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Last updated: 26 Sep, 2014  

sanjiv-mehta-ceo-east-india-companyTHMB.jpg An Indian now owns East India Company

Sanjiv Mehta, CEO of The East India Company.
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Dipankar De Sarkar | 15 Feb, 2010
With just around a month to go for the re-launch of the East India Company - the world's first multinational whose forces once ruled much of the globe - its new Indian owner says he is overwhelmed by "a huge feeling of redemption".

It's been a long, emotional and personal journey for Sanjiv Mehta, a Mumbai-born entrepreneur who completed the process of buying the East India Company (EIC) in 2005 from the "30 or 40" people who owned it.

Acutely aware that he owned a piece of history - at its height the company generated half of world trade and employed a third of the British workforce - Mehta, now the sole owner, dived into the company's rich and ruthless past in order to give it a new direction for the future.

With a $15-million investment and inputs from a range of experts - from designers and brand researchers to historians - Mehta is today poised to open the first East India Company store in London's upmarket Mayfair neighbourhood in March.

And then there is the inevitable - and daunting - task of launching in India, a country whose resources, army, trade and politics the company had controlled for some 200 years.

It's a task that Mehta has not taken lightly, he told reporter in an interview. "Put yourself in my shoes for a moment: On a rational plane, when I bought the company I saw gold at the end of the rainbow.

"But, at an emotional level as an Indian, when you think with your heart as I do, I had this huge feeling of redemption - this indescribable feeling of owning a company that once owned us."

The formal start of the East India Company is usually dated back to 1600 when Britain's Queen Elizabeth I granted a group of merchants a charter under the name 'The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies.'

With its own Elizabethan coat of arms - now owned by Mehta - the company was made responsible for bringing tea, coffee and luxury goods to the West and trading in spices across the globe.

By 1757 the company had become a powerful arm of British imperial might, with its own army, navy, shipping fleets and currency, and control over key trading posts in India - where it was known variously as Company Bahadur and John Company. In 1874, the British government nationalised the company, opportunistically blaming the 1857 uprising on its excesses. But the East India Company army, brought under the command of the Crown, retained its all-powerful presence in India.

"When I took over the company, my objective was to understand its history. I took a sabbatical from all other business and this became the single purpose in my life," said Mehta.

He travelled around the world, visiting former EIC trading posts and museums, reading up records and meeting people "who understood the business of that time".

"There was a huge sense of responsibility - I didn't create this brand, but I wanted to be as pioneering as the merchants who created it."

"The Elizabethan coat of arms stands for trust and reassurance, but we are not repeating history. It took me four years to do the brand positioning and put up the milestones."

The 'relaunched' company, with its headquarters on Conduit Street in Mayfair, is set to open a diverse line of high-end, luxury goods in London in March and in India some time this year.

EIC products in India will include fine foods, furniture, real estate, health and hospitality.

"India is the spirit of the East India Company in many ways - it evokes a huge amount of connectivity and emotions," Mehta said. "It's also a major ambition to bring Indian products to the rest of the world. Today there is no single brand name from the East that can stand alongside, say, Hermes or Cartier from the West.

"The East India Company has that ability." 

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To get coin set
Subhash | Mon Jan 4 11:33:38 2016
i want to purchase one set o this mohur. please let me know its cost, way to deposite money and other details

The history of East India Co
Sarah | Fri Oct 10 07:37:52 2014
This company is responsible for the Opium Wars between China and Britain, amongst other atrocities. It has a history steeped in blood and is absolutely nothing to be proud of.

Hemant Sardesai | Tue Apr 22 12:09:14 2014
If it is THE East India Company that Mr Mehta has bought ,then does he have access to the 'old' records of the original company? That might reveal the secrets of the method of conducting business 'then' which might be still of some interest as all the historians have mostly speculated as to what and why and how some of the things were done then, to control the Indians.If Mr Mehta has access to those records, then he can study those and may be over a period reveal those to millions of Indians who would still be interested to know and analyse the mistakes made by those generations of Indians under the British rule.That would really be an eye opener.

