State of the Economy 2018

White-Collar Dreams

Business is looking up in Nashik and Aurangabad, but labour issues — rising costs, shortage of skilled workers and unionisation — continue to play spoilsport

Photographs by Vishal Koul

It’s a long trudge, really. The 180-km stretch from Aurangabad to Nashik — both key industrial pockets in Maharashtra — mirror the state’s apathy towards the two cities. In both the cities — home to a substantial number of manufacturing units catering to automobile and pharmaceutical sectors — access to skilled labour is a much-voiced concern. The higher proportion of SMEs — 75% in Aurangabad and as much as 90% in Nashik — only compounds problems. While enterprises are emerging out of the long shadow of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and demonetisation, the road ahead continues to be fraught with uncertainties.