Tradition of Indian Business-Part I


Business is creating a relationship with the consumers through goods and services. DFIC Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. in its cross border enterprise is trying to develop friendly interaction with India as well as other countries through Dedicated, Focused, Intelligent and Creative ventures to protect green earth and enhance economic relationship.


In this context, if we want to probe into the tradition of Indian business, we can see co-operation and mutual respect are the concrete pillars of the business institution of India. We can quote Mr. Devesh Kapur, Director, Centre for the Advanced Study of India to understand the relationship between business and cross border involvement — “Paralleling  the growth of India’s economy has been the concomitant increase in India’s global engagement. ‘India’s global engagement’ has developed through economic co-operation with other countries which combines the commercial orientation of a for–profit enterprise with a service to the countries and communities, work on the assumption that if a producer’s collective is set up with pay offs that reward the producers, then this self interest ensure that it will function as an effective economic organization.


The known economic history of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization (3300 B.C.E — 2400 B.C.E).  The Indus civilization’s economy appears to have depended on trade which was facilitated by advances in transport .The Harappan cities were connected with rural agricultural communities and distant resource and mining areas through strong trade system. In the joint family system, members of a family used their resources to maintain the family and invest in business ventures. The system ensured younger members were trained and employed in the family business and the older and disabled persons would be supported by the family. The system, by preventing the agricultural land from being spilt ensured higher yield because of the benefits of scale.


The trade of ancient India is reflected in the widespread distribution of exquisite beads and ornaments, metal tools and pottery that were produced by specialized artisans in the towns and cities. The major commodities in internal trade consisted of cotton, grain, livestock and other food stuffs. A highly standardized system of weight was used to control trade and also probably for collecting taxes.
The Indus Valley people had also close commercial relation with central Asia, the Arabian Gulf region and the distant Mesopotamian cities, such as Susia and Un. Trade also existed with Northern Afghanistan from where the Harappans bought the famous blue gemstones ‘Lapis Lazuli’.


Along with the family run business and individually owned business enterprises, ancient India possessed a number of other firms engaging in business on collective activity including the Gana, Pani, Puga, Vrata, Sangha, Negama and Sreni. In particular, Sreni was a complex organizational entity that shares many similarities with modern co-operatives. The Sreni was a separate legal entity which had the ability to hold property separately from its owner, construct its own rules for governing the behavior of its member and for it to contract, sue and be sued in its own name. There were between 18 to 150 Sreni at various times in ancient India covering both trading and craft activities. This level of specialization of occupation is indicative of a developed economy in which the Sreni played a critical role. The sreni had a considerable degree of centralized management. The headman of the Sreni represented the interest of the Sreni in the king’s court and in many official business matters. The headman was elected through election and the headman often ran the enterprise with two to five executive officers, who were also elected by the assembly. Therefore democracy was the base of Indian business.


(To be continued………)


Composed by : Mrs. Ranjana Bhattcharyya.






Mrs. Ranjana Bhattcharyya is  a Masters in English literature and she also holds  a Post Graduate Degree in Education. She is a  Consultant in   DFIC  Management  Consultants   Pvt.  Ltd. in  the  practice  of Education and Government services.




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