The newly-elected president of Maharatta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), Sudhir Mehta, aims to ensure better coordination between industries and educational institutions.
You have taken over the reins of the Chamber when the Indian economy is in serious contraction. How do you plan to tackle the situation and help your members?
Undoubtedly the times are challenging but we have to tackle it and grow. The need of the hour is to talk: talk to each other, talk with the government to work out a policy to face this national crisis. We can’t think of working in silos as greater coordination is necessary on all fronts. In this regard, the Chamber should take measures to support its members explore greater opportunities and make them access newer business. What we plan to do is to make member to member interaction more frequent, which will help in generation of business.
We intend to work as enabler of communications between the industry and the government and vice-versa.
How can the Chamber help the MSME sector tackle the Covid-19 crisis? There were complaints of the industry being lax in deployment of social distancing norms and other measures needed to prevent the disease.
As I said earlier, we have to face the crisis together and so everyone has to do their bit. The larger industries are encouraged to handhold the smaller units to help them enable to implement the required norms of social distancing and hygiene. The Chamber has worked a lot during the pandemic to get the norms in place and w will continue doing so in the days to come.
The MCCIA had taken up the work to upscale the infrastructure in public health care system during the pandemic. What is the status of the project?
The Chamber has helped in procuring ventilators, PPE kits, N95 masks etc for the public health care infrastructure. At this moment we have decided to concentrate our efforts in rural Maharashtra. The pandemic is now spreading in rural parts and our efforts are directed toward the public health care system. We are also asking private hospitals to be prepared to face the second wave, if it comes.
What are your plans for Pune? Do you see any green shot in the present crisis?
Pune has all the elements needed to be developed as an international city and we at the Chambers want to see that being done. The city can develop as an important destination for manufacturing of medical equipment. We do talk a lot about import substitution and this crisis can give the right amount of push necessary to achieve the same. Also, the tremendous growth in online services can work to our advantage in getting more international business.
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