Dear Industry Colleagues,
Today, I am honored and privileged to take over the mantle of Chairperson, FINCHAM India from able hands of M C Suresh Kumar (Managing Director, Cargotec India). It’s been quite a fruitful and satisfying journey since late 2017, when the idea of Finnish Chamber was first proposed by the previous Finnish Ambassador to India H.E. Nina Vaskunlahti and was actively pursued by then Counsellor at Embassy of Finland, Mr. Mikko Pötsönen. There were intense and active debates on the vision of the chamber, its structure, governance model, regulatory challenges, which have continued till date as we evolve, and after necessary formalities, we finally had the first board meeting of FINCHAM on 13th December, 2018. Starting with Neeraj Sharma as the first Chairperson, followed by Amit Gossain and M C Suresh Kumar, FINCHAM today has firmly established its roots and is 26 members strong. It has been amazing to watch my predecessors putting enormous energy, active interest, passion and zeal into managing and growing the Chamber. Along the way, FINCHAM navigated its way through the first, second and third wave of Covid. While this prevented us from holding physical meetings, we more than made up by online interactions and it never felt that there was something amiss. Of course, virtual meetings could never replace the face-to-face banter over copious cups of coffee and cookies or tranquil and sometimes boisterous dinners on the lawns of Embassy of Finland.
I cannot thank enough the Ambassador H.E. Ritva Koukku-Ronde and Dr Jukka Holappa, Country Manager, Business Finland, for supporting FINCHAM and their active encouragement by gracing all our meetings, actively participating in our discussions and finding solutions to issues that at times are faced by Finnish companies in India.
We have many challenges this year, with runaway commodity prices due to adverse geopolitical events, inflation rearing its head, era of easy liquidity coming to an end, hardening of interest rates, adverse foreign exchange movement, the euphoria of end of Covid has been tempered. All the companies including our members would have to rework their assumptions, finely pencil their expansion program and be cautiously optimistic as the environment has suddenly turned extremely uncertain and risk perceptions have gone up multi-fold. However, there are opportunities galore as always. One needs to separate the noise that’s all around us, and we could still find our niches and it is in these niches that Finnish companies have always prospered and added value.
We at the Chamber would continue our efforts to bring together member companies, brainstorm issues facing us, find solutions, strengthen partnerships with state 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 reach. Our joint CSR activities have been well received and we will continue and in fact enhance our efforts in that direction going forward.
It would be great to work alongside our new Vice-Chairperson, Mr. Sanjay Malik (Senior VP and Head of India Market, Nokia), who has been a founder member and Board Member since inception of the Chamber and has been instrumental in shaping FINCHAM as it stands now.
The journey continues….
Chairperson, Finland Chamber of Commerce in India
President, Fortum India Pvt. Ltd.