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The Marwaris: From Jagat Seth to the Birlas

3.02  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In the nineteenth century, a tiny community from the deserts of Rajasthan spread out to every corner of India. The Marwaris controlled much of the country's inland trade by the time of the First World War. They then turned their hand to industry and, by the 1970s, owned most of India's private industrial assets. Today, Marwari businessmen account for a quarter of the India ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published August 27th 2014 by Penguin Global (first published May 15th 2014)
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Vishaka Datta
An okayish introduction to the Marwaris, a community in India that has produced a large number of successful (and large) businesses over the last few centuries. I bought this book in the hope that it takes an in-depth look at the practices of this community over the years, in an attempt to explain their disproportionate representation in successful businesses in India. Timberg does dive into these details to a limited extent, but only in the second half of the book.

The first half of the book is
Sajith Kumar
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
The Marwaris form a powerful business community in India. More than a quarter of the country’s richest men belong to the group. They control many large and profitable enterprises that are leaders in their area of expertise. However, the term ‘Marwari’ conjures up images of a usurer or a non-ethical trader in many parts of India, most notably in the South. They are associated with money lending at cut throat interest rates, and are intent on promptly getting the money back without any leniency or ...more
Dhruv Goel
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
The book is poorly written and organized. The overarching narrative is also absent. The only chapter of any importance is the third one - The Marwaris, the Bazaar Economy, and the British Raj. Mostly, due to the informational content of different Marwari groups and their business activities. All the later discussion on the viability of family firms, with particular emphasis on the Birlas, was mostly ambiguous in nature. In the title, there is written - From Jagat Seth to the Birlas, however, Jag ...more
Sukanta Hazra
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture, business
I started reading this book expecting some meaty information on Marwaris, probably the most successful business community in India, however was disappointed with the material. Other than some broad references and a lot of long often confusing names of persons, I didn't see much useful information. Maybe I was expecting too much. It is an easy read, and relatively little content, so quick to finish. I would say, good for reading on a flight, but not if one is searching for details on the cultural ...more
Amrit Abhijat
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
It was a very good read on a very inspiring topic . I liked the expanse Timberg tries to achieve both across time and geographies. This exactly has been his undoing of giving sketchy or anecdotal references to issues which needed a lot of research and detailing,especially the families and the reasons for their continuing success. otherwise else a good attempt on business community,their roots,practices even though lacking in depth.
Dharan Jain
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on Marwari Industrialists & Traders! The writer covers many prominent families from Rajasthan and also tries to explore what made them succeed and what led to eventual downfall of some firms. Anyone who wants to explore the business history and wants to understand the psyche of Marwari Business Houses should take a shot at this ! ...more
Priyanshu Mani
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
If you are looking for could find them elsewhere too. Good to read for general curiosity.
A lot of well-reserached facts about the Marwari community, but presented in a cluttered fashion.
Conrad Barwa
Very disappointing book coming from what is meant to be one of the foremost experts on the subjects.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A lot of history about the families.
The crux is in the final chapters
An interesting and good-to-know + quick read/skim though
lot of references to Gita Piramal's book .... not as insightful as expected
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found bits of it interesting (Being a Marwari) and the last chapter relevant. I guess expected more out of it .
A light read, fairly informative.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stores
Vey mature bussiness knowledge and use of local resources
Sadiq Kazi
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Just about okay, this whole series is turning out to be. Wish the writing style was more witty, the narrative more anecdotal, and the insights more revealing.
Vasu Goenka
Its a detailed book but not well written, It has description of Marwari Clan but presented in a haphazard manner.
Nitin Jagtap
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
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