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The Diversity of the Top 100 Cities of India

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There are very high levels of diversity in India in almost all spheres of our lives. And the same is true for our cities. So much so that it is difficult to identify commonalities and patterns......

There are very high levels of diversity in India in almost all spheres of our lives. And the same is true for our cities. So much so that it is difficult to identify commonalities and patterns such that we can easily categorize and fit cities in.
For the researcher interested in neatly categorizing different cities in different groups, this poses a problem, as the only categorization that will work is related to size. For the manager interested in a common approach for her marketing efforts across cities, this poses an even larger problem. It will be difficult to imagine a common strategy for Mumbai and Surat – both among the 10 largest markets in India and only a few hundred kilometers away. This diversity exists not only between cities, but also within cities.
Whichever way we see it, India is a heterogeneous country with cities that are also heterogeneous. An appreciation of this heterogeneity needs to be built-in as an integral part of our understanding of cities.
Another aspect of Indian cities needs to be appreciated. No one single city dominates any large sphere – true Mumbai dominates the financial sector, Delhi the political ‘sector’, but there is little else. Almost as many movies are made out of Chennai as in Mumbai, the automobile sector is spread around Pune, Delhi, Chennai and many other cities. And though many of the large IT companies are headquartered in Bangalore, cities such as Pune, Hyderabad are rapidly catching up, not to mention the high levels of IT activity in Mumbai and Delhi regions. Whether it is an economic activity, or any other aspect of life, India is fortunate to have a large number of diverse and dynamic cities.
Delhi and Mumbai do not dominate India as much as, say, Mexico City dominates Mexico, or Sao Paolo dominates Brazil. The top 100 largest cities only account for roughly 50 to 60 percent of the overall market. So as long as we are thinking of the Indian middle class, or those at the bottom of the pyramid, there is a large chunk spread much more finely in the rest of the 5000 odd cities in India. These masses may not necessarily be from the top educational institutes of India, most may not be English speaking – but many of the highly educated and high income earners are not necessarily only in the top 100 cities.
But the glass is half full. These top 100 cities do contain the largest chunk of the Indian urban population and market. For those interested in covering the bulk of India’s urban population and market, concentrating on these 100 cities can yield rapid results provided enough flexibility exists in their strategies to account for the heterogeneity.

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  • 1. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 The Diversity of the Top 100 Cities of India Laveesh Bhandari 1. Background Cities are 24-hour market places where a large group of people reside and trade. The high concentration of people brings with it a variety of tastes, preferences, wants, resources, products and services. People from within the city and outside interact, thereby generating the necessary mass for trade to occur. And so markets and cities are two sides of the same coin. The history of great civilizations is essentially the history of great cities. There is a direct relationship between human progress and dynamic and prosperous cities. India is well endowed with cities spread more or less evenly across the country. Like in other countries, cities in India tend to be located in areas with adequate water and on trade routes. And like in other countries, its cities also contain the bulk of the economic wealth. However, unlike in other countries, modern India does not know much about its cities. Apart from decadal reports from the Census of India, little information is available on cities. The situation is worse where information on the extent of economic and market activity is concerned. However, information from various sources can be put together, trends analyzed, matched with other sources, and analyzed to gain some important insights into cities. The unit for defining a rural area is the “village” while urban areas are classified as either a ‘Town’ or ‘City’. The defining character of a village is its agriculture-based economy. The Census of India lists about 638 thousand villages in the country, though some of these are uninhabited. The definition of a town varies, but the most commonly used in India is that of the Census of India. It considers a town to be that location which has (i) a minimum population of 5,000 (ii) at least 75 per cent of the male working population engaged in non- agricultural pursuits, and (iii) a density of population of at least 400 per square kilometer (1,000 per