THE PAST: History tells us that Pune was once a small, laid back town which came under ruthless attacks from the Nizhamshahi, Adilshahi and Mughal rulers from time to time. On one occassion it was virtually destroyed by an Adilshahi attack. It's social, psychological , economic and overall administrative fabric was killed physically as well as in spirit. However the highly respected visionary mother of famed Maratha king Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Jijabai decided to put the city scape back into proper shape. With the help of close confidante and veteran administrator Dadoji Konddeo, she managed a miraculous face lift of Pune.
The development was kicked off by making an auspicious begining when the Kasba Peth Ganapati mandir (the eternal divine place of the God of the city) was resurrected and the concerned idol placed traditional glory. Even the economic structure then started to develop at a fast rate. It is often argued that the strength of Jijabai's character, the worthy Dadoji's administrative finnesse, reinstallation of Marathi pride and later a sense of security provided by Shivaji Maharaj's rule offered a conducive atmosphere for the economic growth of Pune in those days.
(For further details of that era please refer to Raja Shiv Chatrapati penned by the famous historian Mr. Babasaheb alias B.M. Purandare.)
After the maratha rule came the reign of the Peshwas, which was a mixed bag. Pune, once popular for trade of traditional items like bamboo work, handicraft, tribal productions, hand woven cloth productions and agricultural goods suddenly started to depend more on food and related items of consumption. Tertiary sector also showed a reasonable climb with money lending, money changing and other services (vernavularly called Balutedaris) gaining substantial ground.
Then came the British dominance of the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century. This period was also marked by the infamous epidemic of plague, the tension generated by British Governor Rand's assassination by the revolutionary Chaphekar brothers and also the marked effects of the Year of Great Divide (1921) when the Indian population started to rise at alarming rates. One cannot say that either the economy was safe from pitfalls or stable in any respect during the British regime. Although inflation rates were low, for instance, the wage rate was low and (more or less) static thus bringing down the real wages appreciably.
Frequent raids, riots and arrests of freedom fighters also affected the economic stability. A major portion of the then young generation hurled themselves into the struggle for freedom inspired by great thinkers of the calibre of Balgangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Ranade, Veer Savarkar et at. Thus the younger, able and efficient employees as well as potential employees had chosen a different, nationally significant task to devote their lives to. Then in 1947 the British left and India became independent.
1947 onwards modern industry, which had already been established during the pre independence period, prospered more in Pune. It is a legacy of the past fifty vibrant, independent years that Pune is today considered an important trading and industrial city in India. Present Economy