During visit to Myanmar, the Chairman of BBG Chennai was able to attend the 2nd meeting of the BBG just started there. The steering member is Tony Picon of Colliers. A strong group of 35+ met at the British Club in the aptly named “Irrawaddy Arms”. Andrew Rickards CEO of the well-established Yoma Strategic Holdings presented his group as a conglomerate in the country with long-term objectives and provided some less-known insights into this newly opening up country Tina Singhsacha, Chief Rep of StanChart sponsored the evening and spoke of her bank’s long association since 1863 with old Burma

The 16th May 2013 Monthly meeting had our member, Petrofac’s General Manager, Mr KRSR Krishna presenting his Group’s very impressive growth as also the phenomenal rise of his Chennai operations delivering services and staff to several group locations. Petrofac has over 1100 staff in Chennai of 16,500 internationally. Petrofac is UK’s 5th most admired companies (for its capacity to innovate /use of corporate assets/ability to attract & retain top talent).

The Chairman updated members on Chennai’s planned Trade Mission to UK 24-28 June, 2013 as also on membership development. Mr P M Belliappa then introduced the Guest Speaker, Vikram Kapur IAS the Principal Secretary & Commissioner of the Corporation of Chennai who has been in Chennai over 25 years. He finds it a very “live-able” city despite it’s own huge expansion in the past two decades.

Mr Kapur presented Chennai as the oldest city corporation (some 370 years) and the 4th largest in the country. He set out the extensive and complicated matrix of it’s operations with 25,000 employees and 200 elected officials. In it’s current development it has become a major industrial hub and a centre for IT & ITES services. It also houses huge BPOs for banking and insurance industries. In another aspect, Chennai is a huge educational centre of specialisations and quality. Again it has grown it’s healthcare industry and receives the largest numbers of foreign patients in India.

In his presentation Mr Kapur showed some of the plans for re-designing many of our streets with pavement innovations and spaces for hawkers / vendors. Larger roads are to be re-engineered to include parking and spaces for electric junction-boxes and other facilities. His presentation concluded with a unique educational program for teaching English to young children using services of teams of volunteers in classrooms provided by the Corporation. The members were most grateful to the Commissioner for providing them with such an interesting story on the city’s civic body.

Mr Kapur has been kind enough to send a copy of his presentation on a pen-drive to BBG: any members interested may please contact Ms Latha at BBG’s Offices for a copy