East Indian Company
The East India Company was a Crown chartered trading company. It was owned privately but had a mandate to benefit the British State commercially and politically. First and foremost, the EIC was an agent of the Crown.
It was first Multinational Corporation in the world that pursued investment opportunities as well as territorial power. EIC employees based in India sought commercial profits for themselves, the Crown, and East India House; while they acquired Indian Territory aggressively on behalf of the Empire. In late 1700s Edmund Burke had Robert Clive, (the founder of the empire) and Warren Hastings, (India’s Governor General), brought up on impeachment charges laden with corruption issues. Though the trail failed to convict anybody.
To achieve all of these ends, the EIC’s corporate conduct was inconsistent. Sometimes, the Company complied with ethical practice in safety and financial matters. At other times it readily engaged in economic theft and bribes, or breached civil liberties and human rights. The concept of corporate social responsibility was secondary to its interests. The company was subsequently wound up under East India Company Stock Redemption Act.