The history of CII is the story of the
transformation of a miniscule association, representing a small segment
of industry, to the premier business association of modern India.
The journey began in 1895 when 5
engineering firms, all members of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, joined hands to form the Engineering and Iron Trades
Engineering and Iron Trades Association (EITA) - 1895
EITA was set up at the end of 1895 with the
aim of pressurising the colonial government to place government orders
for iron and steel and engineering goods with companies based in India.
At that time the practice was to place all government orders with firms
based in UK.
Indian Engineering Association (IEA) - 1912
in name from
EITA to IEA in 1912 reflected the association's decision to exclude
traders from the membership and concentrate fully on promoting the cause
of manufacturers. By this time, many more manufacturers had come into
being and there was a conflict of interest between traders, who
preferred government orders to be placed with companies in the UK, and
manufacturers of engineering goods, who sought industry promotion
through public orders.
Engineering Association of India (EAI) - 1942
Till 1942 IEA
was the only all-India association of engineering industry and
represented mainly big engineering companies, particularly the British
firms. This led to a situation where the interests of the Indian firms
(mainly medium and small scale) were not sufficiently represented. Thus
the Engineering Association of India (EAI) was established in 1942 as an
affiliate of the Indian Chamber of Commerce. EAI represented small and
medium engineering firms mostly owned and promoted by Indians, and had
different origins and management styles from the IEA.
Association of Indian Engineering Industry (AIEI) - 1974
After Independence of
India in 1947, the
public sector assumed the lead role in industrial development. By 1970s,
a new base of heavy industries had been built, but private companies
faced restrictions through licensing requirements for new units and /or
expansion. Keeping in view the greater interests of the Engineering
industry in the country, in April 1974, the two associations - IEA and
EAI - merged to form the Association of Indian Engineering Industry
(AIEI). For the engineering industry the merger meant a stronger
association capable of harnessing larger resources and providing a wider
range of services.
Confederation of Engineering Industry (CEI) - 1986
Foreseeing the upcoming
the future, the leadership at AIEI felt the need for greater
consolidation and solidarity that would put the industry on a stronger
footing and would help it meet the challenges of competition and
globalisation. Thus in 1986 there was a change in name from AIEI to the
Confederation of Engineering Industry (CEI), reflecting the growth and
expansion of the organisation since 1974. CEI now became an apex body
for manufacturing industries at the national level.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) since - 1992
In 1991, industrial
licensing was abolished
and economic reforms on a wide scale started taking shape. With effect
from 1st January 1992, in keeping with the government's decision to opt
for the liberalisation of the Indian economy, the name of CEI was
changed to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In a new policy
environment, it was natural that there would be inter-sectoral
integration through a process of diversification and expansion, where
the engineering units would diversify into non-engineering units and
Since 1992, through rapid expansion and consolidation, CII has grown to
be the most visible business association in India.