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: 6.99 million (2022)
- District Collector: Dr. Rajesh Deshmukh
- Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
- GDP: US$ 69 billion (2021)
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 centre of power for the Maratha Empire, Pune’s rich historical past has made it the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Home to many colleges and universities, Pune is considered a prestigious educational destination, winning itself the title of “The Oxford of the East”. Pune has emerged as a new startup 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, theatre, sports and literature. According to the Ease of Living Index 2020, Pune was ranked as the second-best city to live 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.
Sixty-two percent of the population is under 30 in Pune with a larger than average share of people in the 25-34 age group. The literacy rate in Pune is 86 percent, with a literacy rate of 90 percent for men and 81 percent for women.
Pune has seen spectacular economic growth in recent years with the manufacturing, automobile and IT sectors emerging as key industries. Pune is ranked as the seventh-largest metropolitan economy with a strong industrial base and has the sixth-highest income per capita in India. The manufacturing, engineering and automobile sectors have seen significant foreign investments in recent years. The city is also a key hub for software and IT services. Pune’s large number of tertiary institutions and industrial training institutes have yielded a skilled labour force to support the city’s economic development.
The numerous automobile manufacturers and ancillary companies that have invested heavily in Pune include Tata Motors, and Cummins, a leading manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines. This has been followed in recent years by Mercedes-Benz and the construction and farm-equipment company, JCB. The Automotive Research Institute of India, providing research, development, testing and certification services, is also located in Pune. With the objective of driving economic growth in the state, the Maharashtra government has played a key role in attracting investment and widening the scope of industry in Pune.
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.