Mumbai vs Bangalore

Anirudha Dutta
Published: 13, Mar 2013

Anirudha Dutta is former head of research at CLSA India Limited, a leading foreign brokerage house. While every number tells a story, there are many stories beyond numbers and both are equally important. This blog will attempt to tell some of these stories.

It's quite often that friends get into a discussion between Mumbai (or Bombay) vs Delhi and passions run equally high on both sides. Much has also been written about it in various magazines and newspapers. But a city that is almost never discussed in comparison is a relative new player on the Indian, urban landscape - Bangalore (or Bengaluru). Whenever I have travelled to Bangalore over the last few years, the energy levels of the city have surprised me. I am not talking about the evening or nightlife since I am ignorant about that as far as both Mumbai and Bangalore are concerned. I am talking about their roles in the new, global economy. In Bangalore, I have seen a lot more youngsters starting new companies, a general ecosystem that has developed for entrepreneurs etc. Of course, much of this has to do with the now well-known growth of the IT industry and associated entrepreneurs, whether in the area of defence, automotive applications, engineering etc.

The race for talent remember is no longer between companies. It is between cities and what they offer the skilled talent to stay in them. China has shown us how its purposeful creation of integrated manufacturing and production networks within regions did for its dominance in global production. India lacks that scale of action, but in knowledge industries you don’t need just-in-time delivery and high-speed-cargo. You just need “place”, and “place” is what Bangalore brings to the residents who live in it, and that few other cities in India have been thoughtful of as they decay in the chaos of bad governance and under investment in infrastructure.

It is not just the IT  industry that has picked Bangalore over Mumbai or Delhi, even though those cities have more people, and thus one would assume, more talent. Various MNCs have set up their R&D centres in Bangalore too. Among these GE is the most prominent and celebrated one. Now when K P Singh of DLF fame laid out the red carpet for Jack Welch (discussed in details in Jack Welch's autobiography, Straight from the Gut), he possibly also showed him his enormous clout in the power corridors of Delhi. On the other hand, the joint venture with Wipro would have showed GE the immense human resources potential in Bangalore and also a very different work ethic, which would likely help to attract top notch research scientists to the R&D centre.

The availability of trained professionals, primarily engineers, dates back to before the boom in the IT industry. I  not remember how or why it started (was it during Bangarappa's time?), but the mushrooming of private engineering colleges at one time was looked down upon because many were seen as lacking basic facilities, faculties and necessary infrastructure. But possibly the demands from the booming IT and other industries forced these institutes to change where today they attract students from all over the country and are known to largely provide quality education.

But now some city/ states have tried to catch on, most notably Hyderabad when Chandrababu Naidu was the chief minister, but what makes Bangalore different? Though every denizen complains about the dismal state of urban infrastructure and the quality of their lives in Bangalore, I believe Bangalore has two distinct advantages over Mumbai, apart from its salubrious climate.

The first is its ability attract and retain young professionals in search of career or entrepreneurship. This is thanks to affordable real estate. Yes, Mumbai still attracts some  the brightest people primarily in the field of entertainment and financial services and given a choice many of them would prefer to be in Bangalore. Poor infrastructure, particularly high cost of real estate and commuting hassles by public transportation is a deterrent to both employers and employees as far as Mumbai is concerned.

In practical terms, Bangalore’s air is cleaner, its society safer and more genteel (certainly far ahead of New Delhi). Mumbai still attracts talent - it always has and will - but in the race for the best, Bangalore is increasingly a more attractive destination. For Indian-born talent returning home, Bangalore is again the destination of first choice. The net result is that slowly the city is also becoming one of the largest centres of activity and commerce in the country, rapidly rivalling the weight of Mumbai or Delhi.

The second advantage that Bangalore enjoys  - and a very important one - over Mumbai (and over Delhi also, I would think) is the engagement that its most prominent citizens have with the city's administration and well being, an engagement that truly makes them a stakeholder in the city's growth, development and well being. A resident’s awareness of the levers of power, and the knowledge that they have access to them in time of need, makes a big difference in how engaged and invested they are in the “place”.

Let me explain what I mean. A few years back a body called the Bangalore Action Task Force (BATF) was set up. BATF had some of the most prominent citizens of Bangalore starting with Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani involved and actively thinking about Bangalore's issues and engaging with the local administration as well as the state government. It was a great example of public private partnership and was set up by the then chief minister S M Krishna. It helped that the individuals at the helm were some of the wealthiest in the world they in turn attracted others.

BATF lost its way when Krishna lost his chief ministership, but a few weeks back another initiative was launched with similar intents - B.PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee). On stage during the launch were present - Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, T V Mohandas Pai, K Jairaj, Ashwin Mahesh and N R Narayana Murthy. B.PAC has forged alliances with other urban reform agencies. People from the corporate world, sportspersons like Prakash Padukone and cultural czars were all present at the launch. Read about it in Shoba Narayan's article "The future belongs to power partnerships".

