4/27/2018 8:24:30 AM
|written By : Team India Se|
The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) wants to make it as easy to do business in India as in China.
While major Singapore companies such as Singapore Airlines, PSA and Keppel have invested in India in a big way, SICCI is more concerned about the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SICCI’s new Chairman T Chandroo and Vice Chairmen Mahesh Sivaswamy and Prasoon Mukherjee explained how they could help the SMEs in reply to a question from India Se.
SICCI could try to help them secure bank loans; it could ask Enterprise Singapore to stand as guarantor for such loans. While DBS has branches in India, other Singapore banks such as OCBC should be encouraged to follow suit, said Mr Sivaswamy. Indian banks will be willing to lend to Singapore companies, said Mr Mukherjee. India has become the world’s sixth largest economy and the various Indian states – each as big as a country – are eagerly seeking investments from Singapore, he added, pointing out this is a good time to invest in India. There are “issues” in investing in India, such as land acquisition problems, but these can be overcome, said Mr Sivasamy, adding SICCI could act as a facilitator, helping Singapore companies invest in India.
Dr Chandroo and his deputies spoke to the media shortly before SICCI’s 77th annual general meeting dinner at the Hotel Intercontinental on April 26.
Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, speaking as the chief guest at the dinner, commended SICCI for promoting business and entrepreneurship. The government stood ready to help, said Ms Rajah, who has been promoted to full Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, effective from May 1.
SICCI’s outgoing Chairman, Dr R Theyvendran, said the chamber was on a sound financial footing, with good people on board, and would go from strength to strength.
Dr Chandroo said he and his new board of directors, who won a landslide victory in keenly fought elections on April 16, were committed to leading the chamber to new heights of excellence. There were more than 8,000 Indian companies in Singapore, but only 531 paid-up SICCI members. He wanted to bring in at least 1,500 new members in the next two years and help SICCI grow exponentially. The board of directors is elected for a two-year-term. He and his team have various ideas in mind to attract new members, such as reducing membership fees, encourage women to join, help enterpreneurs network, raise funds, tap business opportunities, and mentor aspiring young entrepreneurs.
The new team will also seek closer ties with other chambers of commerce and associations and leverage on e-commerce and the use of technology to help companies benefit from the rapidly growing digital economy.
India Se Media Managing Director Shobha Tsering Bhalla is a member of the new board of director which also includes Mr Mano C, Honorary Treasurer, and the following board members: Mr Kishore Jethanand Daryanani, Dr Komathy Rajaratnam, Mr Anil Changaroth, Mr MS Maniam, Mr Parthiban Murugaiyan, Ms Purnima Kamath, Mr Nalinkant Amratlal Rathod, Mr Muralikrishnan Rangan, Mr Sridev Mookerjea, Mr VS Kumar, Mr Mandeep Nalwa and Mr Rajan Bagaria.