Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat and the seventh-largest
urban agglomeration in India, with a population of almost 53 lakhs
(5.3 million).Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, Ahmedabad
is a thriving trade center in the country. With a highest literacy
rate in the state and best of infrastructure Ahmedabad provides
good living standards at every level of society. Ahmedabad is home
to a large population of Vanias (i.e., traders), belonging to the
Vaishnava sect of Hinduism and the sects of Jainism. Most of the
residents of Ahmedabad are native Gujaratis. Hindi and English are
commonly spoken, especially in commerce, education, politics and
government. Ever since its foundation, the city has attracted migrant
workers from other regions of the state and the country who bring
their native language and culture to the city. The military base
near the city, and presence of government institutions such as ONGC,
also bring an influx of people from across India. Ahmedabad, thus
enjoys a diverse cultural society.
Ahmedabad is the largest inland industrial center in western India,
and has historically enjoyed a reputation as an important base of
commerce, trade and industry. In the 19th century, the textile and
garments industry developed and thrived in the city. Today, Arvind
Mills, located in Ahmedabad, is one of the largest textile mills
in the country. In recent years many foreign companies have set
up their sales offices and production facilities in Ahmedabad. The
Gujarat government has also increased investment in the modernization
of the city's infrastructure, providing for the construction of
larger roads and improvements to water supply, electricity and communications.
The information technology industry has also developed significantly
in Ahmedabad. A NASSCOM survey in 2002 on the "Super Nine Indian
Destinations" for IT-enabled services ranked Ahmedabad fifth
among the top nine most competitive cities in the country.
Ahmedabad plays a strong and significant role in providing commercial
resources and market access for the economies of neighboring cities.
A majority of the work force of Ahmedabad are traders and business
people. This has led to the creation of major mercantile corporations
and artisan guilds that are a key influence on the economic life
of Gujarat. The presence of renowned educational & industrial
institutions like IIM, FICCI and CII also provide a platform that
fosters the intellectual and industrial growth of this city.