Merchant Prince

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An intriguing query ...

"Thus, the small native state of Kutch, with barely half a million people in 1931, provided a disproportionate share of the total number of commercial migrants from British India in the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century."

As for an explanation, apart from its geographical location close to the major maritime routes between Western British Indiaand the Western Indian Ocean, one is often referred to a terrible famine which took place in 1817, which seems to have been a local equivalent of the Irish potato famine.

However, it remains to be understood why the different merchant communities from Kutch were so uniformly successful in their commercial and financial ventures abroad. A possible line of the explanation lies in the attitude of the rulers who maintained a large degree of independence from British interference in their domestic affairs and seem to have systematically given their support to the traders."-Connecting Seas and Connected Ocean Rims: Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific - edited by Donna R. Gabaccía, Dirk Hoerder pg. 96

The enterprising Kutchi-Kathiawari Khojas took advantage of the opportunities in Bombay, Muscat, and East Africa, venturing into faraway lands, in search of markets and fortune. These adventurers and brave risk-takers faced danger to their lives but more often, to their belongings and notwithstanding, went on to create an amazing array of enterprises in all directions of the globe and also to amassing vast personal wealth.

We believe each deserves to be the honored as a "Merchant Prince" (The equivalent Indic term is 'Seth' or even elevated as 'Nagarseth' being the typical formal or informal social position associated with the Mahajan (trader) and mercantile social organisation)

We present a partial list
  1. Sewa Haji Paroo
  2. Azim Premji
  3. Amirali Bhatia
  4. Peera Dewjee
  5. Taria Topan
  6. Currimbhoy Ebrahim
  7. Fazulbhoy Currimbhoy
  8. Mohammed Gulam Dewji
  9. Allidina Visram
  10. U Kan Gyi
  11. Naushad Noorali Merali
  12. Dewji Jamal
  13. Nasser Virji
  14. Madatally Manji
  15. Khoja Shams-ud-din Gillani
  16. Amirali Karmali Mukwano