Maharashtra has always led the country's industrial development scenario and continues to attract the largest quantum of investments, both domestic and foreign. The State has established strengths in every sector including engineering, automobiles and auto components, chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, textiles, information technology and biotechnology. It offers the finest infrastructure, excellent educational facilities, quality trained manpower, a professional work ethic and a conducive business environment. A wide variety of horticultural crops are also grown in the State, making it a major producer of oilseeds, rice, cotton, sugarcane, etc. In addition, the rich heritage, trade, culture, history and growing economy of the State are the major tourist attractions.
Maharashtra is a leader in biotechnology because of its diverse strengths such as superior human resources, excellent private and public institutions, superb infrastructure and proactive Government policies. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC); Indian Institute of Technology (IIT); Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR); National Chemical Laboratory (NCL); National Centre For Cell Science (NCCS); National Institute of Virology (NIV); National AIDS Research Institute (NARI); Agharkar Research Institute (ARI); National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI); etc. are some of the leading institutions in Mumbai and Pune doing pioneering research work in the field of biotechnology. In addition, some defence research establishments in the State are conducting cutting edge research in biomedicals, bioinformatics and biotechnology.
The core competence and strengths of the biotech industries of Maharashtra are:-
Handling fermentation-based products;
Use of plant and animal parts for extracting value added products of high purity;
Use of cell/microbial culture techniques;
Plant breeding techniques;
Plant cell/tissue culture; etc.
Information Technology (IT)
Maharashtra accounts for more than 30 percent of the country's software exports, with over 1,200 software units based in the State, thus providing a familiar and friendly environment for the IT companies. The Government of Maharashtra has recognised IT industry as an important thrust area in the State. It is largely focusing on providing IT related infrastructure, fiscal incentives to IT units, IT in governance and institutional framework for the IT sector. These initiatives have enabled the IT industry of the State to establish a firm foundation for itself in the country. The whole State has been connected through an Optical Fibre Cable Network and a Statewide network of competent training institutions have been established for building a pool of world-class IT professionals, in order to provide strength and support to the IT industry in the State. Besides, the State Government has framed an IT policy so as to make Maharashtra the most favoured destination for investments in the IT and ITES industry.
In order to provide further impetus to the IT industry, Government of Maharashtra has set up several state-of-the-art IT parks within the State. These IT parks provide a perfect base of operations for the best international and national IT houses. The most prominent Information Technology Parks in Maharashtra are:-
Talawade IT Park, Dehu-Moshi Road, Pune.
Millennium Business Park (MBP), Navi Mumbai
Hinjewadi IT Park Phase I, Hinjewadi, Pune
Hinjewadi IT Park Phase II, Hinjewadi, Pune
Kolhapur IT Park, Kolhapur
Sangli IT Park, Vishrambag, Sangli
Nagpur IT Park, Nagpur
Deogiri Infotech Park, Aurangabad
Kharadi IT Park, Kharadi, Pune
Besides, the Mumbai-Pune Knowledge Corridor is fast emerging as the IT hub of the country. It is a six lane, dual carriage expressway built to link the two cities of Mumbai and Pune. These two cities provide the best infrastructure in terms of housing, education, transport and power, making them the perfect hosts for the IT industry.
Agriculture and Horticulture
Maharashtra is a leading State in agriculture. Principal crops grown in the State are rice, jowar, bajra, wheat , tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. The State is a major producer of oilseeds. Groundnut, sunflower, soyabean are the major oil seed crops. The important cash crops are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables. State is pioneer in onion production in the country. It is today emerging as an important horticultural State in the country. Different types of soil, diverse agro climatic conditions, adequate technical manpower, well developed communication facilities, increasing trend in drip irrigation, green house, use of cool chain facilities and vibrant farmer organisation offer wide opportunities to grow different horticultural crops in the State. Best quality grapes produced in the State are now exported to other countries. Mango, particularly 'Alphanso', grown in Konkan, has already established name in the international market. The State has an area of 13.66 lakh hectares under various fruit crops like mango, banana, orange, grape, cashewnut, etc.
