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The Fourth Session of the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress was held at Calcutta from the 31 December, 1926 to 2 January, 1927 under the presidentship of Sir Dinshaw M Petit. The resolution approving the constitution of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce was proposed by Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas and seconded by Prof Benoy Kumar Sarker. Amongst the speakers commending the resolution was Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.

The Federation had come into existence after almost 22 years of hibernation. Two years later, the name was changed to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, thus emphasizing its character as representative not only of commerce but also of Industry.

The Federation, from its very inception, was treated as a platform for redressal of not only the immediate grievances of industry and trade but also a forum for generating public opinion on larger issues that affected the Indian economy.

The Federation acquired a large and rapidly increasing representation from all parts of India. Some of the members of the Federation like the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta, the Southern India Chamber of Commerce, Madras, the UP Chamber of Commerce, Cawnpore, the Ahmedabad Millowners' Association, the Bombay Shroffs' Association and the East India Jute Association, Calcutta, were very large organizations

Founding Fathers

The Fourth Session of the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress resolved to appoint a Provisional Committee with the President of the Congress as the Federation's President and the following gentlemen as members to look after the affairs of the Federation:

  • Sir Dinshaw M Petit, Bart., President
  • Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas, Kt., C.I.E., M.B.E., M.L.A., Vice-President
  • Shri G D Birla, M.L.A., Calcutta
  • Shri Vidya Sagar Pandya, M.L.A., Madras
  • Shri M Jamal Mohammed Sahib, Madras
  • Lala Harkishen Lal, Bar-at-Law, Lahore
  • Shri Adamjee Hajee Dawood, M.L.C., Rangoon
  • Shri Jamshed N R Mehta, Karachi
  • Rai Bahadur Vikramajit Singh, Advocate, M.L.C., Cawnpore
  • Sir Shri Ram, Delhi
  • Shri W C Bannerjee, Calcutta
  • Shri B F Madon, Bombay
  • Sheth Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Ahmedabad


  • Shri D P Khaitan, M.L.C., Calcutta
  • Rai Bahadur A C Bannerjee, Calcutta

The Committee appointed Shri J K Mehta as the Honorary Secretary. The office of the Federation was directed to be located in the premises of the Indian Merchants' Chamber, Bombay (Mumbai). The President also appointed the necessary staff for the office which began its working from 1 February, 1927

Founder Chambers/ Associations

The following chambers and associations enrolled themselves as founder members of the Federation:

Chamber Members:

  • The Marwari Chamber of Commerce Ltd, Bombay
  • The Indian Merchants' Chamber, Bombay
  • The Karachi Indian Merchants' Association, Karachi
  • The Indian Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta
  • The Burma Indian Chamber of Commerce, Rangoon
  • The Southern India Chamber of Commerce, Madras
  • The Buyers' & Shippers' Chamber, Karachi
  • The U P Chamber of Commerce, Cawnpore
  • The Mysore Chamber of Commerce, Bangalore
  • The Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Bombay
  • The Behar & Orissa Chamber of Commerce, Patna

Association Members

  • The Bombay Bullion Exchange Ltd, Bombay
  • The Marwari Association, Calcutta
  • The Ahmedabad Millowners' Association, Ahmedabad
  • The Grains Merchants' Association, Bombay
  • The Indian Produce Association, Culcutta
  • The Indian Tea Planters' Association, Jalpaiguri
  • The Southern India Skin & Hide Merchants' Association, Madras
  • The Telikanta Brokers' Association, Calcutta
  • The Bombay Shroff Association, Bombay
  • The Delhi Hindustani Mercantile Association, Delhi
  • The Indian Mining Federation, Calcutta
  • The Behar & Orissa Mica Association, Giridih
  • The East India Jute Association Ltd, Calcutta.


From December 1936, the Secretariat shed its migratory character and settled down permanently at New Delhi. The Office of the Federation was first located in an unpretentious office block in Scindia House near Connaught Circus. From 1938 to 1958, the Federation was housed in a bungalow, standing on a 1-1/2 acre plot, at 28, Ferozshah Road. This spacious bungalow became available to the Federation through the munificence of Sir Shri Ram who donated the same to the Federation.

In April 1951, the President of the Republic of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, laid the foundation-stone of a new and extensive building at Tansen Marg to house the offices of the Federation. Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, formally dedicated the building to the nation in March 1951.

In 1953, the Government of India released a plot of land measuring about 2 acres to house the office, an industrial museum and an auditorium. The office block which was completed in 1958 was opened by Prime Minister of India, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, in March that year. The foundation-stone for the Museum was laid by Shri Morarji Desai in 1950 when he was the Union Finance Minister. The museum building was completed in 1972 and opened by the President of India, Shri V V Giri, in March the same year. The Auditorium of the Federation with a seating capacity of 600 and with all modern facilities was dedicated to the nation by Shri G D Birla on 22 April, 1977.

Iconic Speeches by Eminent Speakers

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