In this paper I describe three patterns in the emergence of Indian Entrepeneurs Indian large scale industries, 1850-1930. While doing this I focus on three variables: (1) the colonial attitude towards indigenous business, especially the transformation towards large scale industrialisation1; (2) the religious, occupational and regional background of industrialists to be; and (3) whether or not they belonged to a ‘minority’ group. While these patterns all led to the successful entry of Indian businessmen into large-scale industries, they differ in the explainable importance to be attributed to the different variables. This paper starts with a description of the entry of Marwari businessmen into the jute industry in Calcutta. This will be followed by the success of the Parsi community in the cotton industries of Bombay and finally the story of the Hindu industrialists in Ahmedabad. In the final section, these three patterns of industrialisation will be compared.

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Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Oonk, G. (2004). Industrialisation in India, 1850-1947: Three Variations in the Emergence of Indigenous Industrialists.. Retrieved from