Basker Chockalingam holds degrees in Commerce and Law from the prestigious University of Madras where he was bestowed with the Rt. Hon’ble Madhavan Nair Award for the best overall performance in law.
An entrepreneur by profession, Basker has built his firm VNC from scratch into one of the largest industrial houses in Karur employing over 1000 people with a turnover exceeding 10 billion rupees (USD 151 million). Apart from manufacturing, VNC is also the retail distributor of Tata Steel for their branded products for the state of Tamil Nadu. In 1986 in recognition of his contribution to the growth of the small scale industry in Tamil Nadu, the Government of Tamil Nadu awarded him the ‘BEST Small Scale Entrepreneur Award’.
Basker has held various higher level positions in several industrial bodies and sports associations. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the ‘Vijay Shree Award’, ‘National Unity Award’, ‘Shiromani Vikas Award’ and ‘Hindu Gaurav Award’ for outstanding performance in a chosen field of activity and in the service of society.
A Rotarian since 1988, Basker is a member of Rotary Club of Karur RI District 3000, the second largest Rotary club in India. He is also the managing trustee of the Karur Rotary Club Trust which he founded in 1991-92. The trust runs a number of social service projects in health and also provides micro credit facilities to support the underserved and less privileged. The Trust has built an asset of over INR 400 million (USD 6 million) as on date.
Basker was unanimously elected District Governor R I District 3000 from 2000 – 2001. He was the Chairman for the Rotary Institute 2013 held at Singapore and Rotary Coordinator for Zone V for 2013 -16. When he served as a Rotary Coordinator in 2014-15, Zone 5 contributed 35% of Rotary’s overall global membership growth. Zone 5 was recognised by RI with three membership awards for achieving: (1) the highest growth rate globally, (2) the highest number of gold level sponsors globally and (3) bringing more new members globally. Basker was a member of the Membership Development and Retention Committee of RI for 2014-15 and the Chairman of the South Asia reception for Sydney, Australia Convention 2014. In recognition of his contribution in advancing the cause of Rotary, Basker was awarded a “Citation for Meritorious Service” by the Rotary Foundation, USA. Basker is also a third Level major donor and second Benefactor of RI District 3000, the first being his late father Rtn V.N. Chockalingam.
Basker is an avid Bridge player and has won many tournaments. A lover of wildlife with a keen interest in conservation, Basker is widely travelled. He is married to Malathi, also a Rotarian. The couple has two sons Gokul and Goutham, both of whom have joined the family business after graduating in Business Administration. Gokul’s wife Divya is a qualified doctor and is pursuing her masters in general medicine.
Basker elected to serve as Rotary International Director for 2017 – 19.