This article provides an overview of Pune for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- State: Maharashtra
- Land area: 331.26 sq km
- Population: 3.99 million (2019)
- Municipal Commissioner: Saurabh Rao
- Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
- GDP: US$ 69 billion (2017)
Pune is the second-largest city in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and is an important city in terms of its economic and industrial growth. Once the hometown of Marathas and a centre of power for the Maratha Empire, Pune’s rich and glorious past has made it the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Home to many colleges and universities, Pune has made its mark as an education epicenter, winning itself the title of “The Oxford of the East”. Pune has emerged as a new start-up hub in recent years with information technology (IT), engineering and automotive companies sprouting. The city is also known for cultural activities such as classical music, spirituality, theatre, sports and literature. In 2018, the Ease of Living Index by the Indian Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry ranked Pune as the most liveable city in India.
Pune is among the 109 cities shortlisted in India’s Smart Cities Mission, and the city has allocated an estimated US$5.2 billion for its smart city development plan. The city’s key priorities are to improve urban mobility, provide access to water, enhance citizen outreach efforts, and improve infrastructure in energy, housing, safety and security. The Smart Cities report card by India’s Urban Development Ministry ranked Pune the eighth-fastest city in implementing its Smart City plan.
Pune has an estimated population of 3.99 million and the city proper has a population density of 5,600 people per square kilometer. It encompasses a total surface area of 331.26 square kilometres. The larger metropolitan area has a population of five million, making it the seventh-largest metropolitan area by population in India. In Pune, 62 percent of the population are under 30, with a larger-than-average share of people in the 25 to 34 age group. Pune’s literacy rate is 86 percent.
Pune is one of the strongest human capital and economic growth engines in India. With 811 colleges, Pune’s graduate workforce has triggered an IT revolution in the city. Almost all of the top IT companies in the country have a presence in Pune, making it the second-biggest software hub in the country. Pune is also one of the most successful start-up destinations in India with more than 400 local start-ups. Tech startups such as Pubmatic, Firstcry.com, Storypick.com, TastyKhana.com and Swipe are all based in Pune. The city is known for manufacturing, automobile, government and private sector research institutes and IT. These factors, together with on-going large scale infrastructure upgrades, have made Pune a preferred recipient of foreign direct investment.
Over the last three decades, Pune has developed as one of the prominent urban agglomerates in India. It has rapidly grown into a contemporary industrial hub and is identified today as a growing metropolis with tremendous potential. This evolution has positioned Pune as a major growth centre and an attractive investment destination. Multinational companies around the globe have been drawn to Pune to set up shop and expand their existing businesses.
Numerous automobile manufacturers and ancillary companies have invested heavily in Pune, setting up state-of-the-art production facilities. Among the first movers in this segment were Tata Motors and Cummins, a leading manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines, followed in recent years by Mercedes-Benz and construction and farm-equipment company JCB. The Automotive Research Institute of India, which provides research, development, testing and certification services, is also located in Pune. Set on driving growth in the state, the Maharashtra government has played a key role in attracting investment and widening the scope of industry. A prime example is General Electric’s multi-modal manufacturing facility in Pune, one of the company’s most advanced facilities.
Pune is a popular travel destination boasting many natural and historical tourist attractions. The city is easy to navigate and is filled with art and history and has a bustling nightlife. Pune has some of India’s most beautiful and eye-catching architecture. A prominent historical landmark in the city is Shaniwarwada, a majestic fort built in 1732 and the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. Another famous landmark is Aga Khan Palace, which was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in 1892.
Parvati Hill, a hillock 2,100 feet above sea level, is another famous Pune attraction. It offers the best view of the city and is one of its most scenic spots. Other popular tourist sites include: Osho Ashram located in Koregaon Park; Shinde Chhatri, a memorial dedicated to the 18th-century military leader Mahadji Shinde; and the Pataleshwar Cave Temple, an ancient temple dating back to the 8th century during the Rashtrakuta period.
Singapore and Pune
On 23 March 2017, Enterprise Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pune Municipal Corporation to further expand its networks with key local government partners across India. The partnership focused on identifying projects and helping Singapore urban solutions companies access opportunities in Pune. Under the MOU, Enterprise Singapore sought to work closely with the Pune Municipal Corporation to enable more Singapore companies to participate in Pune’s smart city projects. Specific areas of collaboration include upgrading Pune’s transport infrastructure and traffic monitoring systems, treatment and management of water and waste water, as well as e-Governance and citizen engagement services. Both Enterprise Singapore and the Pune Municipal Corporation are aiming to facilitate public-private sector participation in these projects by bringing together Singapore companies as well as relevant companies from India and other countries.
Besides its push to become a smart city, Pune has been an attractive business destination for Singapore companies, such as Ademco, Anchanto, Ascendas Singbridge, Charles and Keith, DBS Bank, Etonhouse Group and Hyflux. These companies hail from diverse sectors such as technology, logistics, urban solutions, consumer and finance.