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East India Company coming to India again: report

world Updated: Feb 08, 2010 21:28 IST

East India Company, whose forces once ruled over much of India, is coming to India again but under Indian ownership this time around, a British newspaper reported Monday.

Indian entrepreneur Sanjiv Mehta, who has bought all the shares in the company, will launch the East India Company's store in the upmarket Mayfair neighbourhood of London in the spring, with plans to open a second by the year-end, The Times reported.

This will be followed by stores in India and the Middle East, with concessions in Japanese department stores and franchises in Russia, and finally the US.

The stores will sell teas, coffee and spices - in keeping with the company's 400-year history - but also chocolates, furniture, leather goods, fabrics, homewares, fruit pickles and sushi among 500 planned lines.

“In my lifetime I could not possibly create a brand like this. Nobody could,” Mehta told The Times.

“This company has huge potential. What makes this more special is that I am Indian, so there is a huge feeling of redemption for me. It is buying back a company that owned India.

“It would be nice to go back to my motherland as the owner. It is very personal to me,” said Mehta, who has invested 10 million pounds into developing the company with the help of wealthy investors.