The revolution in India’s capitalism began in the 19th century Bombay under a banyan tree, considered a venerable symbol of timeless wisdom, fortitude and endurance. It all started when a group of stockbrokers started trading under shades of the banyan tree. On 9 July 1875, they formed The Native Share and Stock Brokers’ Association, which evolved into the Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE, as we know it today. The exchange went through changes in myriad ways that added new chapters to its 140 years of being a beacon of India’s capital markets. The Banyan tree would, most likely, be entirely happy with today’s BSE—if, indeed, it recognised it at all.
The book is a fascinating recount of the history of Asia’s first stock exchange and the surprising number of ways in which it shaped the growth of Indian capital markets and the Maximum City of Mumbai, the kinder, gentler haven of commercial ventures and entrepreneurs, around it. The volume is replete with reminders that India’s financial past is inextricably linked to our more familiar history lessons. At times, the reader will also encounter names that are missing from most standard history books on India’s financial history.
In its brisk history telling, it portrays BSE’s journey as an institution that pursued capital raising for Indian economy from 1875 to the present in vivid detail—periods spanning triumphs and setbacks, tumults and resilience and the innovations and missed opportunities. The BSE breezed through all of them and the markets won the day.
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Sameer Kochhar, Chairman of Skoch Group, is a passionate advocate of social, financial and digital inclusion. In 1997, after spending 15 years in the corporate world, he decided to follow his inner calling and become a development thinker. Ever since, he single-mindedly applied himself to the rigours of self-education, academic research and field tours. The Skoch Group – which has think tank, media and consultancy arms – was established as part of this endeavour. His expert opinion is sought by the government. In Kochhar’s thinking, writings and activities, his profound admiration for India’s economic reforms—and in extension, those outstanding personalities who strive to make these reforms more meaningful and broad-based—comes out clear and unambiguous.
In addition to authoring highly acclaimed Defeating Poverty: Jan Dhan and Beyond (2015); ModiNomics: Inclusive Economics, Inclusive Governance (2014) and Speeding Financial Inclusion (2009), he has edited Infrastructure and Governance (2008); Financial Inclusion (2009); Urban Renewal: Policy and Response (2009); India on the Growth Turnpike: Essays in Honour of Vijay L. Kelkar (2010); Building from the Bottom: Infrastructure and Poverty Alleviation (2010); Growth and Finance: Essays in Honour of C. Rangarajan (2011); Policymaking for Indian Planning: Essays in Honour of Montek Singh Ahluwalia (2012); and, An Agenda for India’s Growth: Essays in Honour of P. Chidambaram (2013).