As well as the English East India Company, there were other East India Companies in other European countries, such as the Netherlands, France and Sweden. Adventurers from Portugal, Spain and The Netherlands had already established trading agreements with the East Indies before the English arrived. There were also Indian and Chinese traders there.
Fights frequently broke out between different competitive traders. This is why James Lancaster's ships had so many cannons. Traders often stole from their rivals - they were a long way from their homes and there was nothing to stop them from breaking the law.