In 17th century it was the base of Chhatrapati Maratha Shivaji Maharajh. In 21st century, it’s the Oxford Of East – This is Pune (also known as Poona), the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
In recent decades, Pune has raised itself from its cultural and spiritual heritage to a well-established ecosystem for industrial growth.
Once known for its military establishments, it is now the third-fastest growing city in the Asia-Pacific region, after Bengaluru and Hyderabad, according to JLL’s City Momentum Index (CMI) 2017. The city offers a host of career opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, automobiles, as well as IT and management. Also, it is considered a hub for education and research with internationally recognised universities and institutions, such as Symbiosis Institute of Management, Ferguson College, MIT (Maharashtra Institute of Technology) and more. Today, one can even find several greenfield facilities near Pune by leading automotive companies such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes Benz, Force Motors and more.
The Maharashtra state ministry has recently made commitment to make Pune the number one startup hub in the country by 2020. Reportedly, The Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDC) has set up a new subsidiary, Pune Idea Factory Foundation (PIFF), to cater to the startup needs of the city.
PIFF is currently guided by a four-member advisory board which includes NCL’s Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Bajaj Auto’s Rajiv Bajaj, 5F World Chairman Ganesh Natarajan, and Growth Story co-founder K Ganesh.
There are plans to expand the advisory team to 12 people and also bring together other incubators in the city, investors and mentors who can help and guide the startups.
As stated by Kunal Kumar, municipal commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation to ET, “The foundation of Pune as a Smart City is built on three verticals - improving the quality of life by improving infrastructure and services, boosting the economy, and creating jobs and sustainability. Under all these heads, there will be a need for enterprises to create, support, and maintain services. We want startups to take up that challenge. This becomes an engine for growth and innovation keeps happening.“