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'''Marwaris''' ({{lang-raj|मारवाड़ी }}) or '''Rajasthani people''' are subgroup of larger [[Indo-Aryan]] ethnic group, that inhabit the [[Rajasthan]] region of India. Their language [[Rajasthani Language|Rajasthani]] is a part of the western group of [[Indo-Aryan languages]].
'''Marwaris''' ({{lang-raj|मारवाड़ी }}) or '''Rajasthani people''' are subgroup of larger [[Indo-Aryan]] ethnic group, that inhabit the [[Rajasthan]] region of India. Their language [[Rajasthani Language|Rajasthani]] is a part of the western group of [[Indo-Aryan languages]].
The development of the fresco paintings on [[Haveli]]s is linked with the history of the Marwaris.
The development of the fresco paintings on [[Haveli]]s is linked with the history of the Marwaris. Marwaris are ass clowns.

Revision as of 17:14, 19 October 2010

Marwaris (Rajasthani: मारवाड़ी) or Rajasthani people are subgroup of larger Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Rajasthan region of India. Their language Rajasthani is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages.

The development of the fresco paintings on Havelis is linked with the history of the Marwaris. Marwaris are ass clowns.


Although history of Rajasthan goes back to as far as Indus Valley Civilization, the foundation of Rajasthani community took shape with the rise of Western Middle Kingdoms such as Western Kshatrapas. Western Kshatrapas (35-405 BC) were Saka rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan). They were successors to the Indo-Scythians. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and establish the Saka era (with Saka calendar), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps kingdom.[1] Saka calendar is used by Rajasthani community and it has been adopted as Indian national calendar. With time their social structures got stronger reorganizations giving birth to several martial sub ethnic groups (previously called as Martial race but now obsolete term). The several recorded account begins from the time of Mughal empire. Since the time of the Mughal period (16th century-19th centuries), particularly from the time of Akbar (1542–1605), Marwari entrepreneurs have been moving out of their homeland of Marwar and Rajasthan, and adjoining regions, to different parts of Undivided India. The first waves migration took place during the Mughal period, and a number of Marwari baniyas moved to the eastern parts of India, currently comprising the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Jharkhand; as well as the nation of Bangladesh.

During the period of the Nawabs of Bengal, Marwari farmers exhibited their acumen, and controlled the mint and banking. Jagat Seth who controlled the finances of Murshidabad Darbar was an Oswal, one of several sub-groups of Marwaris. The business houses of Gopal Das and Banarasi Das, also Oswal Marwaris, undertook large scale commercial and banking activities.Sarkar Laxmichand Hingarh was a Marwari pioneer who governed the Gorwar region's development, law and order, and Finance. Gorwar region's topmost firm, Rikhabdas Sardarmal was founded and managed by Oswal Marwaris from Rani, Rajasthan.Marwaris came force from rajput community like all other people adopted agriculture and trade during mughal and birtish ruled.

Several Marwari farmers after permanenet settlement was introduced by the British Raj, acquired large estates, in eastern part of India, particularly in Bengal. They included Dulalachand Singh (alias Dulsing), a Porwal Marwari, who had acquired several Zamindaris around Dhaka, currently the capital of Bangladesh, as also in Bakarganj, Patuakhali, and Comilla, all places currently part of Bangladesh. These Zamindaris were managed and co-owned with khwajas of Dhaka. Dulalchand Singh family also emerged as a business tycoon controlling jute trade.

After India’s First War of Independence (1857–58), when social and political disturbances subsided, another wave of large scale migration of Marwaris took place, and during the remaining period of 19th century, a number of Marwari business houses, small and big, had emerged. The Marwari community controlled all the major business ,social activities of a large geographical areas of the eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent. With a sizeable presence in present day Myanmar and Bangladesh, they controlled major trading and commercial activities in the regions currently comprising the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. They also had almost complete control of indigenous banking, finance and hundi. They took the hundi business to areas where the system was unknown, which included Chittagong, Khulna, Naogaon, Mymensingh, and Arakan. They competed successfully in these areas with Chettiars who were located in the region for long.

Linguistic History

Rajasthani language is evolved from Gujjar Bhakha(1100 AD — 1500 AD) or Maru-Gurjar,language spoken by the Gurjars (Gujjars) in Gujarat and Rajasthan.[2]Formal grammar of Rajasthani language was written by Jain monk and eminent scholar Hemachandra Suri in the reign of Solanki king Siddharaj Jayasinh of Anhilwara (Patan).

