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The emergence of a South Asian business elite in the United Kingdom

  • Anuradha Basu
Articles

Abstract

This article explores the emergence of a South Asian business elite in Britain based on primary research. It suggests that today's South Asian business elites possess the initial socioeconomic resources that are advantageous for business expansion. In addition, they have broken out of the confines of their local ethnic community to expand their business operations. They no longer rely heavily on co-ethnic labour or exclusively serve their own community's needs. Even those who started out in small-scale retailing have now diversified into more profitable businesses. These findings suggest that British Asian business elites lose some of their “ethnic” features when they own big businesses. Many strive to be regarded as British rather than Asian or ethnic entrepreneurs because they believe that integration is necessary for business success in Britain. Nevertheless, they have forged international business links and use their knowledge of different countries and cultures as leverage.

Key words

Business elite ethnic minority business entrepreneurship South Asian strategies 

Résumé

L'auteur examine l'émergence d'une élite de gens d'affaires sud-asiatiques en Grande-Bretagne à partir de renseignements obtenus de source directe. Il laisse entendre que les élites de gens d'affaires sud-asiatiques d'aujourd'hui possèdent les ressources sociales et économiques initiales qui sont avantageuses à l'expansion de leurs affaires. En outre, ils ont dépassé les limites de leur communauté ethnique locale pour étendre leurs opérations. Ils ne comptent plus uniquement sur la main-d'œuvre co-ethnique ou ne répondent plus exclusivement aux besoins de leur propre communauté. Même ceux qui ont commencé dans de petits commerces se sont maintenant diversifiés dans des entreprises plus profitables. Ces résultats laissent entendre que les élites de gens d'affaires britannico-asiatiques perdent certaines de leurs caractéristiques ethniques quand ils possèdent de grandes entreprises. Beaucoup cherchent à se faire considérer comme des entrepreneurs britanniques plutôt que comme des entrepreneurs asiatiques ou ethniques parce qu'ils croient que l'intégration est nécessaire à leur réussite en Grande-Bretagne. Néanmoins, ils ont établi des liens d'affaires internationaux et utilisent leur connaissance de différents pays et cultures comme levier.

Mots-clefs

élite de gens d'affaires entreprise de minorité ethnique entrepreneuriat Asie du Sud stratégies 

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Copyright information

© Springer SBM 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anuradha Basu
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

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