The most prominent citizens of Bangalore have become stakeholders in the city in a way that Mumbai's most prominent have never really tried to - both by giving their time and their wealth. The Tata’s have looked at infrastructure issues and solutions for decades, but acting alone, they have never made any headway. Some of the richest and most prominent of the citizens have limited their interests to their skyscrapers and businesses. Bombay’s captains of industry have never come together in any platform for Mumbai in any sustainable way.

Prithviraj Chavan, probably the best chief minister Maharashtra has had in years, has never appeared or engaged in a public forum for Mumbai with its best known citizens. This lack of engagement is felt by the people who live in a place, and when choosing where to live, Bangalore shines on a relative scale. If public pressure points are not created, there is no incentive for the system (and the people who run it) to change. Mumbai, the commercial city of India, is and will remain the milch cow; but she’s not going to be around forever if nobody feeds and tends her. The impacts of decay are very visible.

Let me give a different example. Recently the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS),with a grant of Rs50 crores from Nandan Nilekani and Rohini Nilekani, has been set up in Bangalore. Among others Hemendra Kothari and Uday Kotak, both longer-term residents of Mumbai, have added Rs10 crores each. Why do institutes like these do not come up in Mumbai? Prohibitive real estate costs and political ineptitude are two of many reasons. Remember how Mumbai lost the Indian School of Business (ISB) to Hyderabad when state politicians demanded reservations for local students? The only educational institutes that come up in  Mumbai are those that are run by politicians and we know why (think land).

This race is no longer between Mumbai and Delhi and Bangalore. It is a global landscape that these battles for talent are being fought fiercely, although intra-country battles will continue, especially in a country as large and diverse as India. Cities have to look at themselves carefully and do what it takes to renew and stay relevant to their residents. If you don’t have the right people, and if they don’t choose to come and stay, you will never have the businesses that need them. Kolkata lost it many years back.  Now Mumbai is losing its competitiveness, even while Bangalore is gaining its. Agree?

(Tanzeel Merchant co-authored this piece along with Anirudha Dutta. Tanzeel is an architect, urban designer, writer, and flâneur. Tanzeel is leading the efforts of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (home to the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta), working with the Province of Alberta and Energy Industry, in their efforts to plan for a better, more sustainable long-term future. He has excelled in the past in his work leading the implementation of Ontario’s Places to Grow initiatives)

  • Wasifur

    Globally Bangalore is in 5th spot (No. 1 in India) as offshore R&D center. The technology which other Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi are using are developed in Bangalore. It's the startup capital of India. Also global Bank and financial companies are looking Bangalore as their Analytics center of excellence.

    on Jun 29, 2016
  • surya

    Dude Mumbai is Mumbai. No city compares with Mumbai. India's richest city is Mumbai.

    on Jun 28, 2016
  • ravi

    plz don't compare yar...we r all indians we should love our cities and help them to grow

    on Feb 20, 2016
  • sachin

    please include bangalore in smart cities

    on Oct 23, 2015
  • Salman

    Kisi Bhi City ko hum Tarazoo Mein Tol Nahi Sakte Kyunki India Ka Har Shehar Khoobsurat Hai Chahe Woh Mumbai ho, Bangalore Ho ya phir Delhi. Yeh Ek Insaan Me hona chahiye ke woh apne Shehar ko Paak aur Saaf Rakhe. Abhi App Yeh Bataiye ke Hum Kisi Doosre Country Ko Jake Jaise Saudi Arabia, America ya Singapore Wahaan ke taur tarike nahi seekhte? wahan jake India Walon ko kya hojata hai Itne Paak Saaf hojate hain ke Wahaan ke Woh Log Bhi Sochte honge Are Shayad India bhi Itna hi Paak aur Saaf hoga, Kya waise hi apne India ko Paak Saaf nahi rakh sakte, bhaad me jaye Govt ya Politics Jitne Log Election ke Din Vote Dalne Jaate hain utne Log agar hamare shehar ki Saafaiyi Karne Aage Badhe na to Jaane hamare India kya se kya hojaye ga. Aur Tab Jo Dusre Country se Log aayenge Hamare India ko Woh Waise hi Tarif Karenge Jaise Yahaan ke Log Dusri Country se wapas aane ke baad Karte Hain.

    on Oct 6, 2015
  • Dr, C Sharath Kumar

    I have seen both the cities, Bangalore has better living standards. Better buildings, parks.

