Business Beyond Empire: German Multinationals in Pre- and Post-Independence India (1890s–1960s)

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The activities of multinationals in India have so far been described as a British–Indian story. However, the British Empire was never an impenetrable economic area, but, rather, a contact zone for firms of many different origins. This article diversifies the historiography of Indian business history by tracing the commercial interactions between Germany and India from the 1890s to the 1960s as one example of non-British multinationals. It shows continuities in actors, debates and strategies and across major political turning points. In particular, it highlights the alignment of aspirations between Germans and nationalistic Indians as a coalition against British dominance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)621-641
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 2. August 2018


  • Cold War
  • Germany
  • Imperialism
  • Legitimisation
  • Multinationals
  • Nationalism
  • Political economy
  • Swadeshi

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