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A Business History of India
Enterprise and the Emergence of Capitalism from 1700


  • Author: Tirthankar Roy, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316637487

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About the Authors
  • In recent decades, private investment has led to an economic resurgence in India. But this is not the first time the region has witnessed impressive business growth. There have been many similar stories over the past 300 years. India's economic history shows that capital was relatively expensive. How, then, did capitalism flourish in the region? How did companies and entrepreneurs deal with the shortage of key resources? Has there been a common pattern in responses to these issues over the centuries? Through detailed case studies of firms, entrepreneurs, and business commodities, Tirthankar Roy answers these questions. Roy bridges the approaches of business and economic history, illustrating the development of a distinctive regional capitalism. On each occasion of growth, connections with the global economy helped firms and entrepreneurs better manage risks. Making these deep connections between India's economic past and present shows why history matters in its remaking of capitalism today.

    • The first systematic business history of India, moving away from biographical, anthropological, or political readings to give a unified, and engaging, storyline
    • Connects the shared ground between business history and economic history
    • Jargon-free, simple language makes clear often complex, theoretical concepts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Roy has written a book of stunning intellectual ambition. He provides a brilliant synthesis of the long-run development of Indian capitalism, but more importantly still offers a compelling explanatory framework which shows how the changing roles of the global economy and the state influenced access to capital and knowledge'. Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School, Massachusetts

    'This book is a sweeping study of Indian business history from the eighteenth century to the present. A Business History of India provides an invaluable analytical perspective that elucidates the structure of both Indian and multinational firms in the past and changing business environments … Highly readable … would be a superb text in any course on Indian business/economy'. Douglas E. Haynes, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

    'This fascinating book weaves the intricate details of Indian business history into the backdrop of changing policies, governments and international contexts. An unusual and exciting contribution to economic and business history.' Bishnupriya Gupta, University of Warwick

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316637487
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus. 3 maps 7 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of maps
    List of boxes
    1. Introduction
    2. The baseline at 1700
    3. Indian Ocean sphere, 1700–1850
    4. Capital and empire, 1850–1930: trade and finance
    5. Capital and empire, 1850–1930: industry
    6. State and industrialization, 1930–1950
    7. State and industrialization, 1950–1980
    8. Revival, 1980–2000
    9. Capital and globalization, 2000–2015
    10. Conclusion

  • Author

    Tirthankar Roy, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Tirthankar Roy is a Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics. He has published widely on South Asian history, global history, empires, and environmental history. His publications include The Economy of South Asia: From 1950 to the Present (2017) and India in the World Economy from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge, 2012).

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