    on Aug 25, 2015
  • Achal

    Some calling Bangalore a village don't know anything. If Bangalore is a village, then every Indian cities are remote villages. Bangalore is the most globalized city in India. It is the nightlife capital with most number of pubs and clubs. Bangalore is the most modern city in India with the highest salary and most luxurious living conditions. Mumbai and Delhi are the curse of India. Over populated, full of slums. 50% of mumbai and 25% of delhi lives in slums. Can you call them cities. Mumbai is the financial capital and delhi the political one. But the citizens of both cities suffer too much. In both places there are no opportunities and no jobs and full of poverty. Delhi is actually a waste city in India. It gets money from other states. If it is not a capital of India it will be the most underdeveloped place in India. on the other hand Mumbai is a very useful city in India which creates big revenues. But some buisiness people are enjoying the money and ordinary people are left behind with nothing. Property value in Mumbai is the highest in India. Only rich people can lead a good life in Mumbai. Only government employees are happy in Delhi. Ordinary middle class people from all over India is flocking towards Bangalore to find jobs and it is giving jobs to everyone. All Indians should be thankful that a city like Bangalore exists in India. If it would have been in China or any other nation, then the unemployment rate of India would have been much higher.

    on Jun 29, 2015
    • Vannessa

      I think you never went out of Bangalore pff.. Mumbai or Delhi don't need I.T industries they are self sufficient enough as even beggars are crorepatis in these Mumbai and Delhi.. Bangalore is now where near these cities.. there is a reason behind why Mumbai is called as land of dreams.. do you even know the value of each slum if you will sell how much will you earn in Mumbai?

      on Feb 17, 2016
    • ketan

      Right. If some one say Bangalore is village? Then what about other cities of India? I am leaving in Indore and I am shocked when I listen like that thing about Bangalore.

      on Aug 28, 2015

    Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia. Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT), and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures. Mumbai is India's largest city (by population) and is the financial and commercial capital of the country as it generates 6.16% of the total GDP.[20][111][143] It serves as an economic hub of India, contributing 10% of factory employment, 25% of industrial output, 33% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and INR4000 crore (US$630 million) in corporate taxes. Along with the rest of India, Mumbai has witnessed an economic boom since the liberalisation of 1991, the finance boom in the mid-nineties and the IT, export, services and outsourcing boom in 2000s. Although Mumbai had prominently figured as the hub of economic activity of India in the 1990s. As of 2008, Mumbai's GDP is $209 billion, and its per-capita (PPP) income in 2009 was INR486,000 (US$7,700),[11][148] which is almost three times the national average. Mumbai has been ranked sixth among top ten global cities on the billionaire count,[155] 48th on the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index 2008, seventh in the list of "Top Ten Cities for Billionaires" by Forbes magazine (April 2008), and first in terms of those billionaires' average wealth. As of 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group (GaWC) has ranked Mumbai as an "Alpha world city", third in its categories of Global cities. Mumbai is the third most expensive office market in the world, and was ranked among the fastest cities in the country for business startup. The Mumbai Suburban Railway system carries more than 6.99 million commuters on a daily basis. It has the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. The Juhu Aerodrome was India's first airport, and now hosts a flying club and a heliport. Mumbai Port has one of the best natural harbours in the world, and has extensive wet and dry dock accommodation facilities. Jawaharlal Nehru Port, commissioned on 26 May 1989, is the busiest and most modern major port in India. It handles 55–60% of the country's total containerised cargo. The Tansa lake supplies water to the western suburbs and parts of the island city along the Western Railway. The water is filtered at Bhandup, which is Asia's largest water filtration plant. India's first underground water tunnel is being built in Mumbai. Cell phone coverage is extensive, and the main service providers are Vodafone Essar, Airtel, MTNL, Loop Mobile, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and Tata Indicom. Both GSM and CDMA services are available in the city. Many of the above service providers also provide broadband internet and wireless internet access in Mumbai. Mumbai has highest number of internet users in India with 16.4. The University Of Mumbai is one of the premier universities in India. It was ranked 41 among the Top 50 Engineering Schools of the world by America's news broadcasting firm Business Insider in 2012 and was the only university in the list from the five emerging BRICS nations viz Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is also the indias safest city for womens. Full night people rome in mumbai.

    on Apr 26, 2015
  • Rakesh

    very helpful in my study... thnk you..

    on Mar 31, 2015
  • Nandy

    Although mumbai is a gateway from almost centuries. Though all the way Britishes used to trade from this city. So it is the main city in India. But Bangalore started it's development programmes from last 30years. Althouh Mumbai is developed but they don't know how to handle the city. So far Bangalore is fastest growing city in whole Asia with the head of IT and BT. You can expect 1000 more than a Mumbai if it started developing from centuries. Even from 30 years development Bangalore became one of the top cities in India. It is a silicon valley of India in IT development. If we know all these things why to compare Bangalore to other cities. Proud to say 'namma Bengaluru'.

    on Mar 23, 2015
  • Why rent agreement is for 11 months?

