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Raheja Corp owned by Chandru Raheja, who is also the promoter of the retail chain Shopper’s Stop Limited. His cousin, Rajan Beharilal Raheja—whose family too started with real estate—controls Exide Industries (‘Exide’ and ‘Standard Furukawa’ batteries), H&R Johnson (the market leader in ceramic tiles), Prism Cement, Hathway Cable & Datacom (one of the country’s top cable television and broadband networks provider), and Outlook magazine. This bouquet makes him the most pre-eminent domestic Sindhi industrialist today.
10 However, the community which made the most out of colonial circumstances was the Parsis. Right from the late seventeenth century— when a majority of Parsis inhabited the Surat-Navsari stretch of southern Gujarat as agriculturists, artisans, small-time coastal traders and shipbuilders—they evolved a collaborative working relationship with the British, in which cultural factors played a considerable role. Being part of neither the Hindu nor Muslim mainstream, nursing no political ambition, and exposed to commercial influences because of their proximity to the ports of Bharuch, Surat, and Daman, the Parsis seemed ideal for recruitment as native brokers, agents, and shippers.
Another large migration stream was to Central India (particularly to the princely states of Gwalior, Bhopal, and Indore, and also Jabalpur and Chhatisgarh), Vidarbha (Nagpur), and the Maratha hinterland. 7 By the middle of the nineteenth century a pan-Indian Marwari– Bania business community had truly come into being: a commercial resource group networked through the indigenous hundi as well as modern-day railway and telegraph infrastructure. Also, conditions were laid for the emergence of large multi-branch trading firms, such as Tarachand Ghanshyamdas of Kolkata, Sevaram Ramrikhdas of Mirzapur, Bansilal Abirchand of Nagpur, and Sevaram Khushalchand of The Old Merchant Communities 13 Jabalpur.