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Rulers, Townsmen and BazaarsNorth Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion 1770-1870$
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C.A. Bayly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077466.001.0001

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The Merchant Family as a Business Enterprise

The Merchant Family as a Business Enterprise

(p.477) Chapter 11 The Merchant Family as a Business Enterprise
Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars

C. A. Bayly

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the merchant family in north India during pre-colonial and early periods as a business enterprise. It suggests that many of the patterns of behaviour which seem to characterise the family firm of nineteenth-century north India can be understood as tactics to avoid the risks of operating in a peculiarly hostile business climate. It explains that from early youth, children in merchant families were taught that good business involved the constant division of capital into small, manageable portfolios. It also discusses business management practices including double entry bookkeeping and the use of a central daily cash book.

Keywords:   merchant family, business enterprise, family firm, business climate, portfolios, business management practices, bookkeeping

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