square mile). Cities are simply larger towns, as per the Census definition towns with a population of greater than 100,000 are cities. There were 5180 cities in 2001. However, there are many large villages that could be considered to be towns but are not for many reasons. Take for instance the 10,000-population benchmark. There were about 1300 towns with a population less than 10,000 in 2001. And there were almost 4000 villages with a population greater than 10,000 in the same year. Urban areas are governed in different ways. Municipalities, Municipal Coporations, Cantonment Boards, Notified Town Area Committee, Nagar Panchayats are some urban local governing bodies (ULBs) but not the only ones. Many times what we consider to be the same city is covered by different ULBs. Delhi for instance has the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Municipal Corporation. On the other hand the districts of Mumbai and Suburban Mumbai have the same ULB overseeing their functioning - The Brihanmumbai I
  • 2. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Municipal Corporation. In the case of Hyderabad, the ULB oversees the urban area in the whole of Hyderabad district and also some portion of urban areas in Rangareddi. Table 1: Population Concentrations in India Unit Population Interval Number Village <1,000 persons 394,128 Village 1,000-4,999 persons 221,040 Village 5,000-9,999 persons 15,058 Village 10,000 or more persons 3,976 Town <5,000 persons 238 Town 5,000-10,000 persons 1,058 Town 10,000-50,000 persons 2,945 Town 50,000-1,00,000 persons 498 Cities 100,000 or more persons 422 Cities 1,000,000 or more persons 27 UAs 1,000,000 or more persons 35 Source: Census of India 2001 In addition, information at the city level is rarely available at the ULB level. ULBs themselves tend to be poorly run across most of India and are not known for their data and information provision abilities. As a consequence, it becomes quite difficult to categorize, compare and analyze cities. After all, what seems to be a simple enough entity, and intuitively quite apparent as a distinct unit, is not necessarily so administratively. The Census of India has tried to resolve this by coming out with the concept of an ‘Urban Agglomeration’ or UA. The UA is a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining urban outgrowths (OGs) or two or more physically contiguous towns together. It has brought out data for the 35 largest UAs in India as of 2001 (up from 23 in 1991). For the purpose of delineation of Urban Agglomerations (UAs) during Census of India 2001, following criteria were taken as pre-requisites: a) The core town or at least one of the constituent towns of an urban agglomeration should necessarily be a statutory town, and b) The total population of all the constituents (i.e., towns and outgrowths) of an Urban Agglomeration should not be less than 20,000 as per the 1991 Census. We consider this to be significant improvement over the past. However, even here there is a problem. The first has to do with limiting the data to the largest 35 UAs. There are many more such UAs across the country and for both policy and commercial purposes, no longer II
  • 3. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 can one limit analysis to only the top 35 urban areas. There are many more UAs, 384 to be precise. However, data on these 384 UAs are not available. The second has to do with other data sources. Apart from the Census, no other urban data is available at the UA level. If the other aggregator-providers of information such as the Reserve Bank of India, Telecom Regulatory Authority, and the various organs of the Central and State governments were to synchronize their efforts with the Census, the quality of analysis of urban India would improve dramatically. For the time being however, we have to work with what is available. To avoid confusion between these definitional differences, and also due the fuzziness of city boundaries, many prefer to use the definition “urban area in a district” as a good enough working definition when studying the larger cities. In most districts where the larger cities are located there is only one major city and a few smaller cities. But the latter are more or less small sub-urban branches of the single large city. For instance, in 9 of every 10 cities that we study, the district is identified so much with the largest city, that the district has the same name as the city.1 We therefore use this as the unit of analysis for the topmost 100 cities in India. However, in some cases we need to aggregate some districts for varying reasons. These and other related issues are discussed next. 2. Topmost Cities in India Note that we do not use the term ‘largest’ but use ‘topmost’ instead. Some sub-urban locations have become important locations on India’s urban landscape. Some of these are still not among the largest in terms of their overall market size or population. But they are important centers in their own right. Gurgaon, Thane and Salt Lake are only some examples. Many think of large cities