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Going the DistanceEurasian Trade and the Rise of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700$
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Ron Harris

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150772.001.0001

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Family Firms in Three Regions

Family Firms in Three Regions

(p.173) 6 Family Firms in Three Regions
Going the Distance

Ron Harris

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses two Surat merchants, Virji Vora and Mulla Abdul Ghafur, and their families, who are the best-documented and possibly the largest Gujarati merchants of their eras. It shows how family firms that did not rely on state support could trade over much of the span of the Indian Ocean. The chapter also reveals the vulnerability of family firms that did not rely on a wider mercantile network, state support, or corporate entity platform. Both the enterprises were based on the individual ownership and management of Virji Vora and Mulla Abdul Ghafur. They are not known to have been partners and did not separate business from family assets and affairs. The combined business activity of the two families spanned from 1619 to at least 1736.

Keywords:   Surat merchants, Virji Vora, Mulla Abdul Ghafur, Gujarati merchants, Indian Ocean, mercantile network

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