"How did communities govern themselves? All stable professional relationships demand a dispute-settlement system carrying legitimacy. In the case of Indian merchants we see the play of two intermeshed systems – the formal panchayat or personal court, and a moral code."
"Historical scholarship on medieval south India (twelfth to fourteenth centuries) shows that trading communities like the Ayyavole and Nailadesi displayed a great deal of unity and organisation. The presence of a samaya, or conventions about code of conduct and regulatory rules, has been noted. Merchants distinguished by locality, kin group, and community followed their own codes of conduct, known in the scriptures as achara or practices, which differed according to particular groups…"
(Tirthankar Roy in 'Company of Kinsmen,' p. 93 OUP)