as those that have a larger population. Since we consider cities as markets, where those living inside or outside interact, the total market size is a better measure of the importance of a city. But the term ‘topmost’ also incorporates other characteristics. If our focus is on where to locate our offices, then other issues become more important, such as presence of government, and also good quality infrastructure. By these criteria all state capitals should be included. If on the other hand, we need to better understand which are the most important emerging urban locations, then we also need to include emerging population concentrations around large cities. We identify the top 100 cities of India in the following manner. First, the top 100 urban areas of districts were sorted on the basis of their market sizes. Next all the capitals of States and Union Territories were substituted at the cost of those cities with the smallest market sizes. In most cases the states and UTs were already among the top 100 cities. Last, the important urban areas in the vicinity of the large metros were identified, and these were also included at the cost of the smallest cities as per the market size. 1 In districts where large cities are not present, there tends to be one city that dominates and also tends to be the district headquarters. III
  • 4. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Indeed there are many different ways by which cities can be sorted and chosen. This is only one way of doing so. But what this does ensure is that cities that are important from the viewpoint of public governance (capitals), private governance (sub-urban location of corporate offices) and economic status (market size), are all included. 3. Categorizing the Top Cities We consider the top cities as those that are important from the point of view of market size and public or private governance. But within this set of top 100 urban areas there exists vast diversity. The market size of Kavaratti in Lakhshadweep would be the size of a small neighborhood in Delhi for instance. The population of Mumbai surpasses that of many states of India. Categorization helps in better benchmarking cities against each other. However, categorization can be done in many different ways, and it is not very clear what is the best way of doing so. As mentioned, we take markets as being central to the concept of a city and therefore use market size as the key unit for categorization. However, there are other considerations as well. These are discussed below under each of the 4 major classes of cities. Alpha Cities – The Elite Club of 10 The alpha cities are the elite cities of India. They are the elite not only because of their market size but because of the important role they play in all aspects of human endeavor. Among the most important cities of modern India, first, there was Calcutta – the political, cultural, educational, and economic capital of British India. Then came Bombay. Delhi slowly regained its lost glory after the British moved in, and Chennai steadily gained in stature. At the time of Independence these four were the elite cities of India. Sometime during the seventies, Bangalore and Ahmedabad also entered common acceptance as being among the driving forces of modern India. Eighties and nineties have seen the emergence of Pune and Hyderabad into this select club. And the 2000s are pointing towards Surat and Coimbatore. Both have strong economies, have better governance than most other Indian cities, are located between other major centers, and are well connected. But most important, they have by their example shown how the government and citizens can together turn adversity into an advantage and bring about revolutionary changes in short spans of time.2 2 The ‘city’ of Delhi is spread over 9 districts and is run by three important ULBs – the DMC, NDMC, and the Delhi Cantonment. We aggregated all and consider urban areas in the Union Territory of Delhi to be a single ‘city’. The city of Mumbai is spread over two districts, Mumbai, and Mumbai (Suburban) and is run by a single ULB – the BMC. We consider this to be a single city. Note that many may consider areas such as Dombivli (in Thane district) and Navi Mumbai to be parts of Mumbai. We however include them as sibling cities of Mumbai. Chennai itself is simpler to handle and urban areas in Chennai district are included. Hyderabad and its twin city of Secundrabad (both in Hyderabad district) are taken as one, following common practice currently. A small part of Rangareddi district is also overseen by the Hyderabad Municipal Coporation, however, we do not include this part in Hyderabad. Kolkata defies categorization in more ways than one! Kolkata district shares its borders with Haora and North and South 24 Parganas. Areas such as Alipur are not in Kolkata district but in 24 Parganas. Salt Lake City and Dum Dum are in North 24 Parganas as well and have their own ULBs. And there are many IV