    [...] part of the city, the travelling would consume much more time and money especially if it’s a metro city like Mumbai or Bangalore!  No wonder why rental agreement in Bangalore are 11 months! Bangalore is a very literate city and [...]

    on Mar 12, 2015
  • chidambar v joshi

    in my view,bangalore is better than mumbai because of pollution,poulation,ITcompanies,etc..bangalore is developing very speedly by it's own whereas mumbai is developed by britishers THANK YOU.....

    on Feb 1, 2015
  • James

    Both cities losing its cosmopolitan image, both cities becoming too much loCalized because of sudden influx of lot Of local villagers from the its consecutive States, thanks to vote bank politics, samE is the situation with Delhi too many people from U.P.

    on Jan 22, 2015
  • rudra

    Its unfair to compare the two cities, to start with the topography of both the cities is totally different. Mumbai is a great coastal city growing beautiful day by day and caters to people from all parts of india. While Bangalore is central and young suburban city to most to the young IT professionals from mostly four southern states. I have lived in both the cities for considerable amount of time, I don't know for some reason bangloreans are always comparing their city with rest of indian cities and calling it the best, may be it gives them a sense of high self esteem. But in Mumbai nobody cares and nobody compares. To some of the comments saying that Mumbai has slums and Bangalore is a village, let me clear one thing just like Mumbai most of the Bangalore is village slums but the living condition is better then slums of mumbai. I love both the cities.

    on Jan 22, 2015
  • Vijay

    Hi, It makes no sense in comparing two cities in India. It is not the natives' fault if they become backward. Infrastructure and GDP plays a vital role in development. Number of young people have also a crucial role. Every place has its own significance and relevence. Visit this blog to know everything about Banglore Regards, Vijay

    on Dec 9, 2014
  • Abhishek gowda

    Atleast Bangalore does not have Asia's 2nd largest slum like mumbai . when it comes to public transport Bangalore is way ahead thn mumbai with world class buses ,where as Mumbai is full of old, ageing double decker filthy buses . overall Mumbai is old and dying city of our country . true Mumbai can be seen in slum dog millionaire movie. Bangalore rock

    on Nov 30, 2014
    • Vannessa

      you never went out of Bangalore pff :p Bangalore doesn't even deserves to be compared with Mumbai

      on Feb 17, 2016
    • Prashant

      Abhishek, Public transport in Mumbai is way ahead of any other city in India especially because of the local train infrastructure which has the largest network in India. If you have lived in Mumbai you would realise that it takes under an hour (and you can set time to this) to commute from any corner of Mumbai to any other corner - every day. This is not true in Bangalore as there is no infrastructure. All public transport in Bangalore is on the road with BMTC buses. Please check your facts before you comment.

      on Dec 6, 2015
  • scandice

    Both the cities are facing Heavy traffic issues.Its only cause of apps like Traffline,commuting has become easier for me ,I used to live in Bangalore before and it wasnt a good experience cause of its traffic.

    on Nov 29, 2014
  • Shweta Patel

    Well , I don't like comparison between two cities.

    on Nov 29, 2014
  • suresh

    There is no harm to dream like this about bangalore. It was a good city till 80s and 90s. Today its a mess. Its better IT or ITES companies move out to different cities of India, so that city becomes livable for at least those who are native / settled since last 20 years. Views about Mumbai are quite untrue. God save those who read your article and decide to move to Bangalore / who are staying

    on Nov 24, 2014
  • Arohi deore

    I'm from Mumbai... Let's see it statistically... Mumbai GDP -209 Billion $ Bangalore GDP 85 Billion $... Says it all. + City has much better nightlife, cosmopolitan nature, Hub of important financial companies and government financial institutions, Bombay Stock Exchange, SEBI, RBI 70% of India's foreign trade happen from here. you can compare bangalore with pune, chennai, ... Some serious business and work happens in Mumbai not stupid startups which end up nowhere.. Mumbai and Delhi are way ahead of Bangalore and are international cities... Bangalore is jus village with bunch of it companies.

    on Nov 17, 2014
  • Rajat

    Mumbai accounts for slightly more than 6.16% of India's economy contributing 10% of factory employment, 30% of income-tax collections, 60% of customs-duty collections, 20% of central excise-tax collections and US$ 10 billion in corporate taxes to the Indian economy. And NOT to forget the dreams to a billion + humanity.

    on Oct 28, 2014
  • suraj

    This is so stupid article. 1) No comparison should be made between two cities where the population is almost 4 times of another city. 2) Bangalore can score at only one point against Mumbai and that is the Start up Ecosystem, ah maybe with respect to the environment. 3) Poor article, completely biased where you tell about Bangalore but doesn't tell anything about Mumbai.

    on Oct 4, 2014
  • jsmmy

    Even the suburban area of mumbai is 10 times better then bangalore forget comparing it with the coastal mumbai. Yes you can compare pune with bangalore, and its just matter of few years bamgalore will loose all the talent which the writer is talking about to pune.

