Business Goa catches up with Swati Salgaocar, the newly elected Chairperson of CII-Goa State Council to learn about her plans for the organisation and her vision for Goa’s industry
Tell us about CII-Goa Council?
CII-Goa is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry which is over 125 years old. CII has been engaged in shaping India’s development journey by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialised services and strategic global linkages. We are also a platform for consensus building and networking on key issues.
With 62 offices, including 10 centers of excellence, in India, and eight overseas offices in Australia, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, UK, and USA, as well as institutional partnerships with 394 counterpart organisations in 133 countries, CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community.
CII-Goa State membership supports a variety of sectors. We actively advocate on policy matters in several verticals including manufacturing, construction, engineering, mining, shipbuilding and defence, education, green tech, pharmaceuticals, electronics and IT, food, infrastructure as well as service sectors like logistics, hospitality, retail, finance, media and publications, consultancy etc.
What are your views about the last few years at CII-Goa?
CII, being an industry-led organisation, understands and addresses the needs of industry. CII-Goa has played a lead role to assist its members in improving Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), especially in crucial times of the pandemic, which has been acknowledged and appreciated by the Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant who has placed it on
record with an appreciation letter. CII-Goa has worked closely with the government on advisory and policy matters over the last few years. CII’s exemplary contribution to the development of the industry has also been acknowledged and appreciated by Government of Goa. A long list of our key recommendations have found place in landmark policy initiatives by the Government of Goa.
What is the primary focus of CII-Goa during your term as Chairperson?
The theme of the year is ‘Building India for a New World: Competitiveness, Growth, Sustainability, Technology’, and we rededicate ourselves to meeting the aspirations of Indians for a morally, economically and technologically advanced country in partnership with the Government, industry and all stakeholders. Goa is poised to take
advantage of international investments and to this effect we will be actively engaging with several countries and inviting diplomatic and trade officials to interact with our members to explore such possibilities. The state also has a rich history of family owned and run businesses, and we plan on leveraging the CII Family Business Network to help our members navigate challenges like succession, professionalisation etc.
Startups are also a key part of emerging industry and we will be working with the relevant ministries to promote Goan entrepreneurs on a national scale. CII-Goa sees enormous potential for the state to become a multi-modal logistics hub and we plan to work closely with the government to make this a reality.
What legacy programs do you plan to continue with, from your predecessors?
CII-Goa will continue to work to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of the State and the Nation by acting as a bridge or facilitator between industry, government and civil society, through advisory and
consultative processes. We will continue to hold events addressing key themes in industrial safety, manufacturing 4.0, logistics, sustainable tourism, startups and innovation aimed at building competitiveness of industry with assistance from CII Centers of Excellence. Apart from this, as we emerge from the pandemic, we will resume several
physical events like buyer-seller meets, study missions, and international business promotions. To promote fitness and health, CII has been organising the Annual CII-Goa beach soccer tournament, as well. And of course, CII-Goa will continue to assist the Government of Goa through its CII Goa Model Career Center which has provided over 900
placements to Goan youth.
What strengths does your leadership team bring to the table at CII-Goa?
The rich and vast experience of entire team of Past Chairmen, CII Western Region and Past Chairmen CII-Goa State Council, the Elected Council Members and the entire membership who have elected me. We have created several
panels and task forces which are ably led by their convenors in areas like logistics, tourism, startups, water, sustainability, shipbuilding and defence, ease of doing business, to name a few.
Where do you see CII-Goa in a year from now?
CII has been doing tremendous work in nation building for well over a century, so I expect that we will continue this work not just in the year ahead, but well beyond that.
Goa’s ranking in EoDB is a matter of concern. Please share your views on the same.
We have already started working on this as a main agenda for the year ahead. With a view to set an agenda for improving Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) on the ground, and taking into account Goa’s performance in the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)/State Reform Action Plan (SRAP) rankings conducted by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on an annual basis, CII-Goa will work with the State government to improve the business climate. We will do so in a way that would also help the State in climbing the BRAP ranking and facilitate on-ground realisation by identifying specific areas requiring policy intervention. The progress of the initiatives will roll out accordingly through inputs from our members and CII leadership at the state and national level. I am sure we will start to see results and this will be experienced and witnessed by stakeholders.
How do you look at the industry in Goa in a post-covid world?
As we come out of the pandemic, industry needs to remain agile and have a great degree of fortitude to thrive in
the near future. The increasing vaccination coverage globally and development of drugs to treat the virus are emerging as effective weapons in this fight to control covid. Even as the pandemic stress has started to dissipate, the
world is faced with a new geopolitical uncertainty in Europe which will have far reaching ramifications on the global
economy. The lesson is clear – resilience is key. Amidst uncertainty, industry and the economy must find ways to function optimally in an ethical manner. This is the only way a nation can work towards achieving its socio-economic
goals, while creating a formidable place for itself in the global economy.