The Andhra Chamber of Commerce was founded on August 17th 1928 due to the initiative of a few leading Andhra businessmen of Madras City who felt the need for an organization to represent the collective interests of eleven Andhra Districts. The impulse came from Dewan Bahadur Kommireddi Suryanarayanamurthy Naidu, Sri Ramadas Pantulu, Sri C. Ranganayakulu Chetty, Sri V. Venkateswara Sastrulu and Rao Bahadur B. Papiah Chetty. The initiative was warmly supported by the Sri Narayandas Girdhardas, who was for many years actively associated with the work of the Chamber. When the Chamber was registered on 17th August, 1928, it had just 35 members. By a happy coincidence the members were drawn from all the eleven Telugu districts apart from the city of Madras.
Dewan Bahadur Sri K. Suryanaranamurthy Naidu was elected as the first President of the Chamber and Sri V. Venkateswara Sastrulu was the first Honorary Secretary.
In the very first year the Chamber submitted a significant memorandum to the Simon Commission and presented a series of memoranda to the Government on important economic issues. The Chamber was able to stand on its own feet financially, thanks to munificent endowments made by Sri Narayandas Girdhardas and Sri V. Venkateswara Sastrulu.
In 1935 when the Rajah Saheb of Bobbili, then Chief Minister of Madras, agreed to provide for a seat to the Chamber on the Madras City Corporation in the Madras City Municipal Bill which was placed on the Statute Book that year. In 1936 the Chamber was given the right, jointly with the Madras Chamber of Commerce and the Southern India Chamber of Commerce to elect a common representative to the Madras City Excise Licensing Board.
The War Years – Representation of Chamber in various Forums:
By 1939 the membership increased to 150. There was a spate of new taxes during the war years and in the name of the Defence of India Act a variety of measures for controlling the economic life of the community were imposed. There were heavy demands on the Chamber for information and advice and for continuous representation of the businessmen’s viewpoint to the Government.
In, 1946 the Membership was 560 Members and at the end of the year the membership rose to 725 under the Presidentship of Sri C. Seshachalam.In 1941 the Chamber secured representation in the Madras Port Trust Committee of the Export Advisory Council, Provincial Advisory Committee for War Supplies and Madras City Excise Licensing Board.
During the War in 1943 the Government adopted a comprehensive system of controls over production, distribution, prices and profits and ordinances were promulgated.In 1945 the Chamber was given representation on the M.&S. M. Railway Local Advisory Committee. The Government of Madras nominated the President of the Chamber Sri C. Seshachalam as a Member of the Board of Industries.Sri C. Seshachalam, President of the Chamber was included in the Indian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce. He was also invited to lead Indian Delegation to the Annual Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce at Paris.
Appointment of Full time Assistant Secretary:
Due to increase of work Sri J. Satyanarayana has been appointed as full time Assistant Secretary. In 1953, Sri J. Satyanarayana went to United States of America, Minnesota University, undergone training in Advance Administration.Due to increase in the activities of the Chamber there was a need for a full time paid Secretary. Important Administrative changes were made in 1949 and the offices of the Honorary Secretary and Honorary Joint Secretary were abolished. Sri J. Satyanarayana, Assistant Secretary was appointed as the Secretary. He left the services by the end of 1953.
Sri M.S. Sambasivam, Assistant Secretary was appointed as the officiating Secretary from the beginning of 1954. On October 1, 1955 Sri J. Satyanarayana assumed charge as Secretary on his return from the U.S.A. after completing his studies for doctorate. He relinquished his office on October 1, 1956. Sri M.S. Sambasivam was appointed as the Secretary of the Chamber from that date.
In the year 1943 the Chamber instituted a category of Honorary Members with an idea of honouring distinguished citizens who had rendered signal service to the country. Under this provision, the Chamber elected Sir M. Visveswaraya, Sir Vijaya Anand of Vizianagaram, Dr.S. Radhakrishnan and Sir C. Ramalinga Reddi as Honorary Members of the Chamber.
In 1943 Sri Narayandas Girdhardas, President of the Chamber gifted a Library containing 1200 volumes on commercial and other subjects. In 1944 Narayandas Andhra Chamber Library was formally declared open by the Rt. Hon’ble V.S. Srinivasa Sastri.
In May 1943, the Chamber has formed Building Advisory Committee for Buying a Building and started collecting donations. In the year 1944 the Chamber acquired a four-storeyed building in Angappa Naick Street. However, it as requisitioned by the Military authorities, and hence the Chamber could not move immediately.On 14th May, 1947 Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India declared open the Chamber building.
Building of the Andhra Chamber of Commerce declared open by
Dr. Rajendra Prasad (President, Republic of India on 14th May, 1947)
Photo taken on the occasion of opening of the building of the
Chamber by Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 14th May, 1947
Sri Narayandas Giridhardas served as the President of the Chamber for nine successive years and retired in 1944 and Sri C. Seshachalam was elected as President of the Chamber.
Opening of Auditorium:
On August 6, 1963 Sri K. Kamaraj, then Chief Minister of Madras declared open the Auditorium of the Chamber. Sri R. Venkataraman, Minister for Industries released a Souvenir. Electric elevator has been provided for the benefit of the Members.
Andhra Industrialists’ Conference:
At the close of 1944 the Chamber took the initiative to convene, for the first time in the history of Andhra, a Conference of Industrial and Commercial interests for the purpose of ventilating public opinion on industry and trade matters of the State of Andhra. The Conference was inaugurated by Sir S.V. Ramamurthy, then Adviser to the Governor of Madras. It was well attended by the representatives from all over Andhra State.
Office at Kurnool:
The synchronization of the Chamber’s Jubilee year with the formation of the Andhra State necessitated the Chamber taking several important decisions. The Chamber decided to open an office at the temporary capital of the State – Kurnool and to intensify a membership drive in the Telugu districts.The Chamber office was opened at Kurnool on October 2, 1953 by His Excellency Sri Chandulal M. Trivedi, Governor of Andhra Pradesh. A Local Advisory Committee with Sri K. Venkata Setty, M.L.A., as Chairman and Sri K. Seshachalam as Hon. Secretary was constituted.The first anniversary of the Kurnool office was inaugurated by Sri T. Prakasam, Chief Minister of Andhra with His Excellency, Sri C.M. Trivedi, Governor of Andhra presided over the meeting.
In June 1952 the Chamber launched a printed weekly Information Bulletin. In 1952 Sri Chintamani Deshmukh, Union Minister for Finance, Sri T.T. Krishnamachari, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Sri V.V. Giri, Union Minister for Labour visited the Chamber.
Shri Rasiklal Mehta with Shri P. Ranga Reddi, Chairman, A.P. Legislature Council
Shri Rashiklal Mehta with Shri K. Brahmananda Reddi then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh 1970
Shri P.S. Bhashyam, former President led the Business Delegation Tour to Europe Countries 1971 (Rome)
Shri P.S. Bhashyam, former President during Inaugural Session of INTRATEC Exhibition 1988
Inaugural Session of INTRATEC Exhibition 1988
Shri M.M. Rajendran, I.A.S., then Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu with Shri P.S. Bhashyam, INTRATEC Exhibition
Hon’ble Shri M. Arunachalam, Minister of State for Industries, 1988