Updated: KLSICCI needs to move into new era, says Presidential hopeful Nivas Ragavan

Nivas Ragavan says businesses are operating in a new landscape and small businesses would have to integrate into the new way of business operations to meet success.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 – Among a priority issue seen for the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSICCI), is to aggressively push up the Indian business community equity from its current 1.5 to at least 3 percent share of the country’s market capitalization of RM1.83 trillion, says its presidential hopeful Nivas Ragavan.

The KLSICCI is set for its 2022-2024 term elections this Sunday (April 24). Two teams are vying for the new mandate. The last time the chambers had its election was in September 2020 where 29 members contested for 18 posts. Datuk R. Ramanathan won the President’s post uncontested.

Nivas, who is heading a team of 18 members seeking to be voted in for various posts from deputy president, vice president, treasurer and council members to run the KLSICCI, says focus on gaining the equity share include practical plans to empower the community’s small and medium businesses encompassing various industries.

“For so long, the equity that has been held comes only from big names like Tan Sri Gnanalingam, Datuk Tony Fernandes, Tan Sri Ananda Krishna, Tan Sri AK Nathan and Tan Sri Palan. It is sad that the community’s equity ownership has remained the same as it was in 2005, while a target of 3 percent was set during the 9th Malaysia Plan in 2005. It is time now to push up the equity with the empowerment of the smaller businesses of the community as well,” he told Weekly Echo during a phone interview.

What would be different in his team’s approach to achieve the target of at least 3 percent share of the country’s economic pie?

“For a start, this team is a good mix of young people and also veterans who are in synch with the latest developments, business trends and have a pragmatic approach to implementing and realizing its action plans.

“Businesses nowadays are no longer operating in the traditional ways. The landscape is different now and this would require not only enhanced competitiveness but a shift in mindset to adopt to the new changes and bring creativity to how businesses can be successfully operated.”

Nivas, 41, who started as an ordinary member of the 92-year old KLSICCI, then became the Youth Chief and secretary general for the last two terms, has been actively involved in activities aimed at helping the smaller and medium businesses.

There are many young members now in the business chamber while its number has significantly shot up to 1,000 from 300, comprising both big and small companies.

“The 94-year-old chambers has been working with the government agencies and other authorities to look into policy, loan and other matters related to Indian businesses. We hope to continue this even more now especially with the changing needs of the small businesses, particularly those hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The team also expects to take a more pro-active approach this time, especially in seeking changes to policies that have affected the Indian businesses.

“To achieve what we have set out to do, will certainly require the cooperation of all parties,” he said.


Updated: Correction in graf 8, shld rd: KLSICCI