The advent of colonialism in India produced major upheavals in the economy, causing disruptions in production, trade and agriculture. Cheap manufactured textiles from England completely destroyed the handloom industry and made the weavers jobless. In the colonial era, India began to be more fully linked to the world capitalist economy. Before being colonised by the British, India was a major supplier of manufactured goods to the world market. After colonialism, India became a source of raw materials and agriculture products and a consumer of manufactured goods, both largely for the benefit of industrialising England.
But rather than completely overturning the existing economic institutions, the expansion of the market economy in India provided new opportunities to some merchant communities, which were able to improve their position by re-orienting themselves to changing economic circumstances.
In some cases, new communities emerged to take advantage of the economic . opportunities provided by colonialism.
A good example of this process is provided by Marwaris, probably the most widespread and best—known business community in India.