After 100 years of the arrival of the Portuguese, at the end of the 16th century, the Dutch of Holland (now the Netherlands) came to India for trading. Initially, they established forts at Pulicat and Madras (now Chennai). They also established a trading centre at Agra in the year 1663.Meanwhile the British also arrived in India. The Dutch could not withstand the competition against the British.

The Dutch pioneer in the matter of the discovery of commercial possibilities in India and the east was Huyghen van Linschoten. He was a merchant who travelled extensively within the Portuguese territories and served as secretary of the Portuguese Viceroy in India from 1583 to 1589. During this period, he was able to copy top secret Portuguese nautical maps.

The first permanent trading post of Dutch East India Company was in Indonesia. In India, they established the first factory in Masulipattanam in 1605, followed by Pulicat in 1610, Surat in 1616, Bimilipatam in 1641 and Chinsura in 1653.

Later, in 1619, they found city of Batavia, in Java, as the seat of the supreme government of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies, which had previously been at Amboyna in the Malaccas. At about the same time they discovered the coast of Australia (1606-1644); while in North America they founded the city of New Amsterdam in 1613-1626, which is known as New York now.

The climax of the Dutch East India Company was in 1669, when it was the richest private company of the world with 150 merchant ships, 40 warships and 50 thousand employees and an army of 10 thousand soldiers.

In India, the most important event was the Battle of Colachel in 1741, which was fought between the Dutch East India Company and State of Travancore army. This was a major defeat of a European power in India and marked beginning of the end of the Dutch Influence. Following the corruption and bankruptcy, the Dutch East India Company was formally dissolved in 1800. The Dutch influence from India had finished long ago but they were dominant in Indonesia.