Dear Industry Colleagues,
Today I look back over the last year serving as the Chairperson of Finland Chamber of Commerce in India, and I have to say it has been quite an interesting journey. I’d like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to my colleagues including the Board Members, Member Companies, colleagues from the Embassy and Business Finland for their unstinted support and tireless efforts. A special thank you to our Honorary Board Members, the Hon’ble Ambassador, H.E. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Dr. Jukka Holappa and Mr. Tarvo Nieminen for always supporting and encouraging the Chamber’s activities enthusiastically. I would also like to express appreciation for the energetic efforts Mr. Kimmo Siira, Counsellor at the Embassy of Finland, not only for
supporting FINCHAM’s activities, but also for constantly striving to facilitate cooperative platforms for our members to conduct their business in India.
The Embassy of Finland in New Delhi continues to be an invaluable advocate of the Chamber. They have not only been active participants in our discussion meetings, but proactively supported our endeavours to find meaningful solutions to issues faced by Finnish companies in India.
After nearly two years of virtual operations, we were able to resume nearly all events and meetings in a physical format which provided a refreshing opportunity to mingle with our peers and partners. The past year was also marked by several important ministerial delegation visits to India. FINCHAM organised exclusive roundtable interactions with Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr. Mika Lintilä as well Hon’ble Minister of Development Cooperation & Foreign Trade of Finland, Mr. Ville Skinnari. These interactions acted as a useful platforms for companies to share key inputs – challenges as well as success stories – vis-à-vis India operations for bi-lateral discussions. Other activities included organising expert sessions on regulatory developments and issues, including IPR, Union Budget 2023, as well as impact of geo-political events for the Indian Economy.
I am delighted to share that we were able to leverage the return to ‘normalcy’ by hosting the much overdue Annual FINCHAM Gala, bringing together members, partners, customers. The event was graced by the Hon’ble Minister of Employment of Finland H.E Ms. Tuula Haatainen. The highlights ofthe event were the discussion on ‘Powering India’s Sustainability Aspirations through Technology’ with our esteemed panelists including Dr. Sunita Purushottam (Head of Sustainability at Mahindra Lifespaces) and Mr. Siddharth Sharma (Group Chief Sustainability Officer at Tata Sons). The gala gave us an opportune moment to present Awards of Excellence to two of our strongest pillars of support, H.E. Ritva Koukku-Ronde and Dr. Jukka Holappa for their commitment and contributions towards the evolution and achievements of the Chamber.
Sustainability has been an underlying theme of significance for the Indo-Finnish cooperation. This year FINCHAM has launched a video series ‘Sustainability in Action’ –to promote visibility and showcase the sustainability driven strategies and objectives of the Finnish companies in India. I would like to thank Business Finland in India for supporting us with this initiative. Another effort to promote awareness about our member companies was the release of the 1st Edition of the FINCHAM Handbook. As the FINCHAM community continues to grow, the Chamber would be publishing annual additions of the Members’ Handbook with a view to disseminate key information about the companies’ innovative offerings in the India market to relevant stakeholders.
Finland was granted Focus Country status at the Silver Jubilee Edition of the International Engineering and Technology Fair held in New Delhi in February 2023. This is the 2nd time that FINCHAM has partnered with CII for this flagship bi-annual event. The IETF 2023 was inaugurated by the Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu. In her inaugural speech, Hon’ble President appreciated Finland and FINCHAM India for their cooperation as Partner Country at this event in recognition of the country’s expertise in innvovation and technology. The Country Pavilion hosted by FINCHAM displayed and distributed information about the member companies’ India presence.
Moving on to another significant initiative, I am proud to share that the 1st joint CSR initiative ‘Project Resilient Schools’ in Delhi/NCR was successfully completed in August 2022, improving water and sanitation access to children and students of 3 primary Municipal schools. Significant progress has also been made in the on-going 2nd project (Green Village Upliftment Program) being implemented in Pune District Maharashtra. We look forward to more of such meaningful joint initiatives by the Finnish business community.
I would continue my efforts towards the success of FINCHAM as a member of the Board, and look forward to more occasions for us to brainstorm issues, find solutions, strengthen partnerships with governments, explore opportunities, showcase achievements, initiatives and unique offerings of the member companies, organize joint events with other Industry associations and enhance the Chamber’s visibility and outreach.
Once again, I’d like to thank all our members, without whose support we would not have come this far. As I hand over the reigns to Mr. Sanjay Malik (Sr VP and Head of India Market, Nokia) and Mr. Venkatesh Ramchandran (MD, Wartsila India) as the new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Chamber, I wish them both the very best for a great journey ahead!
President, Fortum India Pvt. Ltd.