Mercantile Bombay : A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise book cover
1st Edition

Mercantile Bombay
A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after October 25, 2021
ISBN 9780367774189
October 25, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge India
104 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume reclaims Mumbai’s legacy as a global financial centre of the 19th to the first half of the 20th century. It shows how Mumbai, or erstwhile Bombay, once served as a central node in global networks of trade, finance, commercial institutions, and most importantly trading communities. In doing so it highlights that this city more than any other Indian city still possesses all these virtuous elements making it an appropriate location for a financial Special Economic Zone - an idea shelved temporarily. 

The book explores how the city flourished in its heyday as a trading, financial, commercial, and manufacturing hub in a globalised colonial world. While the city’s importance as a nodal financial hub in the global economy ebbed post India’s Independence and the Second World War, the multi-cultural city found renewed importance following the forex crisis of 1991. Institutions (the RBI, SEBI, State Bank of India headquarters), capacities, experiences, communities, and talent centred in Mumbai revived its position, while managing the transition to a more open economy. Though Mumbai is not yet an international financial centre (Financial SEZ) like London, New York, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, this volume explores why it has all the essential elements to become one today, and looks at the city as a trading city, a global financial centre, and a city of enterprise.

An introspective read on India’s financial capital, this volume will be essential for scholars and researcher of economics, business studies and commerce. It will be of great interest to policy makers, city-headquartered business houses, financial institutions, and its people.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: How Bombay became the confluence of commerce and culture 2. The Port and the City 3. Migrant in the City 4. Émigrés of Bombay Presidency 5: Finance, desi and videshi 6. Mercantile and multicultural city

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Sifra Lentin is a Mumbai-based writer and the Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, a foreign policy think tank in Mumbai. She was awarded the 2018-19 Herbert Katz Fellowship for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for her ongoing project on “Karachi’s Jewish Community” which was part of the Katz Center’s broader theme this year on “Jews in Muslim Lands”. Her recent works include, the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet coffee table book ‘A Salute to The Sword Arm – A Photo Essay on The Western Fleet’ (April 2007), and more recently Our Legacy: the Dwarkadas family of Bombay (March 2018) on the 250-year-old history of the eminent Halai Bhatia Dwarkadas Khimji family of Mumbai. Her earlier career was in journalism with a focus on Bombay and South Asian Jewish history. Most notably, she wrote a popular thrice-weekly column for Mid-Day “Vintage Mumbai” from 1995 to 1997 and a five-part Partition series for Reuters on the golden jubilee of Indian Independence in 1997.