The Italian merchants had recognized warehouses (factories) in Cairo and Alexandria to carry on trade and commerce. Following this instance the Portuguese, too, founded factories on the coastal regions of India and certain other places in Asia. Factory could be defined as a commercial organization having an autonomous subsistence set up within the country with which another country had commercial relations. Each factory had an officer called factor who was assisted through a number of persons appointed through the Portuguese king. He was the agent of the Crown to promote economic, financial, and administrative activities of all sorts. In all situations Portuguese national interests were paramount thoughts. Factories also required protection from hostile elements. So, to consolidate and strengthen their power the Portuguese also attempted to fortify their factories.