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Welcome To NACCI

During 1949-50 few businessmen, having the feeling of social activism and nationalism got together and confabulated about the need of business owners’ association in Tezpur. Sky and horizon were filled with nationalist aspiration. These people were more and more imbibed with none other but nation building aspiration.

These founders were reputed business owners of Tezpur and its nearby areas. Prominent among them were Kamala Prasad Agarwala, owner of Darrang Transport and Director of Bholaguri Tea Estate; Bhagabat Prasad, owner of Durrung Tea Estate, Bindukuri; Mulchand Bader of M/s Prakash Rice and Oil mill, Thelamara; Goma Prasad Agarwala of M/s Russnirasmi Distributor & Rupjyoti Production; Radhyasyam Tibrewal of M/s Ganesh Mill; Bachhraj Dugar of M/s Rikhab Chand Sohanlal and Bali Ram Lahkar of Assam Hosiery Mills.

Mr. S.Bhowmik of River Steam Navigation, Mr. Dwarika Prasad Agarwala of M/s Kedarmal Badrinarayan, Manik Chand Baid & Tara Chand Baid of M/s Manik Motors, Pranab Chaliha of RSN CO, Sailendra Kumar Bhattacharjya of M/s Atkin Brothers, Mr Chatter Chand Jain of M/s Guel Trading, Lokhra, Gauri Shankar Agarwala M/s Trade and Industries and some more persons of repute whose names already got lost in horizon, played indespensible role in the establishment of the chamber.

These founding members constituted Darrang Chambers of Commerce in the year 1950 at Tezpur. First President elected was Kamala Prasad Agarwala and first secretary elected was Dawarika Prasad Agarwala. This is one of the first such organizations in Assam. This very name & style remain up to creation of Sonitpur District in 1982. It was the beginning of making Tezpur’s most reputed institution of present day North Assam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NACCI).

They were searching a centrally located building for office establishment. Three rooms were laying vacant at 1st the floor of buliding, owned by Maha Singh Rai Meghrai Bahadur ( more popularly known as Bargola), located at N.C. Road. They happily agreed to rent out three rooms at monthly rent of Rs50/- to the chamber. In no time the premises was visited by business owners of in and around Tezpur. Common and petty traders thought and assured that now they have few good persons of the society who are there to guide and be spokesmen of the their common problem and somebody is there to approach the civil administration, police administration etc.

The trios Dwarika Prasad Agrawal, Batcharaj Dugar & Mulchand Bader were the work horse of Darang Chamber. Each was a jewel of Tezpur and achiever in their chosen field of enterprise. These are the first three secretary of Chamber 1950, 1951 and 1954 respectively. The trio never misses to visit each year Delhi Industrial Exhibition and confabulate what they can do for industrial up liftmen to Tezpur. Small town Tezpur could not bound their hunger for industrial dream. Today each family rather their progeny established themselves at multi sector and multi location business empire in India.

The chamber was men by gracious and senior person of business circle. In 1960 a courageous man with civilized taste Jagdish Chand Jain became secretary. He was very meticulous with everything. As he served Bharat Airways as manager, his network was very strong. He was in business under the name and style M/s J.C Jain Transport Contractor, 134 Amolapatti, Tezpur & M/s Darrang Garden Store. He did have lot of contact at Mumbai,Delhi & Calcutta. Once, the famous film actors of that time, Raj Kappor contacted the Secretary of Chamber asking if they can help him to produce a film shooting to be done at Tezpur. Once he arrived Tezpur, first he visited Chamber office. There was a gathering of other members namely Goma Prasad Agrawala took lot of interest. Raj Kappor told that he chose Tezpur because he knows several films were made at Tezpur in 1950 hence the place must be with full of people with film industry knowledge. For few days several member including J.C.Jain, Goma Prasad Agarwala put their best service to Raj Kapoor and Mr. Agha. The film produced was Sangam, a commercially successful one.

There was lot of enthusiasm among various traders of entire district. Everybody used to visit the office if they came down to Tezpur for any work at District Head Quarter. By 1964/65 lot of young truck equipped with college & university education joined chamber. This new blood felt the space with three small rooms is quite insufficient. Hence the matter was raised in various forum of chamber and finally they decided to purchase a plot of land. Purchasing land needs good amount of cash. These young trucks suggested organizing a lottery with tempting prizes for lucky one. This was done in 1968. Most of the business owners got involved to sell lottery ticket of Rs 1/-. First prize was Ambassador Car, an ultimate luxury at that time; the 2nd prize was a Scooter, again a dream of possession for any smart young person. It was a huge success story. They could make a surplus of Rs forty five thousand. This is quite a very big sum of money during that time.

In no time the plot of the present premises was identified. It was a potato godown owned by M/s Jwala Prasad & Mangilal Agarwala. The deal was finalized in 1970. Major portion of the building was demolished and timber, cgi sheet and steel structure were auctioned. Again a good amount of Rs 10,000.00 was received. It is mentionable that highest bidder was made by M/s K B Store.

>With this cash in hand of Rs-10,000.00, young members thought of constructing a RCC building. It may be noted that RCC structure at that time was quite a rare scene at Tezpur. Highly talented & educated Prakash Bader was entrusted to build the double story RCC building in one go at an estimated price of Rs-70.00/sqft.

It was one of the major events at Tezpur for a volunteer organization to build an RCC building. None other but the then chief minister of Assam, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury was invited to lay foundation stone. Mr. Choudhury was a great nationalist and accepted invitation gladly and his visit gave an impetus to trade and industry people of Tezpur.

During this period with the presence of lot of young business owner, Chamber House was a place of happening. One of the most active socialites of Tezpur, Udyog Kumar Sreemal of M/s Rohit Kumar & Basat Kumar, more popularly known by his nick name Laddu Babu, organized a evening club at Chamber. The premise was visited by all the chamber members after finishing their daily rigorous routine of business activity. This very popular person was secretary in 1969, 1971 & 1974.

Another young truck Rajendra Bader just joined family business after passing out MBA degree from IIM, Kolkatta in 1971. He took great interest & involvement with Darrang Chamber of Commerce. He was elected Secretary for the year 1973 & 1982. It is his pursuance and national level networking that Darrang Chamber of Commerce becomes institutional member of FICCI, a national level federation of business owners association. Now a business owner of Tezpur has the association with captains of Industry, captains of Trade at national level. It was a milestone at that time for Tezpur business owners as Darrang Chamber become first institution in entire north east India to be associated like this.

The price inflation was a great concern for administrator and public during the tenor of Rajendra Bader in 1973. He had very good rapport with civil administration and fellow business owner of grocery trading. Every week on Saturday at 6pm most of the trader confabulated in chamber hall to fix prices of essential commodities. The price circular was sent to civil administration and each trader. Most important aspect was that every shop owner member or non member of chamber abides by the price circular.

The spirit of the founder is still being followed. For every term, a President and Secretary elected come with set of programs committed to not only the members but reach out to public, its innovative up-liftment of Tezpur. This makes the chamber most respectable one in the eyes of all cross sections of people.

Written By- Hemanta Lahkar