Maharashtra is a major producer of floriculture products with more than 4000 hectares of area under various flowers. The major traditional flowers grown in Maharashtra are rose, chrysanthemum, marigold, jasmine and tuberose. Whereas, gladioluses, aster, zinnia, Stacie, lilies, gerberas and carnations are grown among the non-traditional flowers. Maharashtra has emerged as a leading State for production, export and consumption of flowers in the country. The most important features of floriculture development in the State is setting up of large number of Export Oriented Units with foreign collaboration and investment. The climate of Pune and Nashik region, facilitate the setting up of such units without heavy investment on environment control. Maharashtra is offering state of the art infrastructure for floriculture industry to grow. Also, peaceful and non-hazardous environment is responsible for successful operation of these units. Besides, the State Government is promoting a Floriculture Park at Talegaon near Pune.
Food processing industries in Maharashtra consists of very basic processing. The main processing industries in the State are in the sectors of sugar, milk, poultry, rice mill, flour mill, meat, edible oil, vanaspati, fruit and vegetable units, milk processing units etc. There exist immense opportunities for modernising food processing units in the State. Rice, wheat, soyabean, jawar, grapes, pomegranates and mangoes are the main crops that are available in the State for primary and secondary process. Similarly, there is a vast potential for development and setting up processing units for tomatoes, onion, cabbage, okra and cauliflower. In particular, fruit juice pulp and concentrated units, winery, distillery, pickles, rice mill, flour mill, dal mill, soyabean extraction and refining units etc. can be set up in the industrial areas of the State.
The Auto sector has played a key role in the industrialization of the State. Every single segment of the sector including two and three wheelers, passenger cars and commercial vehicles is represented in the State. The major automobile centres in the State include Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur. Pune is a home to large players like Bajaj Auto Ltd, Daimler Chrysler Ltd, TELCO, etc. While, Nashik is a home of India's largest multi-utility vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra.
The State accounts for approximately 38 per cent of the country's output of automobiles by value. Around 40 per cent of the workforce engaged in the automobile industry is employed in the State. The key competitive strength of the State in the automobiles and auto components industries is the presence of established manufacturers. Besides, the strong presence of the engineering sector is an additional advantage to the State, along with its large skilled labour base. The good transport infrastructure in the State is also a positive factor for the logistics-intensive auto industry.
Maharashtra has an excellent infrastructure to play a key role in the growth of the textiles industry. It accounts for about 65 million kg of cotton production which is 25per cent of the country's total. The textile industry of the State holds a strategic importance in the country as it is the single largest employer and contributes around 27per centof India's total exports. It also holds immense future potential in global markets, particularly in value added segments like garments and ready-to-wear goods. Besides, the textile parks are being set up in Maharashtra in order to maintain its leadership position in textile exports and production. These Textile Parks are aimed to provide world class infrastructural components for textile sector and enhance its productive capacity.
Tourism is well recognised as a major growth engine of the State. Maharashtra abounds in numerous tourist attractions ranging from ancient caves, temples, beaches, palaces, ancient forts and monuments, forests and wildlife, unique hill stations, pilgrimage centres, and a rich tradition of festivals, art and culture. Some important tourist centres are:- Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanheri and Karla caves, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran and Panchgani, Jawhar, Malshejghat, Amboli, Chikaldara, Panhala Hill stations and religious places at Pandharpur, Nasik, Shirdi, Jyotirlingas, Nanded, Audhanagnath, Trimbakeshwar, Tuljapur, Ganpatipule, Bhimashanker, Harihareshwar, Shegaon, Kolhapur, Jejuri and Ambajogai. Also, the world famous Prince of Wales Museum houses an exquisite collection of Rajput and Mughal miniatures, as well as rare pieces of Tibetan, Japanese and Chinese art.
The State's coastal region is endowed with creeks, rivers, beaches and water fronts that could be developed for tourism and water sports activities. The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, with its dense forests, is home to several wild life sanctuaries and nature parks. Mumbai is famous for its hindi film industry, known as Bollywood, which is a major attraction of the State. However, in places like Pune, Wai, Satara, Nashik, Palshi and Paithan, there are Wadas (havelis) full of excellent wood carvings.