Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital city of Maharashtra and the finance centre, economic powerhouse, and industrial hub of India. Mumbai was leased to the East Indian Company by the King of England and later used by the British as an important port for more than two centuries.
The Greater Mumbai area occupies a long, narrow peninsula in the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India. Mumbai City is an island 69 square kilometers in size that is also referred to as “Old Mumbai” or “South Mumbai”.
Mumbai is the most populous city in India and in the top five most populous cities in the world. While the 2011 census estimated its population to be 12.4 million, external estimates suggest that it could actually be double that.
|Area||327 square kilometers|
|Population||Approx. 14 million|
|GDP (2008)||USD 209 billion|
|Literacy rate||88.48 percent|
|FDI||USD 19,103 million|
|Principal religions||Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism|
|Principal languages||Marathi, English, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Konkani, Dangii, Varhadii, Hindi|
Mumbai is connected with National Highways 3, 4, 8, 17 and 222. It is also linked with Pune by an extensive road network, including the six-lane Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link Bridge, together with the Mahim Causeway, links this island city to the western suburbs.
Mumbai is the headquarters of two railway zones: the Central Railway and the Western Railway. The city’s transport consist of three separate railway networks: the Central, Western and Harbour Lines. The Mumbai metro is currently under construction, yet has successfully conducted its first trial run. The system’s first line is expected to begin operating in October of this year. India's first monorail system, the Mumbai Monorail, which began construction in 2009, had its first journey with passengers in July of this year.
Juhu Aerodrom was India’s first airport, yet now only functions as a heliport and hosts a flying club. The main aviation hub in Mumbai is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. An additional airport at Navi Mumbai has been proposed but further progress has been delayed due to land acquisition challenges.
Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust are the two major ports that together provide the largest port facilities in India. They handle a major proportion of the country’s incoming and outgoing cargo traffic. From 2012-2013, the Mumbai Port Trust handled a record high level of cargo, amounting to 58.04 million tonnes, a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year.
Mumbai Port, a natural harbor, has extensive wet and dry dock accommodation facilities, and it is also an important base for the Indian Navy.
State-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is the largest telephone service provider in Mumbai. Cell phone coverage is extensive, and both GSM and CDMA services are available in the city. Other major service providers include Vodafone, Airtel, Idea Cellular, Loop Mobile, Reliance Communication, and Tata Idicom.
The city is one of the world’s top centers of commerce in terms of financial flow. It is also home to important financial institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies and multinational corporations.
Gems and Jewelry
Mumbai is the hub of India’s jewelry industry, receiving the majority of the country’s gold and rough diamond imports (two major jewelry segments in India). Although most diamond processing is undertaken in Surat, Bhavnagar, Ahmadabad, and Bhuj (cities in the neighboring state of Gujuarat), Mumbai has a considerable number of semi-automatic factories and laser-cutting units. Most of these are located in the city’s special economic zone, which in itself accounts for 50 percent of India’s gem and jewelry exports. However, a restriction implemented in July 2013 ties gold imports to export volumes, which has led to a dramatic reduction in exports.
Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, the Hindi language movie industry. The city has also become one of the most vibrant creative arts centres in India and plays host to a number of national and international events, including sports events, conferences, and seminars.
The automobile sector has played a key role in the industrialization of Mumbai. Every segment of the automobile sector (including two and three wheelers, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles) is represented in the city. Many big automobile companies have corporate branches in Mumbai, including the largest vehicle manufacturer in India, Tata Motors.
Other auto companies manufacturing in India include BMW, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Maybech. Most recently, American automotive manufacturer Ford have announced plans to make India a central platform for their global vehicle production.
Other major automobile centers in the state include Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, and Nagpur. Mumbai’s key competitive advantages in the automobile and auto components industries are the presence of established manufacturers, a strong engineering sector, and a large skilled labor base.
Some of the leading institutions in Mumbai include the Bhabha Atomic Resarch Center, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the National Chemical Laboratory, the National Center for Cell Science, the National Institute of Virology, the National AIDS Research Institute, and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
SEEPZ Special Economic Zone Mumbai, Maharashtra Electronics and Gems and Jewellery
The SEEPZ Special Economic Zone provides several attractive features, such as tax deductions and an attractive and well-maintained infrastructure. The zone is easily accessible, as it is located in the heart of metropolitan Mumbai, just 6 kilometers away from the International airport and 30 kilometers from the seaport. One of the main strengths of SEEPZ SEZ is that uninterrupted power supply is guaranteed, since the Special Economic Zone is exempt from power cuts.