  • 5. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Beta Cities – On the Threshold These are the cities that can be. Indeed some among them will become elite cities eventually. Many of these cities are state capitals such as Jaipur and Lucknow, benefiting from better infrastructure and public services. Some such as Indore have been threatening to break into the big league for many years, but never quite managed it. Some others such as Kanpur have somehow lost their way. But whatever be their current status, these are among the largest urban markets and can at anytime break into the elite club the way Surat and Coimbatore have. Another group of urban areas are already very large markets, some being even larger than the smaller alpha cities. But we insist on retaining them in the beta club for a simple reason – they are not technically a single city, rather a collection of smaller cities clustered around each other and highly dependent on a neighbouring elite city. Three such sibling urban areas are: Mumbai’s sibling urban centers in Thane district (containing cities such as Dombivli, • Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar and Virar) Kolkata’s sibling urban centers in North 24 Parganas (containing cities such as • Baranagar, Barasat, Dum Dum, Kamarhati, Panihati and including Salt Lake City) Chennai’s sibling urban centers in Thiruvallur district (containing cities such as • Ambattur, Avadi and Tiruvottiyur) Gamma Cities – Upcoming Cities Goa, Vijaywada, and Thiruvananthapuram are some examples of these cities that, either in recent years, or sometime in the past have come onto their own. These are important regional or state centers of economic activity. They are among the top fifty urban centers in the country. As they progress they will create opportunities for citizens living in them and in surrounding areas. Delta Cities – Budding Centers This is a large group of 50 cities that are budding, or have the potential to turn into, into much larger centers. Many are steadily gaining the necessary scales in terms of population and market size. Capitals of states and UTs, such as Gandhinagar, Srinagar and Shillong, centers that are siblings of larger cities such as Gurgaon and Noida, industrial centers such as Durg- Bhilai and Bokaro, historically important cities such as Udaipur and Mysore, large emerging such cities in the vicinity of Kolkata main, that have their own independent ULB that is distinct from Kolkata’s MC. Moreover, unlike in the case of Delhi and Mumbai, the character and culture of many of these urban areas is highly different from that of Kolkata main. We therefore follow the administrative principal and keep only Kolkata district to define Kolkata proper. Only the urban areas of Bangalore, Pune, Surat and Coimbatore have been taken in our definition of these cities. V
  • 6. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm www.indicus.net Laveesh Bhandari., Indicus Analytics, 2006 centers such as Jamnagar, religious cities such as Varanasi and Ajmer, are all included in this set. VI
  • 7. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Table 2: Top 100 Cities in India (In Alphabetical order within each group) Top 10 Ahmadabad Bangalore Chennai Coimbatore Delhi Hyderabad Kolkata Mumbai Pune Surat Next 20 Asansol Bhopal Faridabad Indore Jaipur Jamshedpur Kancheepuram Kanniyakumari Kanpur Kochi Lucknow Ludhiana Madurai Nagpur Patna Salem North 24 Parganas(Urban Thane (Urban Areas) Thiruvallur (Urban Areas) Vadodara areas) Next 20 Amritsar Aurangabad Chandigarh Dhanbad Ghaziabad Goa Guwahati Haora Hugli Jabalpur Jalandhar Kolhapur Nashik Rajkot Rangareddi Thiruvananthapuram Tiruchirappalli Vellore Vijayawada Visakhapatanam Next 50 Agartala Agra Aizawl Ajmer South 24 Parganas(Urb. Areas) Allahabad Anantapur Bareilly Bhavnagar Bhubaneshwar Bokaro Cuttack Daman Dehradun Durg-Bhilai Gandhinagar Gangtok Guntur Gurgaon Gwalior Imphal Itanagar Jamnagar Jodhpur Kannur Kavaratti Kohima Kota Kozhikode Mangalore Meerut Moradabad Mysore Noida Patiala Pondicherry Port Blair Raipur Ranchi Raurkela Rupnagar Shillong Shimla Silvassa Solapur Srinagar Thanjavur Thrissur Udaipur Varanasi VI
  • 8. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 4. Importance of 100 Top Cities in Total Urban India How important are these largest 100 cities? Consider the table below. Broadly, the top 100 cities account for about 58 percent of the total urban population of 331 million as of 2006. They account for 54 percent of the 244 million urban literates. Income levels tend to be higher in the larger cities – they account for almost three fifths of the total household income, savings, and expenditures. Table 3: Share of Top 100 Cities in India’s Urban Economy, 2006 Cities Share of Share of Share of Share of Share of Share of Share of Population Literates Household Household Household Commercial Commercial Income Savings ExpendituresBank Deposits Bank Credit Top 10 20% 21% 25% 25% 25% 53% 66% Top 30 36% 37% 42% 42% 43% 63% 74% Top 50 45% 47% 53% 52% 53% 69% 79% Top 70 52% 53% 59% 59% 60% 74% 82% Top 100 58% 59% 65% 65% 65% 79% 86% All Urban Locations (in million) 331 244 Rs. 16,488,672 Rs. 5,076,676 