The community

The Marwaris name was given to people of Rajasthan by Kolkata, who migrated for trading and to do business in Kolkata. The term 'Marwari' had a geographical connotation, so there can be a Marwari Farmer, Trader, Rajput, Brahmin, and so on. Traders and farmer of could be found all over the India, they have migrated themselves in search of business.

Many people from various Marwari castes migrated to distant states for business, agriculture and later became successful. The term "Marwari" caught on as a way to refer to a businessman from Marwar. This usage is imprecise. Other castes from Rajasthan did not migrate to such an extent, so awareness about them in other states is low. Marwaris comprise the people who originally belonged to Rajasthan, particularly, areas in and around Jodhpur, Jaipur,Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Pali, Jalore, Nagaur and certain other adjoining areas.

There is a saying in Hindi -"Jahan Naa Pahunche RailGadi,Wahan Pahunche BailGadi, Aur Jahan Naa Pahunche BailGadi Wahan Pahunche Marwari"


Marwaris are predominantly Hindu However, regardless of their affiliation, Hindu and Jain Marwaris mingle with each other socially. In some rare cases they share matrimonial relations and traditional rituals together.

There are also Marwari Brahmins like dadheechs, Shrimalis, Pushkarnas and Gauds. The Jat's have largest population in Marwar also the Sainik, Kshatriyas, Rajput, Clans of Mandore. Marwar is the second largest population group in Jodhpur, Marwar. The major Mandorva Rajputs Surnames are - Kachwaha, Bhati, Parihar (Pratihara), Deora, Chauhan, Parmar (Panwar), Solanki, Tanwar, Sankhla, Rathore etc. Marwari's Marwar used to be a region of Rajasthan before independence of India, located in the central and western areas of the state and the residents of Marwar region were called Marwaris.

The Marwar region includes the central and western parts of Rajasthan. The word Marwar is considered to be derived from Sanskrit word Maruwat, the meaning of maru being 'desert'. Shekhawati region is adjacent to Haryana.


Dark green indicates Marwari speaking home area in Rajasthan, light green indicates additional dialect areas where speakers identify their language as Marwari.

Marwari is a language belonging to the Sanskritic subgroup, of the Indo-Aryan branch, of the Indo-European language family. Marwari, or Marrubhasha, as it is referred to by Marwaris, is the traditional, historical, language of the Marwari ethnicity.

The "Marwari" spoken by the marwari merchants,Farmers,social workers of the previous generation was actually the dialect of Shekhawati/Dhundhar region. Large numbers, especially in Rajasthan, still converse fluently in Marwari. Various dialects of the language are found, which vary with the speakers' areas of origin, communities etc. The language is facing extinction.


Marwari spread to many regions of India, and even to neighboring and all other countries around the globe, as they expanded their business and trade networks. Marwari are higher then baniya from UP,Bihar.Marwari donot adopt varna system.In many locales, Marwari immigrants over time (and, usually involving many generations) adopted, or blended into, the regional culture. For example, in Punjab, Marwaris adopted Punjabi, and in Gujarat, Gujarati. Significant concentrations of Marwari traders live in Kolkata in the Burrabazar area and are leading lights in business there. A large number of Marwaris are also in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad. Marwaris have founded businesses in neighboring Nepal, especially in Birganj, Biratnagar and Kathmandu.

Marwari with their business acumen,farmers have migrated across many different parts of the country, and to other countries of the world. In the eastern part of India, they are found in Kolkata, Cuttack, Asansol, Raniganj, Bankura, Siliguri, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, etc., where Marwaris are among the prominent businessmen.

Marwaris extended the reach and influence of their Indian financial and commercial networks from the 17th century through the early 19th century to Persia and Central Asia.[citation needed]


The Marwaris now constitute several social groups dispersed throughout India and Pakistan and across the globe, including many remote areas. The total population worldwide is difficult to measure and subject to secular, linguistic, cultural and other parameters of defining who is a Marwari.Now a days, marwaris have also established their business in the western districts of orissa, in Bargarh district, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, angul, rourkela,delhi,chennai and in bhubaneshwar and Cuttack also.