This company been around long...
Jack Ballad | Sun Aug 18 13:55:50 2013
Wow this company has a long history of oppression I hope he's aware of what it has done to his people, and many others throughout history... They ruled in Fear.. I advise everyone to go to Amazon, and read "How to overcome fear, and start living fearless," it's a very eye-opening life changing book..

bk | Sat Nov 24 12:42:35 2012
now rule world

It is the degree of self-esteem
Om prakash ,Aniket | Wed May 2 14:56:52 2012
This feelings should be in every Indian....Not in Indian...but Those who are truely Indian...The madness to achieve the the GOAL without falling down in any circumstances..... We truly solute Salute you Mr Sanjiv Mehta for your incredible achievement

Jai hind...
Asma | Wed Mar 7 13:06:38 2012
Congratulations Sanjeev Sir... Im feeling proud to know this now, last but not the least. As soon as i got this mail from my frnd, i left all my works n started reading this mail. searched in Google n found this blog.Media also did not gave much importance to this, else i might know abt this long back.. Hats off to u

Swapnil | Fri Jan 20 12:09:18 2012
Congratulations, Sir I am really Happy to see this, It's really inspire to all of us, Thank you very much, Sir

Rajani | Wed Oct 5 17:39:25 2011
You did well! Amazing how history can repeat itself w/o the imperialism, this time round!

Meera | Mon Aug 15 08:09:22 2011
Congratulations proud to be Indian

congratulation Mr. Sanjeev .
kulvndr singh | Sat Jul 30 19:37:16 2011
great job...... i m very much inspire with your success.

congrats from class VIII child Ali
Ali Khan | Sat Jul 30 14:54:16 2011
Hello Sir, Congratulations for owning The East India Company The Mayoor School, Bhopal. Class VII

himani | Thu Jul 21 14:49:04 2011

Indian India
vinoth | Tue Jul 19 17:43:28 2011
Great salute to this Indian ,he made himself proud and us toooo .... thanks sir

jai ho!!
Salil | Wed Jun 1 17:43:44 2011
Thanks from all Indians........a proud feeling......

sandeep | Thu May 26 12:05:21 2011
well done

Black Angel | Wed May 25 09:59:19 2011
All the best for your future plans. Proud to have you as a Indian.

SAMYSINGH | Tue May 17 10:47:30 2011

Great Mr. Sanjiv Mehta
Satya | Wed May 11 05:27:50 2011
Mr. Sanjiv, You have achieved. I am inspired with you journey and ambition. wish you a grand success.

  Re: Great Mr. Sanjiv Mehta
Batul Doshi | Fri May 20 07:57:57 2011
Dear Sanjivbhai wish u the best that life can offer you

east india company
k.pathi | Sat May 7 02:00:35 2011
Now,it is time to showcase herbal products,hand made chocolates in EIC show rooms:sure the business will have more space in the globe, and bring in more cash for the promotor& participants k.pathi karaikal/India

Whole World should be led by Indians
KARNAN G. | Wed May 4 06:06:54 2011
EIC-now owned by Indian, sounds good after 63 year. I am proud with Mr. Sanjiv Mehata. But at the same time we have taken 63 years for this change is too late. I urge all Indians to work and see to that we feed the whole world with their needs from food to ammunition, from pin to rockets. Even though we do not want to rule this world, we shall prove to all that we love them at the same time we are not any more lower to other nations. jai hind.

expression of feeling about shri sanjeev mehta
R K Gahlot, Delhi | Sat Apr 30 07:00:14 2011
congratulation to Shri Sanjeev mehta,for being CEO of the East India Company....the company who ruled india once and now owned by indian...a great man.... what a wonderful feeling comes inside heart ...awsome. I thank u for ur achievement. God bless you.

its time to disco
LOMASH SINGH | Sat Apr 30 05:02:15 2011

Narayanan Nair | Wed Apr 27 12:09:07 2011
It is a matter of proud and pride that an Indian owned East India Company. Once they ruled us with their powder and now an Indian owned the company with global vision. Congratulation to Mr Sanjiv Mehta for all his efforts. It is a revenge actually.

NARAYANA PILLAI | Wed Apr 27 07:40:02 2011
Dear Mr. Sanjiv, You are great. Prime idea of owning EIC might be commercial angle. Then why other business big guns never thought of this. I am forced to believe that your patriotism encouraged you for this mighty task. Truely every Indian would remember you as a consolation of EIC rule in India. At this hour every Indian would be wishing to contribute to your great efforts, but how. regards from Narayana Pillai LOGIK CONSULTANTS WISH YOU ALL THE BEST

Dhingana | Wed Apr 27 04:44:47 2011
Is this a real business or just emotional revenge?

GYAN | Fri Apr 22 13:13:34 2011

Avoid the company products
Sameer | Wed Apr 13 02:14:46 2011
East India Company is NOT a brand. Its a curse on part of "India". It plundered India and looted shamelessly. It is very unfortunate that an Indian is acting as a custodian to revive the ghost. I will appeal to all my fellow India to boycott the "EVIL COMPANY" products.

  Re: Avoid the company products
Kris | Thu Apr 21 09:57:30 2011
Sameer, as a fellow Indian, I absolutely respect your sentiment. But, look at it this way, thanks to Mr. Mehta, we now own our one-time enemy. They have to work according to the orders given by an Indian! It is just my opinion, but isn't this something to be proud of?

