James Crabtree is a geopolitical analyst and author, with extensive experience living and working in Asia. His book “The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age”, was named an Amazon book of the year and short-listed as FT / McKinsey business book of the year. He is a distinguished visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously the Singapore-based Executive Director of the Institute of International Strategic Studies in Asia, where he led the organisation of the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit, the region’s most important annual meeting of security and defence leaders. He was also an Associate Professor in Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School, Asia’s leading school of public policy, where he taught a number of courses relating to economic and policy change.

James spent ten years as a journalist and foreign correspondent, notably for the Financial Times, where he was both Mumbai Bureau Chief and Comment Editor. He is currently a columnist for Foreign Policy, and writes for publications ranging from the FT and Straits Times to The New York Times, the Guardian and Wired. He previously worked as a senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, under Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. He has worked for various think tanks in London and Washington DC, and spent a number of years living in America, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is married, has two children, and three cats.


In 2018, the Indian business newspaper Mint ran a profile about The Billionaire Raj. You can read that here.

While in India, I wrote a piece for the Financial Times about our family life in Mumbai. You can read that here. Or here.

Also while in India, I wrote another piece about the difficulties of moving our two Maine Coon cats, Eric and Leonard, between countries. You can read that here.

Finally, I once filmed a bit-part role in the Bollywood movie Kick, starring Salman Khan. My part sadly ended up on the cutting room floor, but I still wrote about the filming experience here.