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India By State - West Bengal - Business Opportunities

Business Opportunities



Because of its location, West Bengal offers definite advantage as the traditional domestic market in eastern India, the Northeast and the land-locked countries of Nepal and Bhutan, which are easily accessible. The state is also an entry point to markets in Southeast Asia, via the north eastern states. Kolkata, which is a metropolitan city, has a comparatively lower cost of operating a business as compared to the other cities such as New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

West Bengal has abundant natural resources of minerals and suitable agro-climatic conditions for agriculture, horticulture and fisheries. West Bengal also has a prosperous hinterland of some mineral rich states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa.

The state is home to a number of renowned educational institutions and higher learning centres. There are 18 universities in the state along with sizeable research institutes.


Key Industries


West Bengal is the second-largest tea growing state in India, after Assam, and accounts for around 24 per cent of the total tea produced in India. As of 2007, 115,095 hectares of land was under tea cultivation.

The total annual production of tea was 226.8 million kg (mkg), as of 2008. Tea gardens in the state are located in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, the two northern districts of West Bengal. Darjeeling tea has a Geographical Indicator (GI).

Petroleum and Petrochemicals

West Bengal accounts for around 4 per cent of the country's production of petroleum products and 13 per cent of polymer production.

Haldia Petrochemicals Limited is one of India's largest integrated petrochemical complexes. Mitsubishi Chemicals and Corporation, Japan's major chemical firm has invested in a Purified Terepthalic Acid (PTA) plant at Haldia at an estimated cost of US$ 355 million.


West Bengal is one of the leading exporters of finished leather goods, accounting for almost 15.7 per cent of the country's leather exports. As of 2008, the state has around 538 manufacturing units producing leather goods.

West Bengal Leather Industrial Development Corporation provides market facilities for the leather products manufactured by small-scale industries located in the state.

The Government of West Bengal has set up an integrated leather complex on the eastern fringe of Kolkata and spread over 1,100 acres.

Iron and Steel

West Bengal is one of the leading exporters of finished leather goods, accounting for almost 15.7 per cent of the country's leather exports. As of 2008, the state has around 538 manufacturing units producing leather goods.

West Bengal Leather Industrial Development Corporation provides market facilities for the leather products manufactured by small-scale industries located in the state. The Government of West Bengal has set up an integrated leather complex on the eastern fringe of Kolkata and spread over 1,100 acres.

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Information Technology

Around 500 IT and ITeS companies are operating in the state, employing more than 60,000 professionals. In 2007, the total export earnings of IT companies located in Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)was US$ 754.5 million.

The IT and ITeS sector is projected to contribute 15-20 per cent to the state's economy by 2010. West Bengal has 14 IT parks. A 16-acre SEZ by Tata Consultancy Services has been granted formal approval and is expected to be operational by 2011.


The Raniganj coal belt accounts for over 30,147 million metric tonnes of quality coal. Reserves of coal bed methane (CBM); an alternative source of natural gas, in West Bengal is estimated as 1.64 million cu. ft.

Rock phosphates deposits are found in Beldhi, Chirugoraand Kutniregions of Purulia districts. Deposits of granite and kaolinite are found in Purulia, Bankura and the Birbhum districts. Good quality peg metallic-quartz is available at Mirmi in the Purulia district, deposits of basalt-trap rocks used for preparing road metals are available in the Birbhum district.

Auto Mobiles and Components

The automobile industry in West Bengal is dominated by original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The auto-components industry comprises units manufacturing a range of products from simple nuts and bolts to complex items such as shafts, radiators and axles.

Hindustan Motors is a leading player in West Bengal. The company is engaged in the manufacturing of passenger cars (Ambassador and Contessa) and multi utility vehicles (Trekker, Porter and Pushpak) in the state. The company is developing 314 acres of land near its Uttarpara plant to set up a township with a residential complex, an IT park and an auto-ancillary park.


West Bengal has many attributes that favour development of biotechnology industry. It has rich natural resources based on a diversity of flora and fauna. A wide variety of commercial crops are cultivated which can be improved by biotechnology interventions. Examples of such interventions are application of bio-fertilisers for soil fertility, bio-pesticides for environment friendly integrated pest management, genetic modification to produce golden rice, tissue culture for horticulture, floriculture and medicinal plants.

