In 1498, Vasco Da Gama; a portugal, came to India through a sea route and reached Calicut to buy spices. He wanted to sell those spice in his country and earn money. The spices could easily get sold in Europe as spices were used to preserve the food in Europe.
Yay! I have reached India!
The local ruler received him and gave him many privileges. After staying in India for three months, Vasco da Gama went back with a rich cargo which he sold in the European market at a high cost. The cargo consisted of spices like cinnamon and pepper. It also inclued indigo, sugar, silk, cotton textiles, handicrafts etc.
Vasco da Gama came back to India for the second time in 1501 AD. This time, he set up a trading factory in the south. By the end of the 16 century, the Portugal traders defeated the local rulers and captured Goa, Daman and Diu.
These events attracted attention of other European trading companies. They started rushing to Asia to set-up their own trading posts. Though the primary reason was trade, slowly, the Europeans got more interested in capturing Indian territories. The British were one of these looking for money and action.
The British East India Company was formed in 1600 as per an order by Queen Elizabeth in 1599. The British government had no right of controlling the company and they shared no direct link.
The britishers landed in India on August 24, 1608, at the port of Surat.