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India By State - Maharashtra - Business Opportunities

Business Opportunities


Maharashtra is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investment and the state also accounts for 40 percent of the total exports of India. It is one of the most advanced and industrialized states in the country with petrochemicals, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, financial services, media and entertainment, IT/ ITES and textile industries as its key sectors. It is known for offering a well developed educational infrastructure and also has a good network of professional education institutions and R&D centres.

Below are a collection of key industry sectors which are currently thriving in Maharashtra, and provide substantial potential for investment. The most prominent among these are leisure & tourism, biotechnology and food processing.

Key Industries

Agro & Food Processing

Agriculture is the mainstay of the state of Maharashtra. The main food crops are mangoes, grapes, bananas, oranges, wheat, rice, jowar, bajra and pulses. Cash crops include groundnut, cotton, sugarcane, turmeric, and tobacco. 16 percent of its area is under irrigation. The total irrigated area, which has been used for crop cultivation, is 33,500 sq km. Nagpur and Bathplug are used for oranges, Nashik for mangoes & grapes etc.

To promote exports of fresh and processed agricultural produce, the Government of India has announced the creation of Agri-Export Zones (AEZs). The state has identified eight potential horticultural crops of commercial importance for AEZs.

The State has also pioneered in use of water saving technology like Drip & Sprinkler irrigation and a Watershed programme and accounts for 60 percent of the total area under Drip Irrigation in the country.

The Agri-Export Zones (AEZs) promote greater exports of fresh and processed agricultural produce from the country. The State has identified eight potential horticultural crops of commercial importance for AEZs.

The state's success and growth within this industry are due to a number of factors. Maharashtra's diverse agro-climatic conditions are highly suitable to cultivate a wide range of crops. The State has a strong industrial base with scope for Agro-processing and Agro-export, along with well developed basic infrastructure.

The presence of four agriculture universities and a chain of agriculture research institutions provide a skilled and educated workforce for this industry, now and for the future. In addition there are a number of vibrant crop based farmer organizations like Mahagrape, Maha Mango etc. Maharashtra is often seen as a major horticulture state within India with more than 1.3 million per Ha under different fruit crops. The state has established itself as the largest producer of Jowar, Tur, Cotton, Onions, Cashew nuts, Grapes, Bananas, Oranges. Pomegranate and Long stem cut flowers.

The State is the 2nd largest producer of Soya bean and Sugarcane. It has the highest per Ha productivity in Soya bean production.

Automobiles & Auto Components

The State of Maharashtra accounts for 38 per cent of the country's output of automobiles. 40 per cent of the total workforce engaged in the automobile industry, are employed in this state. Every segment of this sector including Two and Three Wheelers, Passenger cars and Commercial vehicles are represented within the State.

The presence of well established manufacturers and the presence of a strong engineering sector are the key factors responsible for the fast progress of this sector. There is an ample supply of skilled labour and the infrastructure for transportation is fantastic. The prime automobile centres in the state include Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur. Pune has the flagship of many of the leading automobile companies like Bajaj Auto Ltd, Daimler Chrysler Ltd, TELCO, Fiat, Skoda Auto, John Dierre, Tata Motors, Kinetic Engineering, Cummins and Bharat Forge. etc. Nashik is home to India's largest multi utility vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

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Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Oil & Gas

Maharashtra has a strong presence within the Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Oil & Gas sector. The Petrochemical Industry base witnessed tremendous growth in the state after the installation of India's offshore oil wells near Mumbai in 1976.

The state accounts for nearly 27.4 per cent of the country's chemicals, petrochemicals and oil and gas output. The state also accounts for 18.2 percent of the country's employment in this sector.

During 2006-07, Maharashtra contributed as much as 15 percent of the total production of basic petrochemical products, 2nd only to the State of Gujarat.