Rs. 11,411,996 Rs. 15,223,750 Rs. 10,389,797 Source: Indicus Estimates, City Skyline of India 2006 Within these 100 cities, the top 50 account for 45 percent of the urban population, and half the incomes, savings, expenditures, and assets. They also tend to account for a large share of the urban commercial bank deposits and credit – about 70 to 80 percent. The top 30 cities account for more than half of all urban credits and deposits. This is not really surprising. Larger cities do tend to have greater concentration of economic activities. And even some residing in surrounding areas tend to depend upon the city. However, this should not be interpreted as larger cities being more dynamic and growing more rapidly than smaller cities. Based on data from credit and deposit growth as well as increases in population, we find a more complex pattern. The table below presents figures that are indicative in nature. The figures in each cell represent the median of the city wise growth rates within each group. In larger cities, deposits are growing more rapidly. However credit growth in very small cities is expanding at a higher rate as well. Expected market size growth is also not necessarily weighed only among the largest cities. Be that as it may, the largest 100 cities do tend to have a greater share of all measures of economic activity than their population would warrant. This is also reflected in the distribution of households across socio-economic characteristics and income distribution. VII
  • 9. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Table 4: Growth in Top 100 Cities Cities Median of Annual Median of Annual Median of Annual Median of Annual % Growth in % Growth in % Growth in % Growth in Population (in Credit Deposits Market Size 1990s) (Expected) (in 2000s) (in 2000s) Top 10 3.0 17 13 8.2 Top 30 3.1 15 11 7.0 Top 50 3.1 15 10 6.1 Top 75 3.0 16 9 6.0 Top 100 2.9 16 10 6.3 All Urban Locations 2.6 18 9 5.1 Source: Indicus Estimates, City Skyline of India 2006 Table 5: Share of Households by Socio-Economic Class (SEC)3 and Annual Household Income (AHI) Socio-Economic Class Annual Household Income All Households (Share of Total Households) (Share of Total Households) Cities Sec A Sec B Sec C Sec D Sec E >300k 150k-30 75k-150 <75k 0k k Top 10 28% 27% 23% 18% 18% 25% 23% 22% 11% 22% Top 30 45% 42% 39% 34% 35% 44% 40% 36% 23% 38% Top 50 54% 52% 49% 43% 46% 54% 50% 46% 32% 48% Top 75 60% 57% 55% 49% 52% 61% 57% 51% 35% 54% Top 100 66% 63% 61% 55% 58% 67% 62% 57% 43% 59% All Urban Locations (in ‘000s) 5,862 11,542 15,997 16,760 144,85 14,722 25,251 16,873 7,851 64,699 Source: Indicus Estimates, City Skyline of India 2006 The top 50 cities have about 54% of the SEC A households and 54% of all the urban households earning greater than Rs. 300,000 annually. The next fifty add merely another 12 3 The Socio-economic Classification is a commonly used classification of households. The SEC classification is based on a ranking of occupation and education characteristics of the head of the households. SEC A for instance consists of households where the head has highest levels of education and is in an occupation typically associated with high incomes. SEC E households on the other hand have heads who have low or no formal education and are typically in non-skilled occupations. VIII
  • 10. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 odd percent. More than the SEC characteristics it is income that shows greater variations. We find that the low-income groups are mostly in smaller cities. If on the other hand we were to add income breakups greater than Rs. 6,00,000 or Rs. 12,00,000 chances are the top 100 cities would have a significantly higher share. 5. The Character of the Top Cities Market size and demography are only two aspects of a city. The presence of certain minimum infrastructure may define a city, but what is more important is the quality of that infrastructure and services that go on top of it. Potholed roads, water supply mechanisms that work only once every few hours or even days, electricity that is characterized more by its absence than availability, a public transport system that is so poor that few use it in most cities, taxi and auto-wallahs whose prices change depending upon the whims of the drivers, parks that are dumping grounds for trash and resting place for cattle, drains characterized by stagnant water through the year and overflows in monsoons. The list is long. But it is not that all cities are alike. And even in those cities where these problems exist people have found a way around them. Storage of water in overhead tanks, booster pumps, tube wells, inverters and generators, private transport, septic tanks, etc. are only some of the private solutions to public inefficiencies. However, these services are costly. Depending upon the economic abilities of the household, they may or may not be able to benefit from these private solutions. Table 6: Availability of Public facilities Cities Median of % Households Median of Annual % Electrified Households Having Safe Drinking Water Top 10 95% 