    on Sep 8, 2014
  • pravin rao

    mumbai is way ahead in all aspect, be it transportation, safety, or night life. because of these factors, there is a huge influx of people, from all over india,to mumbai, .cities like Bangalore or Delhi would have crumbled , under such huge influx of people.In bangalore, auto drivers, do not fear the cop, they openly over charge, at the majestic bus-stand, the pre-paid auto stand is a farce, if u complain to the traffic cop, who is stationed .,there ,he is least helpful, whereas in Mumbai, auto drivers fear the cops, and traffic cops in mumbai are more helpful.Mumbai gets maximum rains ..but still it manages to stay afloat, if bangalore gets these ,same amount of rains, it would be submerged in no time. So, folks, don't even think of comparing Mumbai with Bangalore..Bangalore is III tier city, so please compare it with chennai or Hyderabad.

    on Sep 2, 2014
    • Divang

      Which rock have you been living under? At no point of time in the article has the author made the slightest suggestion that Bangalore was better than Mumbai or Delhi (although i can think of quite a few parameters under which i would place Bangalore above both). Most of his statements seem well measured and don't venture into the realms of stupidity (like your criticism of this article or its inaccuracy or the city itself). People i see are quoting stray instances of having been inconvenienced by the public transport or having been conned by the auto-drivers. I mean this can happen to you in any city ,(other than the city that you're from) as you don't know your way around. God knows why you even brought up the whole thing about the rains washing away the city or its plumbing being inadequate to handle the kind of monsoon that Mumbai has to put up with (seems pretty self explanatory: It does nt rain out here the way it does in Mumbai.....duuh) Then these are these other looney toons who are suggesting that the author is biased (the irony...!!). Every city has its own charm and has a good number of pros to go with the cons. I have nothing against Mumbai or Delhi and think highly of both these cities. However i do have a problem with such dimwits (can be compared to horses with Flymasks) who think they know it all.

      on Nov 5, 2014
  • Anup Behera

    No offence to the author, this article is partially biased. It's written in favor of Bangalore somehow. Both the cities are different as well as similar like urbanization. While B'lore has much more fresh air compare to Mumbai, wheres Mumbai is vibrant. I m from Mumbai and visited B'lore few times. To be honest, I didn't find B'lore as happening as Mumbai. As far as growing companies are concerned, yes B'lore is top for its IT structure. More companies are attracted to locate in B'lore. IT, ITES, BPO aspirants are more attracted towards B'lore. In the other hand Mumbai is something different from all other cities in India. There is something why we call our city as Dream City. My personal experience, I had really bad time with B'lore public transport service. Back in June 2012, I was in B'lore. It was a Sunday and I had gone to meet a friend in kormangla. The time was arround 11 PM. I was staying with another friend in Marathili. I had to return marathili from kormangla. I hardly found a city bus from Forum mall. after waiting 30 mins, I got a TATA sumo, carrying people toward Silk Board. I got into that, paid 30 buks for Silk Board. Then again I had to wait for another 30 mins. I didn't find city bus end up arguing with a rickshaw wala who asked 300/- for the ride from Silk board to marithili (That was ridiculous). But then I had to pay. The distance was around 14 km. If I were in Mumbai and had to travel 14 km at midnight, the auto wala will down the meter and have to pay according to meter, which will come around 180/-(including night charges after 00.00 AM) according to "M-indicator" application. This is one case. Transport is far way below in B'lore (Bangalore people, don't feel bad, its true). There is hardly any place within B'lore city where you do time pass other than Shopping malls. (Oh C'mon, do not show malls to Mumbai people. Enough mall here). Those who are working in B'lore will surely love the city but for a outsider like me would go B'lore only if there is any work and come back. B'lore is a city to work and earn, that's it. Not for fun and enjoy (doesn't mean its totally boring, but lil bit). But if you want to work, earn, have fun, enjoy night life, feel the 24/7 racing life, you are most welcome to Our city Mumbai, the city never sleeps. - A proud Mumbaikar.

    on Jun 18, 2014
    • sumit saha

      Sir, I totally agree about the traffic system. You are correct about auto drivers charging high fares you brought the truth out which everyone knows and commuters not getting any transport facility post midnight is also true. Thanks for sharing atleast the truth.

      on Apr 23, 2015
    • bangalore

      i have been to all the cities and have spent time. Bangalore is comparatively better than both the cities. the review is not biased. from March to Aug is horrible heat in delhi and mumbai. whereas blr is cool.. Bangalore has lot of activities to do. there are lots of resorts around blr. there are hills, waterfalls and many wild life resorts around. If you are lazy u end up in malls... delhi the transportation is not very clean. BLR autos charge more but its safe and very clean. Delhi and Mumbai the heat makes you uncomfortable. Mumbai the street food is really good. but Delhi its a little unhygienic.