The strength areas of this industry in Maharashtra are its strong manufacturing base, low cost of operations and a well developed laboratory and R&D infrastructure. There is a strong resource pool with upstream and downstream linkages for raw materials and products. The availability of Oil & Gas from Bombay High oil fields (offshore of Mumbai) has spurred the large-scale development of Chemicals and Petrochemical Industry in the state. All major domestic and number of global chemicals & petrochemicals players have a presence in the state. Some of the names are Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance Industries, Indo-Rama Synthetics.

Opportunities in the chemical sector are mainly in the areas of polymers and plastics, fertilizers and synthetic yarns.


Maharashtra plays a significant role in both the production and export of engineering goods in the country. The engineering industry in Maharashtra is extremely diversified and produces a wide range of engineering products from industrial machinery to industrial castings and forgings. The industry was initially concentrated in the Mumbai-Pune belt but has now spread to other areas in the State. The main manufacturing centres are based in Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nasik and Kolhapur. Some of the reputed engineering companies in Maharashtra are Atul Electro Formers Pvt. Ltd., Kam-AvidaEnviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Mahavir Group of Industries, Hylo Transmissions Pvt. Ltd. and Legend Communications Pvt. Ltd. The major engineering items of production and exports in Maharashtra are Textile mill machinery, machinery for sugar cement plants, sugar, cement, and chemical plants, food processing machinery, tractors electric power machinery, transmission line towers, automobiles and ship and buildings

Financial Services

Maharashtra has a strong financial infrastructure which is its biggest asset. It serves as home to chief financial institutions such as the Bombay Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange and the Reserve Bank of India, which are located in the State.

More than 90 percent of merchant banking transactions are carried out in Mumbai and the state also accounts for 14 percent of the national bank deposits. Around 80 percent of India's mutual funds are registered in Mumbai. Over 90 percent of Merchant Banking transactions are structured in Mumbai. 95 percent of values of the equities market are dealt in Mumbai.

Maharashtra also enjoys the largest share of the total foreign direct investment and foreign collaborations. These include global leaders such as Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Siemens, Proctor and Gamble and Unilever.

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Maharashtra can be accounted for contributing over 30 percent of the country's software exports, with more than 1,200 software units based in the State.

Maharashtra government is striving to build a good IT related infrastructure, offer fiscal incentives to IT players in the state and ensure IT in governance and institutional framework for the IT sector. To boost the Information Technology sector of the state, several IT parks have been set up.

The top IT players present in the state include Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Patni Computers, i-Flex Technologies, Veritas. BPO centres of prominent national and international players have also gained recognition in the State. These include LG, HSBC, Aviva, vCustomer, Xansa, EDS and e-Gain, among others.

Maharashtra possesses distinct competitive advantages that facilitate further development of the IT/ITES sector in the state. These include:

  • 40 per cent of India's Internet users
  • 35 per cent of PC penetration in the country
  • 169,000 trained technical personnel added to the manpower pool each year
  • Development of a large number of IT parks in both the public and private sector

The Government has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote further development of IT/ITES sector in the state. The steps include formulation of a progressive sector-specific policy, development of IT parks and the knowledge corridor.

Media & Entertainment

The City of Mumbai, is the heart of the Indian Film, Media & Entertainment Industry, and is also the celluloid capital of India. The Hindi Film Industry is worth nearly US$ 1.22 billion and presents a huge opportunity for investment in areas such as Film Production, Studios (Indoor & Outdoor) Music Recording, Editing and Choreography.

The well established Film & Television Institute is based in Pune and is one of the eldest and most renowned institutes in the field of training in Film Production and Television Broadcasting.

The country's first Imax Dome Theatre and Cinema Multiplex were also in Mumbai. The city is also home to India's most famous film studios, such as Film City, (based in Goregaon) Natraj (Andheri) and RK Studio (Chembur).

The government of Maharashtra have provided tax-related incentives for investment within the Film Industry, such as waiving entertainment tax for the first three years on new multiplexes that are set up in Maharashtra.