89% Top 30 91% 78% Top 50 91% 78% Top 75 90% 75% Top 100 90% 77% Source: Census of India 2001 But living in a city is not only about infrastructure; it is also about pollution levels, temperature and temperature variations, rain, heath care and education facilities, and so on. A range of factors affects lifestyles of those living in a city. But secondary data sometimes do not reflect the true conditions of a city. For this purpose a survey of about 10,000 Internet users across 50 cities was conducted, the results for the Top 10 are reported below. Perceptions of the better off reveal a lot about the conditions of cities. This is so, as the poorest sections face poor conditions across the country, and therefore there is little variation in that segment. Though this was not a representative survey it does provide a good glimpse of life in various cities. IX
  • 11. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Table 7: Internet users Perceptions in Top 10 Cities Cities Frequency of % Reporting Frequency of % of Time Health water supply having electricity having to Facilities Inverter/ break-downs Haggle with compared to Generator per day Taxi/Auto/Ric other cities k.-wallah Ahmadabad Twice a day < 25% No Power cut < 25% Much better Bangalore Once in 2 day < 25% <1 hour < 25% Much better Chennai Once a day < 25% <1 hour < 25% Much better Coimbatore Once in 2 day < 25% <1 hour < 25% Much better Delhi Twice a day 50 to 75% 1 to 2 hours 75 to 100% Much better Hyderabad Once in 2 day < 25% <1 hour < 25% Much better Kolkata Twice a day < 25% <1 hour < 25% Somewhat worse Mumbai Once a day < 25% No Power cut < 25% Much better Pune Twice a day < 25% 2 to 4 hours < 25% Much better Surat Once a day < 25% No Power cut < 25% Somewhat better Source: Online Survey conducted by Indicus India is changing rapidly in many different ways. And the cities are changing even more rapidly. Typically, we find that most new changes in all spheres come about first in the metros, then spread onto other larger cities, and then eventually spread across whole of the urban landscape. Consider two new ‘technologies’ – the mall and the Internet. Using data from two different sources we find that almost all malls are concentrated in the topmost cities, and so are the Internet users. Table 8: Concentration of Emerging ‘Technologies’, Westernization and Cosmopolitan Character Cities Number of Malls Number of Median Value of Median Value of Internet Users Index of Index of (in ‘000) Westernization Cosmopolitan-ness Top 10 115 5,241 27.52 3.4 Top 11-30 36 1,971 17.55 3.0 Top 31-50 26 1,177 13.18 2.6 Top 51-100 30 1,626 22.26 2.5 Source: Indicus Estimates, City Skyline of India 2006 Many new technologies are associated with a westernized lifestyle and also English. We do find that the topmost cities tend to be more westernized. However, there is a lot of variation. For instance, Surat and Coimbatore are among the largest markets, but have low westernization levels. Similarly the cosmopolitan character tends to be greater in larger cities but is not necessarily high in all large cities. Kolkata is a large city but not as highly cosmopolitan as Nagpur. On the other hand a smaller city such as Guwahati is quite cosmopolitan being the gateway into the north-east. Apart from Assamese, it boasts of a large X
  • 12. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 number of Bengalis, Hindi speaking community, and many from different states of the North- east. 6. Earning, Investing, and Residing in Cities It is not that the top cities in terms of market size are necessarily the easiest to live in. They tend to have much larger economies and as a result offer greater options and choices for both income and consumption for their residents. In order to comprehensively assess the cities we rate the top 100 cities in India at three levels. For this purpose three indices were developed: (1) City Earning Index (2) City Investing Index, and (3) City Residing Index4. City Earning Index: A city that has a good earning environment is one where employment levels are high, and where employment growth is high, where per capita incomes are high, and one where job opportunities are high as reflected through internet job sites. City Investing Index: A city is a good place to invest in where others are also investing. This is reflected in high credit growth, and the extent to which credit is higher than deposits, and where per capita credit to small business is also high. A city where a large number of people are migrating in also reflects growing opportunities for all. City Residing Index: A city is a good place to reside in where (i) public health, (ii) basic and higher education, (iii) utilities and transport, (iv) environment, (v) safety, and (vi) entertainment conditions are good. Health is reflected in immunization and good quality hospitals, basic education through literacy rates, professional education through MBA and engineering seats per capita, and safety is reflected in murders, crime against women, and robbery and thefts. A good environment is where