In the vanguard of developmental activities, and with 63 glorious years of devoted services to the business community to its credit, the ISO 9001:2008 certified North Malabar Chamber of Commerce (NMCC), Kannur, Kerala has today become the backbone of trade, commerce and industry in North Malabar. NMCC functions from a new landmark building in the heart of Kannur on the strength of its more than 700 members who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of endeavor.
It was in 1952 that a group of nine prominent Traders and Industrialists of Kannur formed an Association for protecting and promoting the interests of the business community and registered it under the Indian Companies Act in the name and style of The North Malabar Chamber of Commerce . Over the years, the Chamber has evolved and redefined its role from espousing the causes of traders and industrialists to becoming a prime mover for transforming the North Malabar region through developmental initiatives.
The Chamber’s relentless focus on removing the backwardness of this region has culminated in many projects which have either been commissioned or are in different stages of completion. The Kannur International Airport, Azhikkal Port, Textile Centre at Nadukani, Inland Container Depot, NIFT Centre, GI Registration for Cannanore Home Furnishing Products are some of these. In addition, NMCC is actively following up the Kannur Power Project, Thalassery-Mysore Railway Link, National Highway Development, Bye-pass Roads, Express Highway, Agri Food Park, Tourism Development, Permanent Exhibition Centre for Handloom Products, Central University in Kasargod District etc. NMCC has played a key role in getting Kannur recognised as a “Town of Export Excellence” by the Union Ministry of Commerce.
NMCC went truly global by organizing an event “North Malabar Calling” in Dubai with the aim of attracting foreign investment for the development of North Malabar. The programme which was held on the 8th and 9th of June 2012 in Dubai highlighted the products and services from this region and the opportunities it has to offer for foreign investors. This was followed by a path-breaking visit of an NMCC delegation to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the 10th of June which has resulted in the establishment of warm ties with the Abu Dhabi Chamber. On the same day, the First Honorary Membership of the North Malabar Chamber of Commerce was conferred on Padmasree Yusaff Ali M.A. International Malayalee Businessman extraordinaire at a function held at Abu Dhabi.
As part of its day to day functioning, the Chamber has been regularly bringing to the attention of the concerned authorities and elected representatives -including Ministers, MPs and MLAs- the problems and grievances of Traders, Industrialists and the general public. A number of Seminars, Workshops, Orientation Programmes and Interactive sessions with prominent personalities and experts in the field are being organized, some of which are jointly with other organizations. The Chamber also conducts post-Budget analysis by experts in the subject after the Annual Budget is presented.
The Chamber is represented on various Railway Consultative Committees and has been able to successfully take up with the Railway authorities for grant of more amenities for the Railway users here. The Chamber also has representation in a number of Advisory Committees of Central Ministries as well as State Government Departments and Boards.
NMCC has been authorized by the Central Government to endorse Certificates of Origin and attest documents which are required for export of goods. It also recommends visa applications of Members who need to visit foreign countries for business purposes.
In 2010, the Chamber received ISO 9001:2008 Certification for the Quality Management System maintained for its service activities.
With the assistance of UNCTAD, the Chamber has initiated and obtained Geographical Indication Registration from the Government of India for the Cannanore Home Furnishing Products Consortium.
Considering that there are a sizeable number of Corporate members in the Middle East, an Overseas Wing of the Chamber was formed at a meeting convened on 29th May 2011 at Dubai so that the needs and aspirations of these members could be more effectively addressed by the Chamber. Another objective of the Overseas Wing is to effectively harness the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the expatriate members for the development of the North Malabar region.
A Kasargod Area Unit of the Chamber was formed and formally inaugurated on 6th September 2011. The Kasargod Office building of the Chamber was inaugurated on 12th May 2012.
In order to inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship and develop managerial skills amongst the women members, a Women’s Wing of the Chamber was formally inaugurated on the 14th of August 2011 and has been actively functioning since then.
The Chamber annually confers awards on the persons selected as the “Best Trader” and “Best Industrialist”. Members’ children who excel in their public examinations are also honoured.
One of the highlights of the Chamber’s programmes has been the annual AK Nair Memorial Endowment Award function which is being conducted for the past fourteen years in association with the AK Nair Memorial Endowment Committee. The Endowment is to perpetuate the memory of the late AK Nair, a doyen among industrialists in North Malabar The Award is presented every year to a person who has excelled in his/her field of endeavour and has contributed to the betterment of industry and exports. Scholarships are also given to children of handloom weavers who are students of professional and postgraduate colleges. His Excellency Sri Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India; his Excellency Sri RS Gavai, the Governor of Kerala ; Sri MA Baby, Hon’ble Minister for Education, Govt.of Kerala; Sri TKA Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister; Dr G Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of ISRO; Dr Sukumar Azhikode and Dr Shashi Tharoor were some of the eminent personalities who had graced the AK Nair Memorial Endowment Award function in the past.
In the midst of these multifarious activities, the Chamber has not neglected its corporate social responsibilities. For the past few years, the Ajith Balakrishnan Foundation in association with the Chamber has been instituting awards of one lakh rupees each for three outstanding teachers from the Kannur Educational District in the Primary school, Secondary school and Higher Secondary school categories. It is one of the biggest amounts offered as prize money for an award for Teachers. The Chamber has distributed medical support equipment to the Government District Hospital and supplied wheelchairs to various Railway stations in North Malabar with financial assistance from WAKE, Dubai. An Ambulance procured by the Chamber in association with the KVR Group was flagged off in November 2011 and placed at the disposal of needy persons.
The Chamber Building has three Halls with varying seating capacities which are also available for use by the public. These Halls, which are in the names of some of the past illustrious personages of Kannur, have been sponsored by their close relatives and associates to perpetuate their memories. The Halls are:
KV Raman Nair Memorial Hall (275 persons); Madhava Baliga Memorial Hall (225 persons) and Dr C E Oommen Memorial Board Room (60 persons). All the Halls are fully furnished and equipped with air conditioning and sound systems.
With the Chamber’s expanded role in the development affairs of North Malabar, the expectations of people from the Chamber are high. The Chamber has a solemn responsibility to live up to those expectations. The North Malabar Chamber of Commerce pledges to rededicate itself to undertaking the tasks before it with the utmost sincerity and devotion so as to redeem the faith reposed on it by its members and society at large.