Podcast with Sudev Sheth, author of “Bankrolling Empire: Family Fortunes and Political Transformation in Mughal India”

Vakhatchand Jhaveri in a palanquin, painting 18th century Vakhatchand Jhaveri in a palanquin, painting 18th century

Running and securing an empire can get expensive–especially one known for its opulence, like the Mughal Empire, which conquered much of northern India before rapidly declining in the 18th century. But how did the Mughals get their money? Often, it was through wealthy merchants, like the Jhaveri family, who willingly—and then not-so-willingly–funded the empire’s activities.

 

 

Bankrolling Empire: Family Fortunes and Political Transformation in Mughal India, Sudev Sheth (Cambridge University Press, November 2024)
Bankrolling Empire: Family Fortunes and Political Transformation in Mughal India, Sudev Sheth (Cambridge University Press, November 2023)

Sudev Sheth writes about this relationship in Bankrolling Empire: Family Fortunes and Political Transformation in Mughal India.

Sheth is Senior Lecturer in History at the Joseph H Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies and in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches across the School of Arts & Sciences and the Wharton School. His writings have appeared in top academic journals and popular outlets, including The Conversation, Economic & Political Weekly, Mint, Knowledge at Wharto, and Harvard Business Publishing.

PS. The Jhaveri family eventually founded the Arvind Group, a major India-based textiles company.


Nicholas Gordon has an MPhil from Oxford in International Relations and a BA from Harvard. He is a writer, editor and occasional radio host based in Hong Kong.