pollution (as reflected in residential SPM and N02 levels) is low, where temperatures are not too high, where temperature variations are also low. Adequate entertainment is also an important criterion for residing in a city. Good quality restaurants, malls, and locations to visit in a city reflect entertainment options. Public facilities perhaps make up a large part of the overall residing friendliness of a city. These include roads, safe drinking water, households electrified, and safe drinking water, and adequacy of parks. But this forms only one set. Inverses of power cut frequency, presence of inverter/ generator, housing inflation levels, and growth in housing inflation also reflect overall living conditions in a city. Table 9: Ranking among Top 10 Alpha Cities Top 10 Cities Earning Index Investing Index Residing Index 4 The methodology is standard. A relevant variable was chosen and normalized to correct for the size of the city (described below). Next, the variables were standardized by subtracting the minimum value and dividing by the range (this is the standard HDR method). Thus, the best city achieved a rating of ‘1’ and the worst got ‘0’. These were then aggregated using equal weights to obtain the index of earning and investing. In the case of residing index a two stage process was followed, where the basic variables were aggregated to form indices of (i) public health, (ii) basic and higher education, (iii) utilities and transport, (iv) environment, (v) safety, and (vi) entertainment. These were then aggregated again using equal weights to obtain the City Residing Index. XI
  • 13. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Delhi 4 7 8 Mumbai 7 5 2 Kolkata 10 10 4 Chennai 9 3 3 Bangalore 2 6 1 Hyderabad 8 8 6 Ahmedabad 6 9 9 Surat 1 2 10 Pune 3 4 7 Coimbatore 5 1 5 Source: Indicus Estimates, City Skyline of India 2006 We find that though there is a significant correlation between the Earning and Investing indices, the Residing Index has no relationship with the other two. Locations that are good places to earn and invest in tend to have greater levels of in-migration. These cities also tend to have higher income levels. Both result in a higher demand on utilities. In some cities the physical and social infrastructure is better able to keep up with this increase, than in others. In those areas where it does, the Residing Index is higher. But not all cities are able to respond. This in turn makes them poor locations to live in. Relationship B/w Index to Earn & Reside In XII
  • 14. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Residing Index Earning Index 7. City Regions - Twins, Suburbs and Sibling Cities No work on the top Indian cities can be complete without a mention of the suburb or the ‘twin’ cities around them. Typically, a suburb is a residential area or community outlying a city such that those living in the suburb can commute to the main city for their economic needs. Internationally the term suburb conjures up images of a quiet, relatively unspoilt, less densely populated and predominantly residential community in the vicinity of a city. In India, it is difficult to find such conditions. Whether it is Gurgaon, or Salt Lake City, we find them to be economic entities quite independent from the larger city near which they are located. For instance, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Gurgaon are much more than mere suburbs of Delhi. But they are also not large enough to be called Delhi’s twins. These are younger cities, not large enough yet, but one day may even overtake Delhi. There are quite a few such locations in India. There is Salt Lake near Kolkata, Navi Mumbai in Thane district close to Mumbai, the communities on Bangalore-Hosur and Bangalore- Mysore routes in Bangalore Rural District, Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune, and so on. And there are many more across the country, not as well known yet, but will be known soon enough. Why are these locations important enough to study separately? What should we call them? How should we define them? And how should we measure them? These cities typically fulfill an important need that the larger city was unable to offer. In the initial phase they may have been uni-dimensional, however, over time they have gained a XIII
  • 15. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 distinct character and momentum of their own. The lack of office space in Delhi, the lack of new residential areas in Kolkata, expensive real-estate in Mumbai have contributed to the growth of Salt Lake, Gurgaon, and Navi Mumbai respectively. But now all three are much more than merely a real-estate alternative to the larger neighbors. They are more like younger siblings of the larger city. These sibling locations include communities that may be large or small, planned or spontaneously arisen, with and without quality infrastructure, sometimes similar and sometimes quite dissimilar to the neighboring larger city, and so on. Indeed there is only one thing in common between them – they are in the geographical vicinity