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Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c.
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Maria Misra

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207115.001.0001

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Commerce and Finance

Commerce and Finance

(p.104) 4 Commerce and Finance
Business, Race, and Politics in British India, c. 1850–1960

Maria Misra

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates the managing agencies' performance in terms of commerce and finance. By the 1930s, the agencies found that their commercial businesses, like their industrial interests, were decreasing. They were losing in the import–export sector to Indian rivals, and were also suffering competition in their sales and distribution as multinationals increasingly established their own sales networks. The agency houses' poor performance in these sectors was in part the consequence of structural economic damage. However, the discussion suggests that a more serious problem lay in their lack of knowledge of the Indian industrial market. They were also unwilling to invest in modern market research and distribution networks. The managing agents' inflexible approach to business harmed their interests.

Keywords:   commerce, business, Indian market, finance, trading, import, selling agency

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