member knows what the Chamber is doing for him, it makes it very simple then to become a part of the Chamber and to work for the Chamber. And if you have a membership which is very active, as we do, then you are able to guide the city administration as well as the government and tell them what is it that constituents want. Moreover one is also able to give suggestions to make that happen, so the Mahratta Chamber is a voice which is listened to with a lot of respect as far as the state government is concerned.
Looking at the core vision of making Pune an attractive investment destination and working as a vanguard or as a policy formulator or as an advocacy group for the industry, our values have kind of flowed from that. MCCIA over the years has built a very strong base of credibility. It has built a tremendous base of service and commitment and I believe that comes from our founder director Late Shri. A. R. Bhat, who was the personification of such service or such credibility and those values are very important to us. You won't find the Chamber to be flashy although the current office is exceptionally beautiful. But you will find us coming out with policy recommendations, studies, research reports and a whole bunch of other things, based on service and credibility. To me these are the real values of Mahratta Chamber.
MCCIA has been a very important part of the development of Pune as an industrial and as a social city. I have been privileged to be associated with it for many decades now. It has by far the highest membership compared to any other association or chamber. Secondly, it covers all the topics which are connected with Pune's development comprehensively. Thirdly you have the crème de la crème of Pune's citizens in the Chamber as its members. Therefore it is by far the most effective and premier chamber. What we have normally seen is that when the new leader comes in he tries to dismantle what the previous leader has done and begin his own journey. But MCCIA is characterized by rare camaraderie, ensuring continuity is maintained which is so important. I hope that happens with the government also.
Any such organization like a Chamber of Commerce is really like a car or a vehicle, ready to go. You have to drive it somehow and it depends on the driver what the car does. Through its 30 odd committees, MCCIA provides something for everyone who is in industry, trade or agriculture. Have a dream, have a vision and make it happen through the auspices of Mahratta Chamber. The secretariat, headed by an excellent Director General, is so well trained and so well motivated that any good idea will not be set aside. It will be given impetus; it will be given support; it will be made to happen. We have one of the most beautiful buildings compared with any other Chamber of Commerce in the whole country and I wish our members and the Chamber all success. I am sure Mahratta Chamber will be going strong even in its 180th year.
Shri A. R. Bhat was a fiery patriot, a man of vision. The supporters of Mahratta Chamber in the 60s, 70s and 80s were all towering individuals who were social reformers. Therefore MCCIA is a body, which is populated by people, who, at the core, are social developers. The industry in Pune is not just making money; it has made people, it has furthered education and supported educational institutions, it has supported technology, it has created import substitution, it has created first class industry. New industrial sectors like information technology are also integrated into this. So, entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social development is what motivates Mahratta Chamber.