of a much larger city. Since we also require a ‘workable’ definition, it should be possible to obtain data on these locations from disparate sources. We therefore use the urban areas of districts surrounding the topmost cities in India as our current working definition of sibling urban areas (or suburbs) for the discussion below. Table 10: Some Sibling Cities Key City Sibling Urban District Some Cities in the Sibling Districts Delhi Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) Noida Ghaziabad Ghaziabad Faridabad Faridabad Gurgaon Gurgaon Mumbai Mumbai Suburban Thane Navi Mumbai Kolkata North 24 Parganas Dum Dum, Salt Lake, Rajarhat South 24 Parganas Alipore, Joka, Baruipur, Garia Haora Haora, Sibpur Bangalore Bangalore Rural Chennai Thiruvallur Ambattur Kanchipuram Pallavaram, Kanchipuram Ahmedabad Gandhinagar Gandhinagar Hyderabad Rangareddi Kukatpally, Lal Bahadur Nagar Pune - - Surat - - Coimbatore - - XIV
  • 16. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 Table 11: Top City Regions in India Delhi Mumbai Kolkata Chennai Bangalore Ahmedab Hyderaba Pune Surat Coimbato Region Region Region Region Region ad Region d Region Region Region re Region Mumbai Main Urban Area 9 Districts +Suburban Ahmedaba of Delhi Mumbai Kolkata Chennai Bangalore d Hyderabad Pune Surat Coimbatore Noida, North & Suburb(s): Urban Ghaziabad, South 24 Thiruvallur, Bangalore Areas in - Faridabad, Parganas, Kanchipura Rural Gandhinag Gurgaon Thane Haora m District ar Rangareddi – – – Population in ‘000s 21,065 20,935 13,810 8,199 7,230 5,905 6,567 5,131 3,963 3,461 Households in ‘000s 4,111 4,491 2,853 1,843 1,613 1,179 1,274 1,124 808 868 Household Income in Rs. 100,000 12,624,639 11,395,912 5,803,869 5,295,968 5,534,388 3,915,560 3,613,895 3,383,765 2,258,268 1,819,187 Household Expend. in Rs. 100,000 8,725,925 8,301,521 3,802,684 4,337,631 3,357,054 2,642,613 2,234,939 2,421,895 1,537,059 1,511,983 Total Bank Credit in Rs. 100,000 14,784,482 31,769,216 4,804,113 6,235,245 5,016,961 1,965,800 3,200,414 1,600,472 3,79,500 1,488,632 Total Bank Deposit in Rs. 100,000 25,301,040 31,722,798 7,655,742 5,341,157 6,457,601 3,275,897 3,948,761 2,216,824 7,16,446 9,86,897 Per Capita Income in Rs. 1,000 60 54 42 65 77 66 55 66 57 53 Expected Ann. Market Growth (%) 10 9.1 5.1 7.8 11.8 8.6 8.3 8.5 5 5.6 Annual Population Growth (%) 4.46 2.95 1.65 2.19 3.21 2.82 2.82 4.03 5.6 4.1 XV
  • 17. Mimeo., Indicus Analytics, 2006 8. Conclusion There are very high levels of diversity in India in almost all spheres of our lives. And the same is true for our cities. So much so that it is difficult to identify commonalities and patterns such that we can easily categorize and fit cities in. For the researcher interested in neatly categorizing different cities in different groups, this poses a problem, as the only categorization that will work is related to size. For the manager interested in a common approach for her marketing efforts across cities, this poses an even larger problem. It will be difficult to imagine a common strategy for Mumbai and Surat – both among the 10 largest markets in India and only a few hundred kilometers away. This diversity exists not only between cities, but also within cities. Whichever way we see it, India is a heterogeneous country with cities that are also heterogeneous. An appreciation of this heterogeneity needs to be built-in as an integral part of our understanding of cities. Another aspect of Indian cities needs to be appreciated. No one single city dominates any large sphere – true Mumbai dominates the financial sector, Delhi the political ‘sector’, but there is little else. Almost as many movies are made out of Chennai as in Mumbai, the automobile sector is spread around Pune, Delhi, Chennai and many other cities. And though many of the large IT companies are headquartered in Bangalore, cities such as Pune, Hyderabad are rapidly catching up, not to mention the high levels of IT activity in Mumbai and Delhi regions. Whether it is an economic activity, or any other aspect of life, India is fortunate to have a large number of diverse and dynamic cities. Delhi and Mumbai do not dominate India as much as, say, Mexico City dominates Mexico, or Sao Paolo dominates Brazil. The top 100 largest cities only account for roughly 50 to 60 percent of the overall market. So as long as we are thinking of the Indian middle class, or those at the bottom of the pyramid, there is a large chunk spread much more finely in the rest of the 5000 odd cities in India. These masses may not necessarily be from the top educational institutes of India, most may not be English speaking – but many of the highly educated and high income earners are not necessarily only in the top 100 cities. But the glass is half full. These top 100 cities do contain the largest chunk of the Indian urban population and market. For those interested in covering the bulk of India’s urban population and market, concentrating on these 100 cities can yield rapid results provided enough flexibility exists in their strategies to account for the heterogeneity. XVI