Kolkata is the main business, commercial and financial hub of Eastern India and the Northeastern States. It is home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange; India’s second-largest bourse. Until recently, flexible production had always been the norm in Kolkata, and the informal sector has comprised more than 40% of the labour force. For example, roadside hawkers generated business worth Rs.8, 772 crore (around 2 billion USD) in 2005. State and federal government employees make up a large percentage of the city’s workforce.
The city has a large unskilled and semi-skilled labor population, along with other blue-collar and knowledge workers. As in many other Indian cities, IT became a major growing sector in Kolkata since late 1990s, with the IT sector growing at 70% yearly — twice that of the national average. In recent years there has been a surge of investments in the housing infrastructure sector with several new projects coming up in the city led by companies such as DLF Limited and Unitech Group.
Kolkata is home to many industrial units operated by large Indian corporations with products ranging from electronics to jute. Some notable companies headquartered in Kolkata include ITC Limited, India Government Mint, Kolkata, Haldia Petrochemicals, Exide Industries, Hindustan Motors, Britannia Industries, Bata India, Birla Corporation, CESC Limited, Coal India Limited, Damodar Valley Corporation, PwC India, Peerless Group, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Allahabad Bank.
Recently, various events like adoption of “Look East” policy by the government of India, opening of the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim as a border trade-route with China and immense interest in the South East Asian countries to enter the Indian market and invest have put Kolkata in an advantageous position.