Before the beginning of the formal rule of the Britishers in India, there was a background of Indo-European economic relationship. The British East India Company sometimes referred to as "John Company", was a Joint-Stock Company established in 1600, as The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies.
During this time, other trading companies, established by the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Danish were similarly expanding in the region. The British Company gained footing in India in 1612 after Mughal emperor Jahangir granted the rights to establish a factory (a trading post) in Surat to Sir Thomas Roe, a representative diplomat of Queen Elizabeth Ist of England.
The formal British rule in India is understood to have commenced in 1757, after the Battle of Plassey, when the Nawab of Bengal surrendered his dominions to the British East India Company. Henceforth the British Company transformed from a commercial trading venture to a political entity which virtually ruled India.
Now it acquired auxiliary governmental and military functions, until its dissolution in 1858 when, consequent to the Government of India Act 1858, the British government assumed the task of directly administering India.