guilds in ancient india

Ancient Indian Economy Part III – Guilds in Ancient Bharata

Are we aware that corporate bodies have a hoary history in India? These corporate groups of merchants and artisans following a common profession have played a very active role in the economic set up of ancient India. The whole manufacturing sector and trade networks were controlled by these guilds.  In English they are known as mercantile guilds and the Sanskrit and Pālī equivalents of this term are śreṇī, nigama, gaṇa, saṁgha and vrāta. Apart from economic functions, these guilds were also involved in making acts of charity to religious institutions like Buddhist Monasteries.