The Chamber was born of great parentage – Prime Minister Bob Hawke of Australia and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India signed a Charter at Canberra in 1986, creating a vision of the two institutions – the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Indo-Australian Joint Business Council. The Chamber was formally inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. G.B. Feakes, the Australian High Commissioner to India, on 22 June 1989. Mr. M.K. Kumar, one of India’s leading management professionals and the then President of ASSOCHAM, played an important role in that landmark event.
Major highlights of the activities in the past 22 years
A glittering Membership profile
With over 500 members, the Chamber now represents almost the entire range of Indo-Australian business community. These 500 members include, leading Australian and Indian companies doing business across and between the two countries. They also represent a broad spectrum of business activities – automobiles, building and construction, food processing, agri-business, mining and energy, textiles, banking and financial services, healthcare, software and business process outsourcing, logistics, migration, tourism and entertainment. The fact is that the Indo-Australian business is expanding to newer and newer areas. New ideas, new products and new technologies have been at the heart of this new awakening.
A Reference Point for Australian SMEs
A major feature of the Indo-Australian story is the large number of Small and Medium Enterprises that have moved from Australia to India and set up business here. Among them are Cookieman, Unibic, Heat & Control, Attra Infotech, IPP Technologies, Gemcom Software and several others. The number is increasing at an astonishing pace. The Chamber has been playing a ‘hand-holding’ role in helping them to set up their business in India and find their feet in the market here.
Chamber’s Annual Business Delegation
The Chamber has in the past 22 years, led 10 Business Missions to Australia and has helped over 180 Indian companies, mostly SMEs, to establish long term business relations and effective partnerships with Australian companies. Each Business Mission interacts with around 150 companies across major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. These Missions are the most cost-effective way of gaining knowledge on Australian markets through a direct visit.
Australian Business Missions to India
The Chamber has provided opportunities for its members to meet and interact with several Australian business delegations visiting Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. On an average, 3 to 4 Business Missions visit India every year. Besides, smaller business teams and individual businessmen also make frequent visits to India to explore a variety of objectives – trade, collaborations, technology transfer, market research, trade fairs and in many cases, to establish their own offices in India. On an average, one Australian businessman drops in at the Chamber’s office every week.
Chamber’s growing connectivity to Australian business and industry
The Chamber has built up an extensive network of contacts in Australia. The Chamber works closely with Australia India Business Council, the association of Indian business community in Australia.
The Chamber interacts regularly with the Perth-based Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia (CCIWA); Adelaide-based Business S.A. and Melbourne-based Victoria Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI). These linkages help our members to establish business matching with a large pool of Australian companies. An important relationship that has grown over time is the Chamber’s involvement with Austrade. Austrade and the Chamber work together as two pillars of Indo-Australian business. Austrade set up its own office in Chennai in the beginning of 2007, following the visit of Prime Minister, John Howard in March 2006. The Chamber’s website has now been hyperlinked to the site of UTSAV Australia, the highly publicized promotional campaign of Austrade.