A Cooperative Society Founded by Labourers in Kerala Marks its 100th Anniversary

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In 1925, a group of labourers in a tiny village of Vatakara, Kozhikode district in northern Kerala, founded a labourers’ contact association inspired by Vagbhatananda Guru’s ideals. Today, it is the world’s second-largest cooperative society and the biggest in Asia-Pacific. Known as the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCC) Ltd, it is now commemorating its 100th anniversary and serves as a global beacon of achievement.

As of now, the ULCC has completed over one lakh projects, including National Highways covering 474 kilometres, other public roads spanning 13,272.34 kilometres, rural roads reaching 11,390.86 kilometres, 600 bridges and flyovers, and 3091 structures. They are nearing completion of major parts of National Highway 66. It is a significant achievement that the Society has a yearly turnover of Rs 2300 crore.

In addition to infrastructure development, ULCC has diversified into various ventures, including Information Technology, IT parks, tourism, education, arts and crafts, housing, material testing, project consultancy, social welfare, and agriculture.

ULCC is currently aiming to establish a skill-development university. Besides, it employs over 18,000 individuals, offers world-class facilities and support, and recruits 500 employees annually.

Rameshan Paleri, the Chairman of ULCC, attributes the (Society’s) success to the dedicated employees, whom he considers family.

Furthermore, Rameshan also had a unique personal journey. In his twenties, he sought job opportunities abroad, but fate had different plans. After being cheated by a recruitment agency, he returned to his village and joined ULCC. After that, there was no looking back for him or society. Together, they experienced exponential growth, and he led from the front to the present glory of ULCC.

Managing two major tourism projects like Sargalaya in Vatakara and KACV at Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, ULCC hosts an international craft festival attracting artists from all over India and abroad and a few other cultural festivals annually. Now, UL Technology Solutions provides opportunities for technocrats to work in their hometowns, reducing migration.

Their agriculture wing ensures pesticide-free vegetables and recently developed a flower garden to ensure local flower availability. They have ventured into the education sector to establish an exemplary education model. Their new venture in the housing sector, UL Housing, has commissioned its first apartment project, ‘UL SpaceUs One Anthem’, introducing world-class habitat facilities to Kozhikode.

In addition to modern building construction, ULCC excels in restructuring and modifying ancient temples and museums.

They plan to launch a university for skill upgradation to provide practical training and secure job opportunities for the youth. They already run the International Institute of Infrastructure and Construction for the Government of Kerala. A newly started quality testing lab, MatterLab, is one of the most extensive and state-of-the-art labs in South India.

Committed to employee and social welfare, ULCC has returned a portion of its profits to the government when exceeding expectations. ULCC has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for its achievements and social commitments.

Moreover, their dedication extends to environmental conservation, with ongoing research for more eco-friendly construction practices to ensure their development is committed to the ideas of sustainability.

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