Following are the distinguished members present in the experts forum:
Dr. Daman Prakash, Ex-Director, International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Asia Pacific, New Delhi
Dr. S. A. Siddhanti, Regional Director, RICM, Bangalore
Sri. Paramjeet Sharma, Cooperative Expert, Retd. Prof., VAMICOM, Pune
Sri. Arun Kumar, Joint Registrar, Cooperation Dept., Govt. of Karnataka
Shri Lingaraj, Deputy Director, Dept. of H&T, Govt. of Karnataka
Dr. Jayathirtha, Management Consultant, Vice President, Vishweshwaraya Coop Bank
Shri. H K Chandrashekar, Chief Executive, Vishweshwaraya Coop Bank
Jagan Mohan Reddy, Executive Director, GoCoop
Srinivas Babu, Executive Director, GoCoop
Dr.Chandrashekar, Director Marketing, GoCoop
N K Sherman, Director Operations, GoCoop
Siva Devireddy, Managing Director, GoCoop
Mr. Siva Devireddy, MD GoCoop welcomed the gathering for the conference. At the outset, in his welcome speech Mr. Siva Devireddy outlined the co-operative movement and the underlining spirit while elaborating it’s essentials in the changing business environment.
He also introduced GoCoop elaborating the objectives, functions and various ICT based services of GoCoop aimed for the betterment of co-operative sector. The role played by GoCoop to align with the Co-operative model of business was well appreciated by the participants.
Mr Siva Devireddy then continued his address to unfold the context for initiating Cooperative Experts forum comprising of specialists from co-operative sector and co-operators. As he outlined the basic purpose for initiating such a forum, he left it open for the forum to include and upgrade the objectives, ideals & approach.
Mr. Siva Devireddy requested Mr Daman Prakash to chair the session and the same was accepted.
The chairman read the excerpts from the speech that was documented and circulated at the beginning of the session.
While appreciating the formation of Co-operatives experts’ forum, the chairman elaborated the diverse issue that has to be addressed emergently for the sustenance of Co-op sector. The various topics covered by the chairman including Co-operative audit for well received and accepted by the participants.
The chairman elaborated the various factors that can make co-operatives healthy by quoting the factors that are responsible for the success of Amul. The integrated approach for co-operative development through community & rural development was explained by the chairmen, the hallmark of the speech centred around the illustration of Amul where leadership and technology culminated with “No Claim Business’- “No glass of milk returned” was an eye opener.
The chairman dealt in length on the needs of modernisation of Co-operatives and the role of managers to align co-operative sector to the present business environment.
Chairman also explained need for sector specific parameters to assess health or performance of co-operatives. The chairman stressed the need for indexing top co-operatives for purpose of benchmarking. In this connection the chairmen touched upon GoCoop’s role in further developing such Cooperative sector specific indicators.
Citing reference to his paper on Member Awareness and Professionalisation in Indian Cooperatives”, he stressed on need of professionalism in operation of co-operatives and meaning of true professionalism. Chairman pointed that honesty, competency on the part of management and fair remuneration to them are need of hour. He narrated fine example of a cooperative from Lasangaon, Nasik where managers were still paid Rs. 1200 pm as salary. Chairman also referenced on need of technology to bring in transparency in operations which can greatly aid professionalization of cooperatives.
Mr. Siva Devireddy requested Mr. Paramjit Sharma to share his impressions about the expert forum instituted for the co-operative sector.
Mr Paramjit Sharma in his address began with applauding GoCoop’s objectives and stressing
He also gave the reference of HRD initiative and mooting of a global HRD initiative portal for co-operatives. He shared his valuable experiences from one of the global ICT project in coopeative sector.
He dealt in length with regard to recommendations 193 of International Labor Organisation on need for vision, hard work, teamwork and dedication citing example of AMUL, Major Karoly Takacs a gold medallist Olympic shooter from Hungry. co-operatives. He shared his valuable experiences from one of the global ICT project in coopeative sector.which provides framework for cooperatives in the 21st Century He pointed out that GoCoop’s objectives of ‘Promoting Cooperatives Globally’ is perfectly aligned with this recommendation of ILO.
Mr Sharma also gave a very valuable suggestion of having sector specific expert’s forum within Co-operative expert’s forum. This will be of immense help in forming strategies for different sectors within cooperatives and executing idea through GoCoop.
He also shared his valuable insights from analysis of ICA Top 300 Cooperatives and number of Indian Cooperatives among them. He recommended having these top 300 on GoCoop platform and providing tailored services to these cooperatives. Mr Sharma continued with this point on need to focus on global cooperatives market in parallel to Indian cooperatives.
He gave glaring examples of Babysitting co-operatives, Car sharing co-opts and floriculture Co-opts that are the recent addendums to the co-op sector to stress upon how every field of activity can have the presence of co-operative model.
He suggested the nature of perspective plan for GoCoop & to redesign the catalogues to reach both B2B and B2C segments.
Mr. Paramjit Sharma highlighted the technology orientation required for co-operatives by illustrating how IFFCO has been utilising touch screen technology to manage the cooperatives. In addition, he also stressed an urgent need for composite core banking system in co operative bank sector.
He put forth how impressive it is for the co-operatives to have their websites and other technological interventions. He also pointed about the need for micro insurance in the sector and the role of the Govt & regulatory agencies in promoting & implementing the same.
Shri Arun Kumar shared his experience with ICT initiatives among co-operatives in Karnataka. He also pointed out the recent RBI directive to urban banking cooperatives to implement core banking solution. He encouraged GoCoop to undertake such projects including computerisation of accounts of societies. He also stressed on need of access to data by Government for administration and regulatory purpose through platforms like GoCoop.
Dr. S.A. Siddanthi, Director RICM ,Bangalore was requested by Mr. Siva Devireddy to address the forum. Mr. Siddanthi gave a fillip to the forum by highlighting the immediate improvements needed in the sector and envisaged the contribution of the expert forum which is the urgent need of the hour. GoCoop also utilized the opportunity to felicitate Dr. S.A Siddanthi for his contribution to the cooperative sector spanning over 2 decades.
Chairman presided over the questions and answer session, which was in fact a discussion forum where following important points were discussed.
Marketing Strategy for Coops: Participants opined that GoCoop should target few key accounts to start with in each sector to get the cusp of sector. Approaching forward looking people in sector was also noted as important thing for penetration.
Pricing Strategy for Coops: Mr Siva Devireddy explained pricing strategy of GoCoop. Participants expressed consensus on going for cost plus pricing strategy which can also help in sustaining initiative in longer run.
Mr. Siva Devireddy requested the Chairman to present his concluding remarks.
The Chairman concurred with the views of all the participants that much has to be done for the progression of the co-operative sector.
He agreed with the views of Mr. Paranjit Sharma and other participants on addressing the issues faced by Cooperatives today and how technology can play a big role in professionalization.
The Chairman once again appreciated the concept of GoCoop and congratulated the management team for their efforts in enabling and promoting cooperatives. The progression of the co-operative sector.the issues faced by Cooperatives today and how technology can play a big role in professionalization. He reiterated that GoCoop should provide their technology services to co-operative sector for their overall development.
He suggested that the Expert forum can be conducted at regular intervals in bringing together experts and co-operators across different parts of the country and synergize their thoughts on overall development of cooperative sector. He also suggested that the minutes of the expert committee be transmitted to Govt. of India for their consideration.