Mumbai Port

Out of the total sea-borne traffic that is handled by major ports of the country, the Mumbai port caters to 11.29 percent, in terms of volume. The port handles approximately 20.84 percent of POL (port of loading) traffic and 2.53 percent of container traffic (in terms of TEUs) handled by major ports in India.

The year 2006-07 closed with a throughput of 52.36 million tonnes of cargo traffic comprising 31.09 million tonnes of imports and 21.27 million tonnes of exports.

The Mumbra Port has Inland Container Terminals at Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune.

With regards to the NPT Port, the traffic handled during the year 2006-07 was 3.30 million TEUs against 2.67 million handled during 2005-06. The growth in container traffic was 23.69 percent and overall growth in total traffic was 18.45 percent.

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Maharashtra contributes 32 percent to India's total pharmaceutical output.

It has strong research capabilities and accounts for 30 percent of the nation's total patents.

There are plenty of opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector mainly in the areas of contract research, contract manufacturing and clinical trials. Some of the well known players focusing on this sector and having their base in Maharashtra are Wockhardt, Nicholas Piramal, Cipla, Johnson & Johnson, and GlaxoSmithKline.

It is expected that the industry will grow to US$ 25 billion by 2010, representing an annual growth rate of over 25 percent. The state's competitive strengths in the sector include low costs, strong manufacturing base, well-developed laboratory, R&D infrastructure and a strong resource pool. The backward linkage with the well-developed chemicals and petrochemicals sector is an added advantage.

Textile Industry

Cotton is available in bulk in Maharashtra which is one of the key factors that have enabled the state to establish a competitive edge. Maharashtra accounts for about 65 million kg of cotton production, which is 19 per cent of the country's total production, and 272 million kg of cotton yarn, which is 12 per cent of the total production in India.

There is a large skilled workforce base within this state with an installed capacity of about 1.66 million spindles that forms around 17 percent of the total capacity of the country. The government of Maharashtra is taking suitable measures to strengthen its textile sector by establishing textile parks at Nagpur, Dhule and Ambernath. Some of the key players from the textile industry having their base in Maharashtra are Bombay Dyeing, Century Textiles and Raymond. Raymond is planning to increase its denim manufacturing capacity at Yavatmal from 20 million metres per annum to 30 million metres. Carrera Holding Inc proposes to set up a green-field textile project with an estimated investment of $130 million at Kolhapur. Nine Textile/ Apparel SEZ's are planned in the state.

The phasing out of the export quota is expected to provide a fillip to the textile industry in the country. With the global trade in textile and clothing expected to grow from US$ 356 billion at present to US$ 600 billion by 2010, the state has an opportunity to leverage its existing strengths to capture a larger share of the textile market.

Textile Parks in Maharashtra

Nardhana Textile Park, Dhule - Spread over 648 Ha on which 72 plots will be demarcated Butibori (Nagpur) Textile Park - Spread over 100 hectares, from which 40 are held in reserve, for the Bleaching and Dyeing Units. 60 for Non-polluting activities like Garments, Weaving and Spinning

Ambernath Textile Park - An ultra-modern industrial area developed on 507Ha near Ambernath, a suburb of Mumbai.


The Indian travel and tourism industry is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent per annum to generate US$ 90.4 billion by 2014. The total capital investment will increase from US$ 10.2 billion in 2004 to US$ 21.4 billion in 2014. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) recorded 100 per cent increase in revenues from INR 3.81 crore in 2005 to INR 6.57 crore in 2006-2007. MTDC is working on innovative schemes to tap the tourism potential.

The presence of many diverse attractions such as, beaches, forts, hill stations, beaches, forts, hill stations, heritage and sanctuaries, and a rich heritage, make the State of Maharashtra a key area for tourism. Some of these notable attractions include Mahabaleshwar, Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta and Murud-Janjira. The fact that the State serves as a key entry point for 40 percent of international tourists in India, is a key advantage.

Mumbai's connectivity to key tourist destinations in the state and availability of adequate tourist accommodation are other factors that favour development of tourism in the state.

