A bit of history

CIOSA is the brainchild of Mr.P.N. Devarajan and Mr. K. Pandiarajan who felt that there was a need for a forum for NGOs and service organisations organised on the lines of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The beginnings

With this seed of an idea, a small group of reputed social workers began meeting regularly from February 2002 to discuss the idea further and take it forward. At this early stage, many people contributed ideas and suggestions, including Mrs. Pushpa Sunder of Sampradaan, New Delhi who shared her experiences of building Sampradaan. Mrs. Sunder's contribution had an important bearing on shaping the membership model of CIOSA later.

Out of these deliberations, the idea took hold of an agency that would serve as a collective voice for the NGO sector in India and act as a collaborative platform for social action. Mr. Pandia Rajan named it CIOSA, a confederation of organisations that would act as a mutual support forum for NGOs, would bring together NGOs, companies and individuals for mutual learning, sharing and the collective espousal of social causes.

By the beginning of 2003, the meetings had become a monthly affair and through just word of mouth publicity, more and more NGOs in Chennai were beginning to participate in these meetings. It was clear to the Mr. Devarajan, Mr. Pandia Rajan and others that the momentum was building and the need real, so they registered CIOSA as an NGO, constituted a Board of Trustees and appointed a person to co-ordinate the activities.

From idea to reality

Ciosa Comes Alive

On Monday, 1st September 2003, Mr. R. Karthik Venkatesh took charge as the Executive Director and CIOSA started functioning formally from a small space at the corporate office of Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd., the company of Mr. Pandia Rajan in Chennai.

Official Inauguration

The official inauguration of CIOSA took place a month later, on Wednesday, 8th October 2003, at the Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Chennai, the official residence of the Governor of Tamil Nadu. It was a grand affair presided over by His Excellency, then Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri. P.S. Ramamohan Rao and attended by captains of industry and the heads of the Rotary and Lions communities in Chennai, apart from NGOs, activists, individuals and people from other walks of life.


Almost all of the funding and support from CIOSA's inception till date has come from Mr. K. Pandia Rajan, Managing Director, Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd., and Founder Trustee, CIOSA.

We raise annual membership subscriptions from NGOs, individual members and companies and receive consultancy fees for services related to various projects supported by our corporate and individual members and any research projects that we undertake.

Currently, CIOSA is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme of Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd.