How do caste and kin networks contribute to the success of a business?
In the precolonial period on wards, India had an extensive trading connection, not only within the country but also outside.
These trading connections were made by merchant groups who did extensive internal and external trades and mostly they were organized as a community based on their same caste or kinship and they did business on the basis of trust, loyalty and understanding that prevailed within their community.
An interesting illustration of the use of traditional joint family structure and kinship and caste networks to build their business can be seen in banking and trading activities of Chettiars of Tamil Nadu. They controlled trade and banking all over south-east Asia and Ceylon (new Sri Lanka) in the 19th century and operate as a joint family business. This is a typical patriarchal structure of a joint family but they used to trust, unity and goodwill of kinship to build their connection. This gives its idea that Indians had their indigenous version of capitalism when they ran a business for profit, which centres around caste and kinship.