Marwadi have limited resources in marwad area so the spread their wings in multiple location in India , mostly involving in business of Pawn shops in regions of orissa ,Tamil Nadu etc. . The pawn shop mostly deals with giving money to poor in debts. This network has been the harbinger of micro financing. They have brought in capital and financial systems to remote villages.

Marwadis as Business Community of India

  • First-generation entrepreneurs

Most of the successful channel companies are headed by first-generation entrepreneurs. Almost 90% of the channel in Kolkata comprises Marwari business people. This community is strong in the western region and even down south in places like Chennai. Take the instance of Samit Jain of SK Trading in Ludhiana, who got into this business at the age of 19. Or that of Sanjay Jain of Computer Network in Ranchi or Rakesh Jain of Supreme Computers in Chennai. Or Sanjay Jain of Jalan Distributors in Gorakhpur, whose father and brothers were earlier engaged in the foodgrain business. Or Sarad Bawri of Lifeline Enterprises in Shillong. The list is endless. In some cases, these people were encouraged by their family to get into the IT business. In other cases, people got into the channel business envisioning it to be a great success. Arun Jalan of Jalan Infotech, Kolkata falls into this category. Though his family was into manufacturing rubber rings in Dubai, he diversified into IT, which he felt was the next big wave. And his business acumen was proved right.

  • Family values

Marwari communities lay a lot of onus on family and unity. Major business decisions are often taken after a family, especially elders, into consultation. Rakesh Jain had consulted with several of his relatives about the scope of the IT industry before getting into the business. Even today, he goes back to them whenever he wants s second opinion. "Whatever Supreme Computers is today, it is only because of the guidance from my father, and of course, support from my brother, Jitendra Jain. My father helped me to introduce many new systems and processes in business, through which we streamlined our operations and registered good growth," he points out.

Kapil Jain of Bhopal's Microworld is also indebted to his father who put him on the right path when he was wondering which business to get into. Even Sanjay Jain of Jalan Distributors recollects how his father's contacts in the community helped him start his business and get orders.

Nitesh Bhandari of Chennai's Texonic Instruments chose to join his dad's business because he would have the freedom to implement his ideas in his own fashion. "In a job, I would have to work for a fixed salary and under somebody else's instructions. Now, I am my own boss and also in a field as vibrant as IT," he says with pride.

Working in an environment where more than half your peers belong to your community can be very comfortable and profitable. To start with, you are related to a lot of your peers and therefore the chances of being gypped are minimal. Secondly, finance matters are often done through word of mouth, since there is an underlying belief that these promises will be kept.

This can also be a reason why Marwaris like to keep the business within their family. Rupesh Kedia of Jaipur's Computer Supermart feels that this can also work against the entrepreneurs. This is because they are more inclined towards their relatives, who might not deserve the position rather than trust an outsider who might be a good worker.

  • Marwari's Business popularity

What is it about Marwaris that makes them good business people? One reason could be that they are trained early on in life, on the basics of trading. JP Modi of Delhi's Modi Peripherals feels that business is in the very DNA of a Marwari man. "Even if we don't go to any business school or university, we are most likely to excel in business in general. Certain business ethics and values are given to us on a daily basis right from childhood and it all becomes a part of our lives," he notes. Motilal Jain of Hubli's Balar Intertrade too agrees with him. "Our way of thinking, our business ethics and above all, financial support to do business, gives us an upper hand as a business community," he says.

Sarad Bawri of Lifeline Enterprises feels that since Marwaris traditionally come purely from a business background, they are well versed with its various aspects. That can make a difference. "We transact business worth crores based merely on word of mouth. So people trust the community as business people, especially as payments are made on time. Our forefathers gained this goodwill and this kind of inherited knowledge helps to a great extent," he adds.

Jatan Baid of Kolkata's Eastern Comnet agrees with him and points out that customers have faith in them as they feel that a Marwari businessman will not be dishonest.

  • Successful characteristics

Almost the entire Marwari community rate themselves as very honest folk. This is what makes them successful in their chosen business fields. Modi elucidates this point with an anecdote. One night, a customer came to Modi Peripherals with Rs 40,000 and his jacket carrying that sum in Modi's office. The latter immediately went out to look for him, but could not find him. A couple of days later, the same customer walked into the shop and mentioned about the loss casually to Modi, who promptly returned it to him.