      on Jul 16, 2014
    • K

      I've lived in both cities and like all cities, both of them has it's advantages and disadvantages, so it's just a matter of preference but what I want to point out here is that I find it ironic of how you accuse the author of being biased and here you are being biased yourself. And I just want to make something clear that Bangalore does have other "things" to do other than just shopping malls. Maybe you just didn't know where to go. And I've also dealt with transportation problem in Mumbai too (it's not just Bangalore) but Bangalore is just as bad. I think apart from the weather, it's pretty similar in terms of food, people, transportation, etc. This is from a complete outsider, I am not from Bangalore or Mumbai so no biased feeling here. Both cities are absolutely great in their own way but I just wanted to point out the hypocrisy here.

      on Jul 6, 2014
  • Harjinder Paaji

    Nice and a very informative blog for me. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    on Jun 7, 2014
  • Santhosh B R

    Guys are you from India & Pakistan to fight & compare?? Both Bangalore and Mumbai are beauties of INDIA...

    on May 28, 2014
  • jyotj Singh

    Lived in both the cities and love them both. Did most part of my schooling in Bangalore and this where it scores over Mumbai,schools with better infrastructure and all round education. Having said this Mumbai is a place to be no city in India or maybe even the world can match its vibrance.

    on May 9, 2014
  • Maya

    I am from Mumbai - but have lived in Bangalore for a couple of years. There is no comparison between the two cities. Mumbai operates at an entirely different level altogether. Bangalore is green, cool and hip - but Mumbai is where serious work happens. In terms of safety, trust and spirit, Mumbai is far ahead.

    on Apr 2, 2014
    • Girish

      Mumbai is safer than Bangalore??? Please check out the crimes in mumbai and compare it with Bangalore...

      on May 5, 2014
      • K

        Haha, exactly what I was thinking. I wouldn't exactly call Mumbai FAR ahead. They're probably head to head with this though and it just depends on the situation you're in.

        on Jul 6, 2014
  • bharath chandra

    Mumbai is the worlds top most billionaires city in the world when we compared to mumbai.

    on Mar 9, 2014
  • bharath chandra

    Bangalore regarded as the green city in India when compared to Mumbai, the city that never sleeps is much more a better place to live in. Many bangaloreans have also stated that Mumbai is a much happening place when it comes to people, city life and regular lifestyle.This comes to an arugument on Mumbai vs Bangalore which you will see below. Though Mumbai, the place known for the most fancy night clubs and rich living there is still somethings other than this which can be compared to Bangalore city in India. Regardless to say that both these two cities in India have wide differences but when put under comparisons, Mumbai ranks the 10th expensive position in the world where you can own a home. Let me tell you why Mumbai vs Bangalore is much better in a lot of ways. 1.Night Life - The most happening place when it comes to night pubs. In ,Mumbai you can party all night whereas in Bangalore the party ends at 11:30pm. There are no such rules when it comes to partying in Mumbai. 2.Society – Mumbai is Bollywood whereas Bangalore is home to big business tycoons like Vijaya Mallya. The people in Mumbai is very different when compared to Bangalore. The Mumbaikers are people who follow travel rules religiously, Bangalore does not. Another thing is that many Mumbaikers believe to clean up their own mess, but in Bangalore the garbage always piles up and left unattended. Therefore, here we see a huge difference in concern to Mumbai Vs Bangalore. 3.Lifestyle – In Mumbai the lifestyle is totally different. With the Mumbai beaches and hotels it is better to stay in this city. Bangalore city, does not have beaches and therefore to sit and relax you need to go to places like malls, shopping centers and recreational parks, which does not comfort you to that of beaches and the cool breeze. Mumbai is known as the financial city of the country and Bangalore as the IT hub, therefore to a conclusion that Mumbai Vs Bangalore is much better. 4.Transportation – Mumbai has the best local transport like the metro trains and the buses which are frequent and though it is always crowded 24/7 the people in Mumbai are very loyal and easy going. Bangalore is coming up with metro rails and famous for its volvo buses, Bangalore seems to be improving as we speak.

    on Mar 9, 2014
    • K

      Why does everything have to be this is better than that?! Why can't you people just accept that both has flaws and both has it's own charming life? Why can't you guys be proud of these two beautiful cities instead of putting one city down just to make your city seem 'better'. Set an example for everyone that you love all the things that India offer. Gosh!

      on Jul 6, 2014
    • Girish

      Bangalore rock capital of India, often referred as pub capital of India and u talking about more entertainment in Mumbai. Almost all international rock music concerts happened in Bangalore though Mumbai is much older city than Bangalore with Bollywood as well. God, outsiders when they go Mumbai for the first time and travel in those smelling trains by standing with those beasts, either they end up loosing ur mobiles, wallets or else they end up vomiting...