Nirmal | Fri Apr 8 05:49:41 2011
I am Glad to hear that. May God take you to New level of achievements.. And this helps in getting understood that time rules everywhere..

Indian wins over east india compnay
Satish Mehta | Fri Apr 1 14:21:48 2011
64 years after the independence we are still singing psalm as our national anthem. We are still organising Commonwealth Games. Are we still controlled by Britishers. Bravo sanjeev, you won the real war against east india company whonce ruled us. When we indian will win the managers of east india company who are ruling us. Indians are even cared to raise their voice. This is impact of education system which Maccaulay designed a century ago.Our indian film producers and tv producers are still producing films and serials which depicts the pre-independence attrocities of the britons.Why we are getting reminded of it. Cant we produce such movies which depict the real indian victory over britons like you won the east india company????????? Satish Mehta

Good Show of Marketting
sachin saini | Sun Mar 27 12:34:18 2011
Its a buisness move and intelectual move to market a name with product positioning in positive way to acquire the market asap.....Good show guys and all the best. Indians are now more smarter and consumer here are not actually running the shows but its trader and traders in india are proffesionals. So emotions are workable with correct market strategies for the traders. Still India is same as consumer is still a puppet and it could be you too...... All the best

TANMAY DUBEY | Fri Mar 25 14:59:20 2011
Fell good to listen that from now an indian is managing&owing the EIC this will intrigates nationality,respect,pride and unity among the indians this will help the INDIA to be devloped and will make ourself different from the other countries.And i will pray to god this type of things should be done by us as Sir Sanjay Metha has Done .

Bandal | Thu Mar 17 14:39:09 2011
Great inspiration to all our young generation

Bedanta Kalita | Sun Feb 20 11:13:29 2011
the man - Sanjiv Mehta, scripted history. its remarkable. now time for us to show our best.

Stop the Emotional Atyachar
Sampurna | Thu Feb 17 09:27:04 2011
Can we please treat business as business without confusing it with emotions? The EIC is another MNC coming to India. Period. It's a different era. And it's high time we matured as a nation - and not live under the shadows of our colonial past. No one's a ruler, and no one's a slave in business. And so what if an Indian has acquired the EIC? Indians have also been a part of the British parliament, and that too since the 18th century. It's not important. What's important is evaluate how we fare as a country.

  Re: Stop the Emotional Atyachar
BlackMale | Wed Mar 9 10:25:21 2011
True Words

  Re: Stop the Emotional Atyachar
sancosta barbara | Wed May 4 12:17:50 2011
trully agreed........

Proud feeling
Shipra Srivastava | Wed Feb 16 08:35:28 2011
We proud of you. Thanks for giving us such a proud feeling. May you get all the success of life....

  Re: Proud feeling
Roopa | Wed Jun 29 06:46:21 2011
Congradulations..........proud to be an india.......thank u so much Sanjeevji.

Darrel | Mon Jan 24 10:52:38 2011
THEy'RE STILL AROUND?! JESUS. That's one hell of a company!

  Re: WHAT
Mike | Mon Feb 14 00:01:43 2011
Jajaja; I totally agree ....

Loveleen | Wed Jan 5 13:30:54 2011
So now this guy wants to control India as EIC did. This does not sound like an emotion or anything. And of course, eh typical copy cat mentality and he salvery mentality to work under the British Coat of Arms.

  Re: Uh!
Aslam Khan | Tue Feb 8 10:05:04 2011
Dats great, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar patel and other freedom fighters had slapped EIC and thrown them out of India. Now its our turn to show BRITISH & DOGS that Indians are the best.

  Re: Re: Uh!
Buda | Fri Feb 18 11:31:14 2011
Can east India company send in India some britisher cobblers, masons, carpenters and other low profile job applicants, pure british citizen, who can work for we Indians, and we should have the exclusive rights to slap, kick and physically punish then, they way they did with us for the last 200 years. We have enough billiores in India who will willingly do the job of a bad boss for the britishers, as the wounds are still fresh. I personally want to have a british nanny, who will double up as cook and clean the toilet too.

  Re: Re: Re: Uh!
mou g. | Mon Apr 25 15:33:31 2011
Proud to be an Indian...

  Re: Re: Re: Uh!
Sunny | Wed May 4 12:24:53 2011
we all need to be practical rather then being Emotional.... they had the guts to rule us and so they Did, but wasn't our people Supporting them for the same. last not the least earlier British ruled us and now the Bloody Politician who are looting our Country,

  Re: Re: Re: Re: Uh!
HARC | Sat May 7 09:19:45 2011

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