The state has come up with a progressive tourism policy to foster the development of the sector. It has decided to develop a hill station near Pune by 2010 with an investment of over US$ 400 million. In 2004, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) introduced a special luxury train named 'Deccan Odyssey' with an investment of over US$ 8 million.


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Key Players

Bajaj Auto Ltd

It is a leading manufacturer of two wheelers in the country having a total revenue of US $1.43 billion (May 2007). During the fiscal year 2006-07, it had around 10,250 employees. Bajaj Auto makes five kinds of motorcycles, two kinds of scooters and eight kinds of three wheelers. It has three manufacturing plants across the state at Akurdi, Waluj and Chakan. Bajaj Auto has a technical tie-up with Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan to produce a range of the latest, state-of-the art two wheelers in India. To further increase its area of operations and have its presence abroad as well, the company is planning to set up units in Brazil and Indonesia.

Bharat Petroleum

It was set up in the year 1976 when the Burmah Shell Group of Companies was nationalised by the Indian Government. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is one of India's largest PSUs involved in the refining and retailing of petroleum products. For the year ended march 2006, its revenues totalled to $17.61 billion. BPCL's refinery in Mahul, Mumbai, processes about 9 million metric tonnes of crude oil per annum. It has so far processed 61 different types of crude. Its channel of selling is quite efficient and is carried out through a network of 4,562 retail outlets and 970 kerosene dealers spread all over the country.

Bharat Forge Ltd (BFL)

Bharat Forge Ltd is the largest forging company in Asia and among the most technologically advanced commercial forge shops in the world. BFL's clients include Daimler Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Renault and Toyota. In 2003-04, BFL had revenues of over US$ 180 million, with exports contributing over 40 per cent of its sales. Bharat Forge's plants for manufacturing forgings are located at Pune and Jalgaon. Its other plant to manufacture engineering and other material handling equipment is located at Satara. BFL is increasing its manufacturing capacity from 140,000 TPA to 200,000 TPA. Recently, BFL acquired Carl Dan Peddinghaus (CDP), Germany's second largest forge shop with plants in Ennepetal and Daun/Eifel.

Daimler Chrysler India

Daimler Chrysler India is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Daimler Chrysler, the global automobile giant. It has a manufacturing plant at Pune which manufactures the famed Mercedes Benz cars in India. The investment in the plant was pegged at US$ 150 million. Daimler Chrysler India had bagged the group-wide quality award for the Best Mercedes-Benz Production Plant outside Germany for three consecutive years from 1998 to 2000.


ICICI Bank is India's largest private sector bank in terms of market capitalisation and second largest in terms of assets. It has its corporate headquarter at Mumbai. It has a wide network consisting of over 950 branches and offices, about 3,600 ATMs, and 24 million customers (as of end July 2007). Its total assets amount to $79 billion (end-March 2007). It offers a vast array of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through varied delivery channels and through its specialised subsidiaries and affiliates in the areas of investment banking, life and non-life insurance, venture capital and asset management.


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LG Electronics India (LGEI)

LG Electronics India is a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Electronics, South Korea. LGEI has announced setting up of a new manufacturing facility at Pune with an investment of over US$ 1 10 million. The new plant shall also act as an export hub owing to its proximity to the Mumbai and JNPT ports. Its total sale of colour televisions,GSM mobile phones, air conditioners and other household goods stood at Rs 9,500 crore ($2.4 billion) in 2007.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M)

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M), the flagship company of the Mahindra Group was set up in 1945. It is a well known name in the automotive sector. It basically deals into automotive, farm equipment and systems and technologies. The company is a prime manufacturer of Multi-Utility Vehicles (MUVs) and tractors. It is a $4.5 billion conglomerate that became the largest producer of SUVs in India by the year 2005. The company recently started a separate unit, Mahindra Systems and Automotive Technologies (MSAT), to focus on developing components and offering engineering services


Samsonite is one of the leaders in the global luggage industry. It has 11 production centres worldwide and 2 in the Asia and Australia region. Samsonite has set up a US$ 18 million manufacturing facility in Nashik.