LResearch institutes such as Bose Institute, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Jadavpur University and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharaghpur are engaged in high quality research in various areas of biotechnology.

A 30 acre biotechnology park is being set up at Baruipur, Kolkata to be known as Kolkata Biotech Park. The park is a joint venture with the University of Calcutta and Strategic Global Management (India) Private Limited.

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Key Players

Tata Tea

Tata Tea is the largest brand of tea in India. It acquired the UK-based Tetley Group in 2000. The company has five major brands in the Indian market, viz., Tata Tea, Tetley, Kannan Devan, Chakra Gold and Gemini. It has its headquarters and six tea estates in West Bengal.

Mcleod Russel

Mcleod Russel produces around 80 million kg of tea every year from tea estates in Assam, West Bengal and Vietnam, employing 80,000 people. The company has its registered office in Kolkata.

The six tea estates in Jalpaiguri district produce 6.5 million kg of tea, annually.

Bagaria Group

The Bagaria Group has operations in steel product manufacturing, tea estates and wind farms, with a group turnover of about US$ 110 million. The group has three tea estates in West Bengal.

The Gyabaree and Millikthong tea estate is one of the biggest tea estates in Darjeeling with an annual production of 280,000 kg. There are two other tea estates in Phuguri and Orange Valley in Darjeeling with a combined production of 300,000 kg.

T&I Global Limited (TIGL)

TIGL is among the leading manufacturers and exporters of tea processing machinery in the world, headquartered in Kolkata. It is a government recognised export house, with a global market share of over 40 per cent. The company has a full-fledged manufacturing unit at Kolkata.

TIGL has set up a 1,000 acre Mainak Hills Tea Estate and Green Tea factory in North Bengal. Mainak is currently producing over 800,000 kg of tea per annum.

Duncan Tea Limited

Duncans Tea Limited, headquartered in Kolkata, is a part of the diversified Duncan-Goenka Group, established in 1859. The company has 13 tea estates, located in the Doors, Terai and Darjeeling.

The company markets tea under the brands -Runglee Rungliot, Double Diamond, Super, Shakthi, Sargam, No1, Kings Cup and Aag.

Diana Tea Company Limited

Diana Tea is a tea-producing company, which was promoted by Late Radheshyam Singhania in 1976. The company is among top five producers of tea in the Dooars region.

It has four tea garden viz., namely Baintgoorie tea estate, Good hope tea estate, Ambari tea estate and Diana tea estate, all located in Jalpaiguri. The total capacity of the company is 5 million kg of tea per annum.

The company has entered the packed tea segment to be sold throughout North India through its distributor network. It has also entered the dipping-tea bag segment and has installed vending machines in corporate houses of Kolkata.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited

IOCL is India's largest company by sales, with a turnover of US$ 62 billion in 2008-09. It is the 18th-largest petroleum company in the world.

It owns and operates 10 of India's 19 refineries, as of 2008-09, the company had a refining capacity of 60.2 MTPA (1.3 million barrels per day). It has a refinery at Haldia, with an installed capacity of 6 MTPA.

IOCL has invested US$ 623.7 million for improvement of diesel quality and distillate yield (hydrocracker) at Haldia, and for capacity expansion of the refinery from 6 MTPA to 7.5 MTPA, the project was commissioned in December 2009. IOCL has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the WBIDC for setting up a chemical hub in Haldia, at an investment of around US$ 3.2 billion.

Halidia Petrochemical Limited (HPL)

HPL is a modern, naphtha-based petrochemical complex located at Haldia, 125 km from Kolkata. It is a joint venture project of the government of West Bengal with The ChatterjeeGroup, the TATA group and IOC as major stakeholders.

It has a total capacity of 520,000 tonnes per annum of ethylene. The company is expanding capacity by about 30 per cent, which will take ethylene production capacity to 670 kilo tonnes per annum (KTPA) from the current level of 520 KTPA.


The Khadim group has a significant presence in the footwear segment, especially in the east and south of India. It has a manufacturing unit at Kasba Industrial Estate, Kolkata.

The company has multi-brand retail outlets in 21 states and has more than 470 exclusive retail outlets across the country. Its sales stood at US$ 49.4 million in 2007-08.

Bata India Limited

Bata India Limited, incorporated in Kolkata, is the largest shoe manufacturer in India. The company has35 per cent share of the organised footwear market and its retail footprint spans more than 1,250 stores, it sells over 45 million pairs, annually.

