The East India Company (EIC) is synonymous with British rule in India. What relevant lessons can you draw from EIC’s misuse of power in India and apply them them to the present global situation is the main theme of William Dalrymple’s article “The East Indian Company: The Original Corporate Raiders,” published in The Guardian today. How did a conventional corporation transform itself into “an international corporation” and then “into an aggressive colonial power,” makes for an interesting read.
Dalrymple examines the transformation of East India company and points out it that should serve as a lesson for the present. He argues that “the East India Company – the first great multinational corporation, and the first to run amok – was the ultimate model for many of today’s joint-stock corporations.” He underscores that in today’s world there is a high risk of corporate power to be misused whether it is in India or in other parts of the world like the US or Europe.
Dalrymple is a prolific writer, who has written a clutch of books on different facets/aspects of British rule in India. His next book “The Anarchy: How a Corporation Replaced the Mughal Empire, 1756-1803,” is slated for publication in 2016.