Providing an overview of events, policies, and practices relating to commerce and business prevailing in the country from 1800s to the present, this chapter introduces the reader to factors that shaped India's economic and business landscape, historical events that formulated its business practices, and political ideology that affected Indian businesses. It highlights the British influence on the Indian landscape and evaluates the impact of the American Civil War and World Wars I and II on Indian business. The chapter also discusses the diversification of Indian companies from the textile business into machine-based industries, such as sugar, jute, coal, and tea and coffee plantations. It also examines how Indian businessmen used the Indian National Council and other budding trade organizations to ensure business-friendly measures from the government.
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