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Baniya—a derivative of the Sanskrit word Vanij, is a term synonymous with India's trader class. Over the decades, these capitalists spread their footprint across vast sectors of the economy from steel and mining to telecom and retail. And now even e-tail.
Nikhil Inamdar's Rokda features the stories of a few pioneering men from this mercantile community—Radheshyam Agarwal and Radheshyam Goenka, founders of the cosmetic major Emami; Rohit Bansal, co-founder of Snapdeal; Neeraj Gupta, founder of Meru Cabs; and V.K. Bansal, a humble mathematics tutor whose genius spawned a massive coaching industry in Kota—amongst others.
Through the triumphs and tribulations of these men in the epoch marking India's entire post independence struggle with entrepreneurship—from the License Raj to the opening up of the floodgates in 1991, and the dawn of the digital era—Rokda seeks to uncover the indomitable spirit of the Baniya.