Indian Big Business The transformation of India’s corporate sector from 2000 to 2020

Jairus Banaji in this essay documents transformation of India’s cororate sector particularly big business:

In what follows, I present a precis of the evolution of Indian big business over the last two decades, starting with a fact which is hardly ever foregrounded, namely, that the business families who formed the mainstay of industrial capitalism in the country for a whole three or four decades after Independence have either disintegrated or have been disintegrating and will soon cease to exist as coherent entities, let alone cohesive ones. Next, I shall present the results of an exercise that involves looking at the biggest non-banking companies in the country (both listed and unlisted) in terms of who actually owns them and of the different categories of ownership we can divide them into. Here the chief result is that since the 1960s, when both R. K. Hazari and Mike Kidron wrote fine studies of big business, there have been massive changes in the Indian corporate sector.4 Dominance no longer lies with the fabled large business houses of the past but with an entirely new breed of capital.

In section three, I shall turn to the cycles that span first a major boom (one of the most rapid periods of growth in Indian manufacturing) in the 2000s and then the slowdown that came to grip most areas of private business for the greater part of the last decade. The slowdown began in 2011 and shows no obvious sign of letting up even today. As the quote from Venu suggests, the banks are central to this sharply fluctuating picture, and their abject prostration before private capital casts doubt on whether any such thing as “finance capital” can even be said to exist in India’s economy. In the final section, I offer an alternative perspective that breaks with the shallow characterization of “crony capitalism” in favor of a deeper reflection on what we are up against.


One Response to “Indian Big Business The transformation of India’s corporate sector from 2000 to 2020”

  1. Indian Massive Enterprise The transformation of India’s company sector from 2000 to 2020 – 52weekshares Says:

    […] Economy/Financial Markets. You’ll be able to observe any responses to this entry via the RSS 2.0 feed. You’ll be able to leave a response, or trackback from your individual web […]

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