Headquartered in Mumbai, Pfizer Limited (India) is one of the fastest growing global pharmaceutical companies in India. Its turnover in November 2006 was $172 million and it has employee strength of 2,000 at that point of time. Pfizer established a large and modern plant at Thane near Mumbai in 1960, which has won a number of national safety awards. Recently, the unit at Thane was upgraded to meet the global manufacturing standards. Pfizer has invested $15.75 million in clinical research facilities in India

Reliance India Group

Reliance India is the largest business house in India with revenues totalling to US$ 22.6 billion, and exports worth US$ 3.6 billion. The group is engaged into different activities such as exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas, refining and marketing, petrochemicals (polyester, polymers, and intermediates), textiles, financial services and insurance, power, telecom and infocom initiatives. Reliance Group has emerged as India's largest wealth creator in the private sector. The group has its corporate headquarters at Mumbai

Skoda Auto

Skoda Auto India has been operating in India since 2001 as a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. It has set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Shendra near Aurangabad to assemble Octavia cars. Skoda Auto allocated US$ 54 million for its Aurangabad plant. It intends to use India as a base for exports to South Asia.


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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services, a part of the Tata Group, is one of India's largest IT organisations. It offers services to Fortune 500 clients across 55 countries. TCS has its headquarters at Mumbai and development centres at Mumbai and Pune. It also has a research, development and design centre at Pune. Both the development centres have SEI-CMM Level 5 certification. TCS plans to increase the staff strength of its development centres at Mumbai and Pune in the coming years.

Tata Motors Ltd.

Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with revenues touching (USD 8.8 billion) in 2007-08. In each of the commercial vehicle category, it is leading the segment. It is one of the topmost companies engaged in manufacturing passenger vehicles. It has been coming up with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. Having employee strength of 23,000 employees, the company has made it presence felt all over India. In 2004, Tata Motors acquired the truck manufacturing unit of Daewoo Motors for US$ 1 18 million. Tata Motors is now planning to buy a Spanish bus-building and design firm to strengthen its capabilities and global presence in the bus manufacturing segment.

Jet Airways

India's largest private sector airline Jet Airways began its commercial operations in the year1993. The airline operates over 350 flights daily across 44 destinations within India and also operates flights to nine international destinations. In April 2007, Jet Airways took over the charge of Air Sahara and bought it for $340 million. The airline has a fleet size of 62 aircraft and employs over 10,000 people.

Videocon Group

Videocon Group is India's leading brand of consumer electronics and home appliances. It also manufactures products for Toshiba and Sansui. In Maharashtra, it has production facilities at Chitegaon and Bhalgaon, near Aurangabad. These facilities are used to produce washing machines, refrigerators and other consumer appliances.


Whirlpool tied up with the world-famous Whirlpool Corporation, US in 1994-95 and acquired its present name. The company has a state-of-the-art facility for the production of environment friendly non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) frost-free refrigerators at its unit at Ranjangaon near Pune. It has also set up a Refrigeration Technology Centre at Ranjangaon

Wockhardt Ltd

Wockhardt Ltd is the fifth largest Indian pharmaceutical company. It has a presence in more than 90 countries. Wockhardt has manufacturing plants at Mumbai, Aurangabad and Waluj. Wockhardt's R&D centre is also located at Aurangabad. It has built a modern biotechnology park at Aurangabad with an investment of over US$ 43 million.


Export Profile

Maharashtra's total exports were US$ 41.2 billion in 2007-08.

Historically, Maharashtra has been a major exporter of software, textiles, readymade garments, cotton yarns, made-up fabrics, engineering items, drugs and pharmaceuticals, plastic and plastic items.

The State Government has identified the IT and ITeS, biotechnology and food processed industries for export promotion and facilitation.



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