Not Ambani or Tata, but This Indian was the World’s richest businessman- check out his quick story

When someone discusses the richest man in India, the names that come to mind are Ambani, Adani, and Tata. However, the royalty and legacy of the wealthiest man in Indian history are even older than a century. Looking back at our history, Virji Vora was a prominent businessman during the Mughal era and is considered the richest trader in the world by the British East India Company. according to historians, between 1617 to 1670, Virji Vora was a financier of the East India Company.

Virji Vora was born in 1590 and passed away in 1670. He was a wholesale trader, and reports suggest that his personal wealth was around 8 million rupees at that time, making him undoubtedly the richest businessman in India to date. Historical records state that Virji Vora was involved in the trade of various products, including black pepper, gold, and cardamom.

Virji Vora was regarded as a “monopolist” since he frequently purchased the entire stock of goods before reselling it for a big profit. As a moneylender, he often provided funds to English individuals interested in starting their own small companies. Indian history has been rich in successful entrepreneurs, benefiting the world with a large number of thriving businesses.

It is said that when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was facing financial difficulties during his campaign to conquer the Deccan region, he sent his envoy to Virji Vora to seek financial assistance. Virji Vora once presented Emperor Shah Jahan with four Arab horses.

Virji Vora’s commercial transactions are regularly recorded in the documents of the East India Company, but very little information is available about his descendants or family. He has been referred to as both a Muslim and a Hindu or Jain. Based on information from the Bombay Archives and Jain scriptures in Surat and Vadodara, Professor K.H. Kamdar conducted a study on him in 1968. This study reveals that Virji belonged to the Lokagachchha Sthanakavasi Jain community. He could have belonged to the Shrimalli Oswal Porwal caste. He held the titles of Sanghapati or Sanghavi, which are bestowed upon a prominent leader who makes significant contributions such as building a temple or organizing large-scale pilgrimages, and actively participated in religious matters.”

Sweta Dagar is an avid reader and writer. She hails from Bulandshahr (U.P) where she completed her formap education. She loves exploring varieties of topics that shape the public opinion at large. If you have any queries, feel free to contact her at [email protected].