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Top Indian Cities by GDP

Dec 19, 2018 | 3 years ago | Read Time: 5 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

A few cities in India drive the country’s economic growth by leveraging network effects to increase overall productivity.

India is a land of contrasts. Cows and buffaloes jostle for space on city arterial roads with luxury sedans. Gleaming, luxury high rises with the latest amenities stand next to cramped tenements with very little to sustain them.

India is also the world’s third largest economy with a GDP of $9.45 trillion[1] in terms of purchasing power parity (real GDP of $2.37 trillion[2] at current prices). Growing at 7-plus%,[3] it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a destination for global companies who are attracted by its 500-plus million middle class[4] that are seen as potential consumers.

Most of the economic output is however contributed by a few large cities and these are the ones that keep the engines of commerce churning. People from everywhere flock to these cities for jobs and to eke out their livelihoods.

The top 10 cities in India in terms of their economic output throw up no surprises and here they are with the reasons why they are in this list.

The Top Ten Indian Cities


GDP (by PPP) in USD billion


$310 bn


$293.6 bn


$150.1 bn


$110 bn


$78.6 bn


$75.2 bn


$69 bn


$68 bn


$59.8 bn


$43.5 bn

Source: Business World, June 2017

  • Mumbai

No surprises here. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the financial capital of India. The Reserve Bank of India is located here and so are most of the leading banks. The two largest national stock exchanges are here, as are the biggest corporate houses. The Hindi film industry, known popularly as Bollywood, is India’s largest film industry and is located in Mumbai. The city is also an architectural treasure house with its neo-Gothic buildings, a heritage of the British era.

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  • New Delhi

The capital of India is next on the list. This city is the seat of the government and the source of all power, where all the policies that decide our fate originate. Apart from the overwhelming Mughal-era influence here, Delhi is known for the services sector that contributes to over 75% of its economic output[8]. Real estate, telecommunications, hotels and media are some of the few industry sectors powering the economy of this city.

  • Kolkata

City of Joy’ or the ‘City of Intellectuals’, this is one city that you you cannot ignore. The original capital of the British Empire and one of the bastions of communism (till recently), Kolkata has defied all dire predictions to still sustain as the third largest city in the country. One of the oldest stock exchanges in the country (at Lyons range) is located here and the thriving Marwari community who have virtually cornered all the trade in the city manages much of the commerce. Kolkata is a bustling tea centre and most of the major tea companies are located here.

  • Bengaluru

India’s version of Silicon Valley, Bengaluru is home to Wipro and Infosys, pioneers in the country’s information technology revolution. The technology industry is what keeps this city on its toes while some other big public sector companies such as BHEL, Bharat Electronics, and Hindustan Aeronautics have their headquarters here. This city also boasts of the first lady of pharma, Kiran Mazumdar the founder of Biocon. In the last decade or so, the influx of IT professionals, rising wages and a construction boom both in the commercial and residential sectors have led to crippling traffic jams, as the city’s infrastructure has been unable to keep pace with the population growth.

  • Chennai

A clutch of global auto majors such as Ford, Nissan and Renault have made their home in this city that is still not as crowded as the other three metro cities in the country. Apart from automobiles (about 40% of India’s auto industry is located here)[9], hospitals and healthcare is another important industry segment, while many IT companies have also established a base in the city. In fact, it ranks second to Bengaluru in software exports.

  • Hyderabad

Nicknamed Cyberabad, Hyderabad is home to some of the leading global technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Dell among others. Its original claim to fame was pearls, being a major trading centre for the precious gem. The city, now joint capital for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is also a hub for India’s pharma sector. It is also a historical city, the Charminar and the Jama Masjid being major tourist attractions.

  • Pune

Pune has come up in the last two decades as a viable alternative to Mumbai, which is bursting at the seams. Automobile companies such as Tata, Mercedes and Volkswagen have set up their manufacturing plants in the city’s industrial hub of Chakan. The city has a robust IT and BPO industry and this along with the automobile sector contribute largely to the city’s economy.

  • Ahmedabad

It is the largest city in Gujarat and is known for its textile industry. Bustling bazaars selling colourful apparel, furnishings are a feature of this city, especially during the evenings and weekends. Major corporate houses that are located here are Torrent Pharma, Nirma, and the Adani Group.

  • Surat

Think diamonds and Surat comes to mind. It has the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre and in fact about 90% of the world’s diamonds are processed and exported from this city.

  • Visakhapatnam

Vizag, as it is commonly known, is an important trading centre on the east coast being a port city. Software, textiles, pharma are some of the major sectors that contribute to the city’s economic growth.

II/Dec 2018/4701


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