      on May 5, 2014
    • Arun

      Oh dear we are not talking about nightlife here.

      on Apr 2, 2014
  • jagdish

    What is there in bangalore to compare, bangalore is a village which totally messed up itself in process of becoming a city. Most of the citizens are from nearby villages. Mumbai on the other hand was international city from day 1, even with slums it is one of the most vibrant city to live after newyork.

    on Feb 20, 2014
    • Girish

      Mumbai is an international slum city, I agree with u man...

      on May 5, 2014
      • Joe

        Mr.Girish... you seem to be crossing the line here. Mumbai and B'lore are out of comparison. Big people reside in Mumbai. and don't worry, Mumbai won't decline. Hell, its got way more things to show. look up world one by lodha group. And Imperial by S D Corporation. Nothing declines in mumbai, because there is no city that has immense trade/business and has a busy port and support for such high populous. But b'lore is already having a somewhat alike competitor=Pune. And pune's close connection with Mumbai will make it bloom even faster, outpacing B'lore. This is not me saying... its the PMO. and statements out of those offices are usually facts. You see Dharavi as the Great Empire of Slums, but think differently, it has the largest number of single room factories in the world. Mumbai may have a British Era Chassis, but business here started in the 70s, untill then mumbaikars were famers(cotton export). think correctly, dont jump into conclusion. do some R&D...Cheers and No Hard Feelings

        on Jun 2, 2015
      • jagdish

        Exactly its a international slum city but still a vibrant international city but bangalore will always be a village with IT bdgs on its village roads and local villagers working inside it.

        on May 5, 2014
  • kalyan dutta

    I have stayed in both bangalore and mumbai. If you catch the airport bus -vayu vajra at 2 pm in the afternoon, you will know how good transportation is in bangalore, need i say more. Mumbai does not fare better either, but is a touch better. The real estate prices in mumbai are unrealistic, which along with the weather probably tilts things in favor of bangalore. But mumbai still stays the most cosmopolitan city in india and if one is not looking to buy property in mumbai-amchi mumbai rocks.And off course it caters to people from more diverse fields unlike bangalore where IT is the bane of business.Overall i agree with the views expressed, mumbai is on a decline and bangalore is on the way up. Lets see what happens.

    on Jan 1, 2014
  • Rahul Srode

    I like Bangalore. Even though the city is historical, but is beautiful city. I would like to migrate to Bangalore for future.

    on Dec 3, 2013
  • Abhi Roy

    Hi Anirudha Your topic of discussion has no end , still you have covered all the aspecst of metro cities ranging from industrial development to job opportunities. Mumbai Vs Bangalore or Mumbai Vs Delhi , all of them have their own good and bad things. Mumbai and Bangalore both now become a center of education like IIT , IIM and also for banking courses. Delhi is also well known for IAS preparation.

    on Nov 22, 2013
  • sam

    Bangalore is a city with good weather and people around but only a good road infrastructure and transportation can save it from becoming a total disaster.

    on Nov 6, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      True, Sam. The same can be said for much of India, unfortunately.

      on Nov 6, 2013
      • sam

        Yes but Bangalore population growth is very high compared to the other cities and the time is ticking before things explode.

        on Nov 7, 2013
  • Anirban

    Bangalore was never been planned for high growth of population influx. This has made Bangalore a very congested city. The level of congestion rose so alarming high that the city is unable to take the burden. Also, the state of public transportation is NOT at par with Mumbai. Not to mention the hour long traffic jams in Bangalore. There is also acute problems of power and water supply. Mumbai has recently come up with good road projects which aims to reduce the traffic congestion. Power and water supply in Mumbai is also in a much better state than Bangalore. Also, Mumbai still is the fastest city in the country for business setup.

    on Oct 1, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thank you, Anirban. I would agree with you on the power bit. Roads, water supply may be slightly better than Bangalore but not much. Increasingly Bombay roads are full of potholes and exhibit shoddy work. Most sky rises get their quota of daily water supply by tankers - somewhere the ground water is being depleted and only the well off can get their daily dose of water. In the slums, there is a daily fight for water and scuffles over stealing water in the dead of night. Some day these tankers would be stopped and robbed, I suspect. Not a very happy scenario. Beyond the glitz of Mumbai lies a lot of grime.

      on Nov 6, 2013
      • Anirban

        Thanks a lot Anirudha for your reply. As I am almost completed one year staying in Bangalore - therefore I can say both these cities cannot be compared. Both the cities are different in nature. While Mumbai is the India's Financial and Entertainment capital, and Bangalore is the IT capital. While Mumbai is Cosmopolitan and Vibrant and Bangalore is cool, quite and humble. The urban infrastructure in India is a complete mess in each and every city including Bangalore and Mumbai are no exception! If Mumbai roads have potholes then Bangalore roads are not better either. Roads in Bangalore are also having lot of potholes, narrow and congested. If water supply in Mumbai has shortages, so Bangalore also has! Bangalore is having serious water scarcity. That's why the water tankers ply in the Bangalore roads very often. Every city in the world has grime behind their glitz, so Bangalore and Mumbai are also not an exception. I feel the article has been written in favor of Bangalore. I would rather expect an article about the individual cities rather than comparing them.

