In India, industrialization started when the country gained freedom in 1947. The first cities that became industry or business oriented were Mumbai, Kolkata, followed by Ahmedabad and Chennai. Pune was a laid back city at that time, known fondly as 'pensioner's paradise’. It was the seat of education and the cultural capital of Maharashtra. In the pre-independence days, Pune was a nationalist hub. Many stalwart politicians were either born in Pune district or were educated in the colleges that dotted Pune. However, it had remained economically stagnant as it was not industrialized. Indeed, it has earned the sobriquet ‘pensioner’s paradise’ as there were hardly any industrial enterprises in the city. People preferred Pune to settle down because of the easygoing life it had. Salubrious climate (sadly not true anymore), proximity to Pune and excellent connectivity by rail, road and air, all contributed to the popularity of the city. Traditionally, the people of Pune were frugal and austere, and it resulted in a lacklustre economic growth. Pune slowly began to grow economically in the late 1960s. The most important factors that contributed to the rising growth of Pune were the defence establishments that were started by the central government and the various research institutes that were started in Pune. However, that alone was not the reason Pune has prospered to what it is today. True, the defence establishments gave an impetus to Pune’s growth, but they were limited in the employment scope. As a government organization, they could provide employment to only so many people.
The Rise of Private Sectors in Pune
The true growth of Pune came with the setting up of various industries in the automobile sector. Stalwart business houses like the Tata’s and Bajaj’s set up their manufacturing units in Pune MIDC, providing the much needed impetus the city needed. One of the important points to remember is that these industries brought with them people with different skill-sets, necessitated by the nature of the industry. This is turn ensured that Pune attracted a large number of personnel from various regions from India, and even from abroad. All these people needed accommodation, either as permanent residence (people migrating to Pune from elsewhere in India) or on a temporary basis for the foreigners. This in turn propelled the growth of the construction industry and the hotel industry in Pune. In addition, as a cascading effect, Pune attracted other automobile manufacturers from different parts of not only India but the world. This resulted in Pune earning reputation as the 'Detroit of India.' The rise of the private sector, with the need for specialized skills, also gave a boost to the educational sector. The traditional streams of education for which Pune was famous, like history, anthropology, linguistics and pure science was not enough to train the personnel required for ne industries. The need for specialized, technical, professional and managerial staff called for new kinds of training institutes. This not only increased employment opportunities, but also attracted students from other parts of the country. In turn, this spurred the growth of the food industry in Pune.
The Growth of Pune
As more and more industries came to Pune, it attracted more talent and more educational institutes came up to train these people. The growth of educational sector also gave rise to one of the most important industries in Pune today – the IT sector. IT requires specific skills to develop programs. Importantly, the technology changes rapidly. What is 'in' today becomes obsolete today. The presence of various teaching and training institutes in Pune ensure that there is no dearth of skilled labour, be it in any field. Since the government of India encouraged the IT industry as well, the sector has grown by leaps and bounds in Pune. Infosys, the darling of the share market and one of the best known IT corporate in India, was founded at Pune in 1981. Compared to cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc. land was relatively cheap in Pune till a few years back. This encouraged the state governemtn to establish IT clusters in and around the city. The coming up of Software Technology Parks of India, and the varied IT parks (the most prominent being the one at Hinjewadi, which is being developed in phases), has proved extremely beneficial for Pune. On the IT map in India, Pune stands third in software development, after Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It registered the highest growth in India in IT and ITeS for the year 2017-2018. A couple of other reasons have contributed to the economic growth of Pune – its proximity to Mumbai and the scope for construction development along all the peripheries of Pune. Unlike Mumbai, which can grow only vertically due to geographical constraints, Pune has ample scope to expand in almost all directions. This resulted in more opportunities as commuting time is very less compared to Mumbai.
The Need for Consultants and Specialists
As Pune grows, the economic consequences are fairly obvious. As the median income of Puneites rises, it provides them a margin for spending on items of consumption not thought of earlier. The continued development of Pune has naturally created a demand for other professional services. Doctors, chartered accountants, lawyers, GST consultants, tax consultants, software consultants and all other professionals find an increasing demand for their services. Since many foreign companies have chosen Pune as one of their operational base, the need for financial consultants, tax consultants, GST consultants and in general the demand for accounting services is on the rise in Pune. Be it any sector – the automobile, industry, education or IT, everyone needs consultants especially in finance. Since accounting is very critical to the success of a business, the demand for established consultants in this field is steadily on the rise in Pune.
Pune – the Future
The growth in the IT sector bought a sea change in Pune. Since the majority of the sector receives revenues in foreign currency, they can afford to spend more. This spending power has resulted in an impetus for the construction business in Pune. Professionals from the lesser developed areas of Maharashtra and India find Pune a suitable choice for the salubrious climate and inexpensive accommodation as compared to Pune. As the IT industry matures, the future of Pune looks safe for years to come.