Mercantile Bombay: A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise

Book Launch
Panel Discussion
Wednesday, 11th May 2022
From 6:30pm to 10:00pm (IST)


Gateway House Mumbai, Live History India and Avid Learning present “Mercantile Bombay: A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise,” a panel discussion on the book by the same name, authored by Sifra Lentin.

Would you like to know why Mumbai has always attracted the entrepreneurial spirit and what makes it a money magnet? Join our panel discussion on “Mercantile Bombay: A Journey of Trade, Finance and Enterprise.” The expert panellists will discuss Mumbai’s commerce and culture, ports, migrants, finance, its rich mercantile history and how it helped develop a multicultural city. The discussion will cover why immigrants and migrants chose this city, the trade wars it survived, the fallout of the American Civil War, and how rivalries between local rulers, European colonial powers and merchant families shaped these tiny seven islands into India’s most important port city and financial capital.

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Sifra Lentin

Author and Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House

Sifra Lentin is a Mumbai-based writer and the Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. She was awarded the 2018-19 Herbert Katz Fellowship for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for her ongoing project on “Karachi’s Jewish Community”. The books written by her are: the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet coffee table book ‘A Salute to The Sword Arm – A Photo Essay on The Western Fleet’ (April 2007); Our Legacy: the Dwarkadas family of Bombay (March 2018), and more recently Bombay’s International Linkages (February 2019), a Gateway House publication. She has contributed chapters on Bombay’s Jewish community to three books.

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Dr. Rashna Poncha

Associate Professor at the History Department, Sophia College

Dr. Rashna Poncha is Associate Professor at the History Department, Sophia College (Autonomous). She is passionate about teaching and about History. She completed her Ph.D. thesis on ‘A Study of Frere Town, Bombay (1862-1947)’ in 2016 and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in 2018. Her area of specialisation is 19th century Bombay history. She is the co-editor of the books 'Mumbai-Socio-Cultural Perspectives: Contributions of Ethnic Groups and Communities' and ‘Down the Corridors of Wisdom’, the history of Sophia College. Dr. Poncha has presented papers on the Parsis, Forts, the history of Bombay city and her architectural heritage at both international and national conferences.

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Bazil Shaikh

Author and former Central Banker

Bazil Shaikh, author and former central banker, served with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in different capacities, including Secretary to the Board. His work areas spanned trade, forex, reserves management, precious metals, rural development, human resource management and governance amongst others. He had headed the team which conceived, researched and curated the RBI Monetary Museum, Mumbai. He served on Committees of Government of India, RBI, Nabard, SEBI, as well as the National Archives. He read Economics at the Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, Pune and Public Policy at Princeton University, Princeton. His doctoral thesis was on the Evolution of Early Banking in India: The Free Banking Experience. He has authored several websites and publications, notably, The Paper and the Promise (2000), Mint Road Milestones: RBI at 75 (2010), and The Conjuror's Trick: An Interpretive History of Paper Money in India (2021).

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Mini Menon

Author and Co-Founder & Editor of Live History India

Mini Menon is the Co-Founder and Editor of Live History India, a first of its kind digital platform focussed on creating and putting out multi-media content on Indian history and cultural legacy. Since launch, Live History India has reached over 100 million people across India and the world. It has also brought together over 150 historians and experts on its platform. An award winning journalist and author, Mini has also reported on the changing face of politics and business in India for the last 20 years Her last assignment was as Executive Editor of Bloomberg TV India. In 2013 Mini’s first book, ‘Riding the Wave’ was published by HarperCollins. Mini has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence, as a young achiever and in 2009 she was adjudged the Best Business News Anchor by the Indian Broadcasting Federation.

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Gateway House
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