Virji Vohra, a prominent businessman during the Mughal rule, gained immense renown and was acclaimed as the wealthiest entrepreneur in history by the British East India Company.
Throughout history, Indians have consistently held a central position in various realms, despite achieving independence only in 1947. It is an undeniable fact that Indians have displayed remarkable engagement in the business domain, contributing numerous exceptional entrepreneurs to the global stage.
Virji Vora stood out as a prominent businessman during the Mughal rule, earning recognition as the wealthiest entrepreneur in the world, as acclaimed by the British East India Company. Notably, experts attest that Virji Vora played a significant role as a major financier for the East India Company from 1617 to 1670.
Virji Vora, born in 1590 and decreased in 1670, was a distinguished wholesale trader. Historical accounts reveal that he possessed a remarkable personal fortune of approximately Rs 8 million during his time, making him undeniably the wealthiest businessman India has ever witnessed. According to documented records, Virji Vora engaged in the trade of various commodities, such as pepper, gold, cardamom, and other merchandise.
Between 1629 and 1668, Virji Vora engaged in extensive business dealings with the British, which played a pivotal role in the establishment of his business empire. Notably, Virji Vora operated as a “sole monopolist,” frequently acquiring entire product stocks and selling them at significant profits.
In addition to his business ventures, Virji Vora served as a moneylender, frequently extending loans to English individuals seeking to pursue their own private enterprises.
According to accounts, during Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s campaign to conquer the Deccan region of India, he encountered a financial crisis. In his pursuit of funds, an emissary was dispatched to Virji Vohra, who had previously presented four Arab horses as a gift to Mughal king Shah Jahan.