Be the first to like this
A heady combination of location, history, circumstances, and perhaps the most important—initiative is what makes western India fare better
What is it that makes western India tick?
The great manufacturing and commercial base of Maharashtra is well known, Gujarat’s sustained dynamic rise has been well documented; but Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu are not far behind. What explains this? Closeness to large ports is an important advantage. So is the relatively easy access to capital given that India’s financial hub is in Mumbai. Human capital is created within this region and whatever migrates into it is well absorbed. And perhaps the most important—overall governance is far superior in these states than in most other parts of India (though the southern states are not far behind, if not ahead, in this criterion). The answer, therefore, lies in a heady combination of location, history, circumstances, and perhaps the most important—initiative. A large entrepreneurial ecosystem has been nurtured and evolved, thereby further attracting talent into the region.
Mumbai is no longer the only important metro in the west; Ahmedabad and Pune have rapidly grown to become important commercial and industrial centres. Silvassa and Daman are using their proximity to these big centres and expanding their industrial and services sectors.
But these are not the only success stories. Take for example Surat, the most rapidly and consistently growing large city in the country through much of the 2000s. Already ranked within the top 10 urban economies in India, Surat is all set to surpass many of the larger cities in the next decade, just as Mumbai surpassed Kolkata in the 1960s. Pune’s success in manufacturing and now IT is well known, but Nashik is also growing rapidly.
The most important factor in long-term progress is sustained effort. This is the reason behind Gujarat’s growth, both in the 1990s and 2000s. And that is why, despite being a heterogeneous state with diverse requirements, Maharashtra remains among the states with the best infrastructure. The same holds good for Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.