Initially the company struggled in the spice trade due to the competition from the already well established Dutch East India Company. The company opened a factory (trading post) in Bantam on the first voyage and imports of pepper from Java were an important part of the company's trade for twenty years. The factory in Bantam was closed in 1683. During this time ships belonging to the company arriving in India docked at Surat, which was established as a trade transit point in 1608. In the next two years, the company built its factory in the town of Machilipatnam on the Coromandal Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The high profits reported by the company after landing in India initially prompted King James I to grant subsidiary licenses to other trading companies in England.
But in 1609 he renewed the charter given to the company for an indefinite period, including a clause which specified that the charter would cease to be in force if the trade turned unprofitable for three consecutive years. The company was led by one Governor and 24 directors . They were appointed by, and reported to, the court of proprietors. The court of Directors had ten committees reporting to it.