The Emergence of Indigenous Industrialists in Calcutta, Bombay, and Ahmedabad, 1850–1947

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Abstract

This article describes and explains three patterns in the entry of Indian entrepreneurs in large-scale industries in South Asia, 1850–1947. It begins with Marwari businessmen in the jute industry in Calcutta. Then I discuss the success of the Parsi community in the Bombay cotton industries, and, finally, Gujarati (mainly Hindu) industrialists in Ahmedabad. I focus on three variables that might explain the timing, degree, and social and cultural variations in the emergence of indigenous industrialists in these cities. These variables concern: first, the colonial attitude towards indigenous industrialists in this field; second, whether or not these men belonged to a (religious) middleman minority; and, finally, their social and, in particular, occupational background.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)43-72
Number of pages30
JournalBusiness History Review
Volume88
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2014

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