ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dwijendra Tripathi (1930–2018)

Remembering India’s Foremost Business Historian

It was Dwijendra Tripathi’s pioneering contributions that demarcated the fledgling field of business history in India. His lifetime of scholarship distinguished him as an academic entrepreneur, and set the pace for future engagement in the discipline.

Through his scholarship, persistence, and dedication to task, Dwijendra Tripathi, fondly called Dwij, earned universal respect as the founder of business history in India. His 20 published books—several of them co-authored or co-edited—demarcated the field. As he wrote thoughtfully and extensively of business entrepreneurs, he found his own defining niche as an academic entrepreneur in a career in research, teaching, and service, mostly at the Indian Institute of Management–Ahmedabad (IIM–A), where he served from 1964 to 1990. For six years afterwards, at the Entrepreneurial Development Institute, also in Ahmedabad, he taught the children of business entrepreneurs how best to proceed with their family legacies.

Among Tripathi’s early books were histories of specific firms: Larsen and Toubro and, more fully, the Bank of Baroda. In his introduction to Towards a New Frontier: History of the Bank of Baroda (1985)—co-authored with Priti Misra—he lays out his lifelong vision of applying the wisdom of the past to the needs and opportunities of the present. He also makes clear the centrality of the human side of business practices.

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