Samit Jain of SK Trading feels that Marwari businessmen are very committed to their customers and seek long-term relationships. "We have been trading for several generations now and people continue their associations with us down the ages as well," he says. Samit also feels that Marwaris are also very aggressive when it comes to business, and don't let go of any prospective opportunity that comes their way.

Working hard is another aspect about Marwaris that helps in the long run. Arun Jalan of Jalan Infotech recollects that he used to help out in his family business even when he was in college. "After college, I would reach our office by 11 o'clock and work late into the night. And I was not given an elevated platform. Instead I was made to learn all the aspects of the business, from a peon's to managing the company," he smiles.

Sanjay Jain of Computer Network pegs Marwaris' success on their aptitude to feel the pulse of the market. "This quality leads them to venture into newer areas and open up new avenues for their business," he opines. This could also be the reason why Marwaris are so enterprising by nature.

  • Stronghold in the channel

There are many reasons that can be attributed to Marwaris dominating the channel community. One is that when they got into the IT business, they had the first mover advantage. Also, the margins prevalent then were very good, which enticed them.

Sarad Bawri offers another reason, pointing out that most of the entrepreneurs in this space got into this business around the same time, probably noticing each other's success. "The younger generation back then was searching for an emerging field. This is why you find so many Marwaris in IT trading."

Jatan Baid too agrees with him and points out that the current age group of the Marwari entrepreneurs in this business is in the 40s.

Another facet that worked in the favor of Marwaris is that their strong finance background permitted them to venture into newer business domains. And these people are good at understanding whom to sell, what to sell, when to sell and what the price should be.

While being a Marwari might equip a person with some inherent gyaan, a lot depends on the person's ability to succeed in his chosen field. Says Nitesh Bhandari of Texonic Instruments, "Merely being a Marwari does not help in business. It is driven by ethics and principles, and not by religion and caste. If you are good and fair in business, any one would like to have business relationship with you."

Rakesh Jain agrees with him and notes that caste or creed doesn't have much significance in business. It is credibility and customer service that matters most.

  • Common perceptions about Marwaris

The first perception that people have about Marwaris is that they are very stingy by nature. But the people from the community themselves deny this. Nitesh states that they are definitely very strict when it comes to finance in business matters as they believe that every penny saved is a penny earned. He says, "We will give only what is required and not unnecessarily support someone. Of course, we spend a lot on charity."

Sarad jokingly says how he always ends up paying up people's bills at gatherings, as it is immediately known that Marwaris are loaded with the green stuff. "Since we are known to be rich, people come straight to us for all kinds of donations and contributions," he laughs.

Jatan points out that most people from his community do a lot of charity. Even Suresh Pansari of Rashi Peripherals points out most of the big hospitals in several cities are run by trusts set up by Marwaris. Suresh has even started a school in his native village Ramgarh as well as a rehabilitation center for cows.

JP Modi was also instrumental in setting up a girls' school in Jhunjunu in 1994, which currently has 1,300 students on its rolls. "Additionally, we have contributed towards building roads, a temple and hostel in our village. This is the best way we can stay connected to our roots," he states.

At the same time, Marwaris like to flash their money and maintain their social status. Weddings are very ostentious occasions, often a platform to people to flaunt their financial prowess. All in all, this is one community that works hard and loves to truly live life, kingsize.

Notable Marwaris

Marwaris are among the major business classes in India. According to Forbes list 2005 2% of billionaires in the world are Marwaris of rajasthan.

Marwaris are present almost all over in the world. Marwaris contribute a large account to world economy in terms of Business.

See also


  1. ^ "The dynastic art of the Kushans", John Rosenfield, p 130
  2. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri (2005). Revealing India's past: recent trends in art and archaeology. Aryan Books International. p. 227. ISBN 8173052875, ISBN 9788173052873. It is an established fact that during 10th-11th century.....Interestingly the language was known as the Gujjar Bhakha..  Unknown parameter |coauthor= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); horizontal tab character in |id= at position 5 (help)
Rank Name Net Worth (US$ bil) City Main Source Industry
1 Lakshmi Mittal 28.7 London ArcelorMittal Steel
2 Sunil Mittal 12.5 Delhi Bharti Airtel Telecommunications
3 Shashi Ruia & Ravi Ruia 12 Mumbai Essar Group Diversified
4 Kumar Mangalam Birla 11 Mumbai Aditya Birla Group Diversified
5 Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 1.10 Mumbai Rare Enterprises Investments