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Bata has a manufacturing unit in West Bengal. The company plans to open 240 stores in a span of three years, with an investment of US$ 87 million.

Steel Authority of India (SAIL)

SAIL is the leading steel maker in India, with a turnover of US$ 1.1 billion in 2007-08.

Indian Iron & Steel Company (IISCO), which was a 100 per cent subsidiary of SAIL, has been amalgamated with the parent company. The company has an integrated steel plant in Durgapur.

Jai Balaji Group

Jai Balaji Group is among the leading manufacturers of steel in eastern India, it is headquartered in Kolkata.

The company has integrated steel production facilities in nine manufacturing units, spread across the states of West Bengal, (three plants), Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand. The company is setting up a 5 million tonne steel plant in West Bengal's Purulia district.

Bhushan Power and Steel Limited

Bhushan Power and Steel is a fully integrated 1.5 MTPA steel making company, with a turnover of US$ 950 million in 2008. The company has seven plants, in Chandigarh, Derabassi, Kolkata and Orissa.

The company is planning to set up a 2 MTPA capacity integrated steel plant with a captive power plant in Burdwan district of West Bengal. It has also planned a 6 MTPA plant in Asansol, West Bengal. The first phase is scheduled to have a 3 MTPA and a 1,000-MW power plant.


Genpact is a global remote processing operations company that services clients across the world with its IT-enabled services. It has an 80,000 sq ft facility in Kolkata and another new facility is being constructed on a three acre area at Salt Lake, which would employ up to 1,500 people.

It has also signed to acquire 700,000 sq ft at InfoSpace, an IT/ITeS SEZ developed by Unitech Hitech Structures, which will house 7,000 professionals. The company has approached the West Bengal government to set up an IT-SEZ in Kolkata with an investment of over US$ 22.2 million.

Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS)

Cognizant Technology Solutions is a global e-business and application development company. Cognizant, Kolkata services several large clients from the banking, hospitality (restaurant), healthcare, financial, airline and information-driven sectors of the global market.

It has signed a memorandum of understanding with Calcutta University, wherein the university will provide management and software training to a batch of 400 professionals hired by Cognizant, Kolkata. The company is investing around US$ 46 million to expand its facility at Kolkata.

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Incorporated in 1976, HCL is a leading global technology and IT enterprise with annual revenues of US$ 5 billion. The company's operations span across 26 countries. It has delivery facilities in the US, UK, Finland, Poland, Puerto Rico, Brazil, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Czech and India. In India, the company has offices in 170 cities and 500 points of presence reaching 4,000 towns. In West Bengal, HCL has two offices in Salt Lake City, Kolkata.


IBM is a leading global IT services and solution provider with offices across the world, including India.

IBM has been present in India since 1992. The company's Indian operation offers software, storage, systems and servers, semiconductors, etc. Since inception, IBM India has expanded its operations considerably with regional headquarters in Bangalore and offices in 14 cities including a global delivery centre in Kolkata.

Siemens Information Systems Limited (SISL)

SISL is a leading systems integrator and total solutions provider offering high-end consultancy in areas such as healthcare, telecommunications, manufacturing, utilities, public sector and government.

The company's services include enterprise solutions, management consulting, security solutions and operation related services. Its registered office is located at Mumbai, the company also has one office at Kolkata

ITC InfoTech

ITC Infotech, a global IT services company, is a fully-owned subsidiary of ITC Limited, the US$ 5 billion diversified conglomerate. Headquartered in Bangalore with wholly-owned subsidiaries in UK and USA, ITC InfoTech provides comprehensive solutions through development centres, offices, and delivery centres in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, in addition to two delivery hubs in Bangalore and Kolkata.


Export Profile

West Bengal is one of the country's leading exporters of finished leather goods. In 2008-09, the state accounted for around 15.7 per cent of the country's exports of leather and leather products.

West Bengal is also the country's leading exporter of flowers. The state accounted for around 70 per cent of India's dried flower exports in 2008. Flower exports of the state amounted to US$ 14 million in 2008-09 (April to February), as against US$ 10 million in 2007-08.

The state has the country's largest brackish-water resources for shrimp farming and has been a leading exporter of shrimps from India, which is the largest exporter of shrimps in the world. West Bengal is also a leading tea exporter.


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More Information on West Bengal

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