A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Mumbai as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.
Mumbai and Maharashtra
Sitting on the west coast of southern India, Mumbai has long been among the most important ports and trading posts on the subcontinent. It has been the official capital of the state of Maharashtra since soon after the country gained independence from Britain and is now one of the greatest and most populous urban centres in the world.
A complicated history stretching back deep into antiquity saw the seven islands of Mumbai’s natural harbour fought over and controlled by a long list of indigenous empires even before European travellers arrived to make their mark on the region. First Portuguese and then British traders and naval forces took their fondness for Mumbai to the point of habitation and conquest in the 16 and 17th centuries, all of which left a considerable legacy on the region as a whole.
In the early days of their presence in Mumbai, the British found themselves almost perpetually fighting local armed forces and rival invaders but by the late seventeenth century they were able to establish a state known as the Bombay Presidency. The situation in the region remained turbulent but a number of great engineering works were undertaken, not the least of which saw the seven islands of the city somehow converted into the single landmass that still forms the basis of the modern city.
Since the earliest days of its settlement, Mumbai has been a regional centre for fishing industries and while under British rule it became one of the world’s most important sites for textile manufacturing, a traditional which continued right up to the 1970s.
The transition to becoming an independent nation was not as smooth as it might have been for Mumbai or for India as a whole but after considerable upheaval the state of Maharashtra was eventually established with the great coastal city as its capital back in 1960. The urban environment has since been divided into a downtown city district and a larger suburban district, which covers an area of roughly 350 square kilometres and has a greater population than the central zone itself.
Having become fully independent just over 50 years ago, Mumbai has since managed to establish itself as one of the major metropolises in Asia. It is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic urban environments anywhere on earth, as well as being the business capital and economic heartbeat of modern India.
There are few cities that can match Mumbai for the scale of its economic ambition or for the progress it has made in recent years. Many of the world’s largest and fastest growing businesses have significant operating bases in the city and major financial institutions are increasingly setting up in the downtown district.
As well as large multi-national corporations, many of India’s home-grown business giants like the Tata Group and the Life Insurance Corporation of India are head-quartered in Mumbai, as are hundreds of successful start-up companies in a vast array of sectors.
There are plenty of options when it comes to renting office space in Mumbai but such is the pace of business growth in prime locations that supply is struggling to keep up with demand. As a result, office space in Mumbai is among the most expensive in world. However, the real estate giant Cushman and Wakefield expects to see supplies of high quality office space grow more quickly in Mumbai than anywhere else in India over the course of the next five years.
The same organisation estimated that Mumbai will see demand for 1.6 million office space units by 2013 and that there will be a dramatic surge in business travel accommodation requirements as ever more multi-national corporations establish bases in the region.
The primary transport link between Mumbai’s main business district and the surrounding areas is the railway system, which runs right across the conurbation. An almost unbelievable number of people use the system on a daily basis but safety issues mean visitors tend to find alternative ways of getting around.
Given the scale of population growth in and around Mumbai, it is perhaps unsurprising that congestion is a pressing concern for the local authorities. There are hundreds of thousands of taxis and auto-rickshaws on the Mumbai roads, offering a reliable and safe, if sometimes time-consuming service. The district authority is currently looking to significantly expand its Skywalks initiative, which aims to build a network of safe and direct pedestrian routes around the city’s main business areas.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport serves the bulk of Mumbai’s air passengers and is the most active airport in India. A new aviation hub in Navi Mumbai has been proposed and approved by the government and should soon be easing the pressure and reliance the city currently has on its only international airport.
Culture, tourism and sport
As a centre of migration and settlement for centuries, Mumbai’s culture and architecture has been influenced by an astonishing range of cultures and traditions. As a result, there are now a vast array of important and spectacular religious sites, as well as all manner of impressive remnants of bygone imperial eras right across the city.
One of the more modern and most popular places to visit in Mumbai is Nariman Point, which sits right along the harbour’s edge and affords an incredible view across the city’s skyline, particularly at night when the great buildings of the central business district light up in dramatic style.
Some of the most interesting and well run art galleries and museums in India are to be found in Mumbai, while a thriving film industry has given the city an international reputation and helped to export theatrical interpretations of Indian culture to the world.
When it comes to sport, the people of Mumbai generally reserve their passions for their cricket grounds and particularly for the Wankhede and Brabourne stadiums where the top local teams play.
Cricketers are regarded almost like gods in Mumbai and the city has given the game one of its greatest ever players in the diminutive form of Sachin Tendulkar.
Away from the cricket fields, popular sports include tennis, field hockey and football, as well as Formula 1 racing, which has Force India as one its newest full-time teams.