Marwaris often tend to be ostentatious, as many from the community sportingly agree these days. Books about the community too lean towards larger-thanlife reads. The Marwaris: From Jagat Seth to the Birlas, written by Thomas A Timberg and published by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, is, however, a welcome change. The sixth volume from Penguin’s ‘The Story of Indian Business’ series, it is fortunately not one of those books which packs in everything all at once and is impossible to wade through.
Focusing chiefly on unravelling the mystery of the tremendous success of Marwaris as a business community and charting the evolution of the same, the book traces the social, economic and geographical rise of Marwaris while shedding light on the business model of some of the great Marwari firms, such as those owned by the Birlas. It also doubles up as a source of insight into a community that’s earned recognition for its ability to adapt to situations and the flexibility of thought of its people.