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For over 200 years; the East India Company was the largest and most powerful mercantile firm in Britain and Asia. Set up to procure Asian goods for British consumers; the Company’s business network spanned Persia; India; China; Indonesia and North America. In the late 1700s; its career took a dramatic turn as the Company lost ground as a trading firm; but founded an empire in India. Why did a merchant firm end up being an empire builder? Why did politics mesh so closely with the conduct of business in this time? This new account of the East India Company answers these questions by taking a fresh look at the world of Indian business. The story fits together many pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle; and shows how trading in India changed the Company—and how the Company changed Indian business. Indeed; it is for the first time that the Company’s story is told from the perspective of Indian business history.

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