Indian Economic Policy 1945: The Bombay Plan, Multinationals and Indian Big Business

02.04.2019, Seminar, DHI Washington

April 2, 2019, 9-11 am
Seminar at GHI Washington
Convener: Thomas Timberg (independent scholar)
Speakers: Gurcharan Das (public intellectual), Medha Kudaisya (National University of Singapore), Promodh Malhotra (former Citibank and IFC official), Mircea Raianu (University of Maryland), Stefan Tetzlaff (GHI Washington)

The Bombay Plan was developed during World War II by a group of leading industrialists (JRD Tata, GD Birla, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Purshottomdas Thakurdas and Lala Shri Ram) and economists (John Matthai, Ardeshir Dalal and AD Shroff connected with Tata, and Lokanathan connected with Birla though his name does not appear on the cover) as a set of proposals for the development of the post-independence Indian economy. Medha M. Kudaisya’s new book, Tryst with Prosperity: Indian Business and the Bombay Plan of 1944” (New Delhi: Harper Collins Penguin India, 2018), revisits the story the Bombay Plan, looking at the process, context and impact of the Plan for the economic history of India.

In response to the insights from the book, this seminar will put the Bombay Plan in a more general historical, ideological, commercial and economic perspective. The author, Prof. Medha Kudaisya will speak by link from Singapore. Mr. Gurcharan Das, who wrote an introduction to the book and is the editor of the series "The Story of Indian Business," in which the book appears, will join from Delhi. Mr. Promodh Malhotra, formerly of Citibank and World Bank/IFC, Dr. Mircea Raianu of the University of Maryland, and Dr. Stefan Tetzlaff of the German Historical Institute, who have all done research concerning business in India during the period leading up to and immediately after the Plan, will also present. Copies of the book and others from the series will be available for purchase, mostly as Indian paperbacks.

The seminar will be from 9 to 11 AM on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at the German Historical Institute (1607 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC). Since space is limited, please register to attend Thomas Timberg (thomastimberg(at)