The Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) established (September 7, 1907) under leadership of Visionary businessman of the day, Sir Manmohandas Ramji. It was the first such Chamber to protect the interests of Indian businesses and raise their voice against the British Rulers.
Chamber opposed and was successful in getting the GIP Railway’s new wharfage rules changed. Even on hardcore political issues such as the Minto-Morley Report on Constitutional Reforms in India, the Chamber was able to make its presence felt and secured for itself representative seats in the Imperial Council in Delhi as well as in the Provincial Legislative Councils in Bombay.
Chamber protested Jallianwala Bagh massacre in strongest terms to the authorities and extended its full moral and material support to the Congress.
IMC successfully persuaded the Royal Commission to fix exchange rate of the rupee to support Indian industrial and trading houses.
The IMC played key role in establishing the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) which functioned from IMC premises in Mumbai in its formative years (1927-30).
IMC demanded that the Government expeditiously implement the recommendations made by Indian Mercantile Marine Committee for reserving coastal trade to Indian Shipping and for imparting training in marine engineering to Indians.
IMC sets up Commercial Examination Board to impart education in specialized fields, conduct exams and award diploma to successful candidates.
Chamber pulled back its representatives from both the Central and State Legislatures to protest against the internment of Mahatma Gandhi, the imprisonment of Pandit Motilal Nehru and the ill-treatment of political prisoners.
Chamber elected Mahatma Gandhi as its Honorary Member at Special General Meeting held on April 25, 1931.
Chamber decided to send its representatives back to the Legislatures for participating in deliberations on critical commercial and financial measures such as the new Companies Act, the new Insurance Act and the amended Income-tax Act.
The Chamber also lodged its protest against the Ottawa Pact, sharply criticized the unsavory side of aspects of the Indo-Japanese and Indo-British Trade Agreements.
Chamber retained its seats both in the Central and Provincial Legislatures on promulgation of the Provincial Autonomy Act by Government of India in accordance with the Minto-Morley dispensation.
Congress ministries consulted the Chamber on key legislative matters, such as labour relations, industrial research, travel and transport problems and like resulting in a sharp increase in the Chamber’s activities.