In the late 19th century India was an agricultural society. Jute, raw cotton and tea and coffee were exported to Britain. In return textiles and other manufactured goods were imported from there. The Indian textile industry could not compete with cheap, mass produced British goods. However in the early 20th century Indian industries began to develop. It was still an overwhelmingly agricultural country but it was just beginning to change.
The second half of the 19th century saw the emergence of a few modern industries in India.
Of these, mostly were owned and controlled by British companies. Machine industries began in the second half of the 19th century. Of these, the most important ones were the cotton and jute industry. Textile industry made a fast progress ranking fourth in the world’s leading textile producers by the First World War. Tea in the early years of the 20th century ranked one in the world tea market. Under the Swadeshi movement and the First World War modern industries developed in the early 20th century.