The entrepreneurial role of Up-country Tamils is significant among the other Tamil groups as representative of “entrepreneurial little tradition” in the Sri Lankan commercial sector. Since they commit three-fold characteristics of ethnic-entrepreneurship, which are being members of a marginal, minority and immigrant group, the study is intended to contribute to the construction of a broader discourse on the particular characteristics of Up-country Tamil entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. Multiple factors such as historical protocol, politico-economic background and cultural causes are responsible for construction of their entrepreneurial identity. The caste and kinship-based networking pattern and excessive self exploitation help them to construct the initial social capital. However, when the entrepreneur either seeks to widen the entrepreneurial capacity or when the entrepreneur is unsatisfied with the basic form of networking, he/she is required to shift from privet spaces to public spaces. In one hand it is a geographical movement from the estate sector to a public location such as a town or a bazaar. On the other hand it tends to be a modernization of traditional norms and values of the Tamil community. Therefore, this study may be a source of general understanding of a marginal social group overcomes its socio-cultural barriers in terms of entrepreneurship development; it also attempts to reveal the cultural structure of the Up-country Tamil community, their everyday needs, and the interrelations between members to achieve goals. Within this ground, this study attempts to describe significant entrepreneurial patterns of Up-country Tamil community by field research conducted in three major plantation areas in Sri Lanka.
How to Cite:
Ananda, S., 2013. Bonding to bridging: networking patterns of up-country Tamil businesses in Sri Lanka. Sabaragamuwa University Journal, 11(1), pp.109–138. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v11i1.5976