        on May 8, 2014
  • prakash choudhary

    Article written above is vry informative, n there is doubt about banglore real estate growth and its climate and ut is also 4th largest city after 4metros but comparing banglore with mumbai is not at all fair because GDP of mumbai is 3fold more than banglore and mumbai is also hometown of well known industrialist of india. as you know it njoy the status of being financial capital of india.

    on Oct 1, 2013
    • Girish

      I dont think buying property by investing crores of rupees in Mumbai is worth to face that pathetic weather, to travel uncomfortably by smelling trains. One can imagine y slum dog millionaire movie has been shot in Mumbai...

      on May 5, 2014
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thanks, Prakash. What you say is true but someday the David will overtake Goliath, possibly.

      on Nov 6, 2013
  • Sandeep

    While the influx has been huge in Bangalore, the planning hasnt complemented the development. The city planning team should really gear up before it gets too late because already it takes 1 hr + for 5-7 kms during peak hours. Unlike Mumbai Bangalore's public transport isnt also as great which makes it even more difficult Daily necessities like water is also going to be a huge problem if it isnt worked upon Sandeep ft2acres

    on Aug 25, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thank you, Sandeep. True Bangalore has its share of problems - infrastructure and water being the foremost. Neglecting our urban areas is bringing most of our urban centres under huge distress.

      on Aug 31, 2013
  • V.S. Bhagavan

    Yes, Bangalore will probably be far ahead of the other cities in India. However, on a global level, it needs far more long tern planning and vision. The concept of reservations for every level of employment does not do well for the city or the country. It is high time that we discontinue the caste based reservations and promotions. Clean governance and good leaders without any greed for corruption is a MUST. The next few generations will not benefit much, if the present state of affairs continue in any city, state and the country. WAKE UP AND DEMAND good governance at all levels...

    on Aug 2, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thank you, Bhagavan. Good governance is what India needs desperately.

      on Aug 31, 2013
  • Sandeep

    I agree with you, but just want to know what is Bangalore without american jobs...American are always looking for cost cutting and Indian economy is growing in a very fast pace. Can private company running BPO and IT (more BPO than IT) manage to provide Salary compared to government jobs in a long run.. I mean an army recruit just passing 10th gets 25000 a month after 6th pay commission apart from other benefits..and in the next 20 years there will be at least two more pay commission...where as I have found salary in BPO is becoming stagnant as years go by..Please explain or tell me the truth if I am wrong. Here I am talking about general employees, not Team Leaders and so forth.

    on May 31, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Hi Sandeep, Different people will have different opportunities based on their abilities, qualifications and sometimes luck. Going ahead it will be the private sector that will create more jobs than the government and they will be based on what the markets can absorb and/ or afford, unlike a government job. Government jobs offer a kind of security that private jobs do not as they are determined by business cycles and market conditions. In today's world we will have to continuously reskill and retool ourselves so as not to become redundant. And what you are saying is not true for just a government job and a BPO job. A steward in an airline at the start of his/ her career earns more than a graduate in most industries - it's a supply-demand issue of skill sets. If we keep ourselves relevant, then we will have less to worry. Best wishes.

      on Jun 1, 2013
      • Sandeep

        Hi Sir, I really appreciate that you took time to reply me back, but I am not against private company as I know they are the one who will create more jobs, but the mindset of Americans are what worries me. They are always looking for cost-cutting destinations..quality comes way beyond. As per private company that are operating on products or services depending on India and will cope up with time as they will increase and sell the product in a price on market basis.

        on Jun 2, 2013
  • Forbes India | Shoba Narayan

    [...] about it here. Rate this:Share this:EmailFacebookPrintLinkedInTumblrRedditDiggTwitterGoogle [...]

    on Mar 16, 2013
  • Narendra KV

    Bangalore became India's knowledge capital due to efforts of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Some of the best Defence R&D Centers and Space / Aerospace Institutions came up during his time. This was the basic framework that encouraged Gundu Rao [1981 - 83] and Ramakrishna Hegde [1983 - 88] set up capitation fee based engineering and medical colleges in the city. Engineers had many employment opportunities in the city itself. The city's advantage is a culmination of governmental investment over five decades. It helps that the local people welcome strangers warmly and give them space to grow. Everyone from Azim Premji, SM Krishna and NRN have moved in from other places. They represent the city ethos proudly and have a voice in its fortunes.

    on Mar 15, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thanks, Narendra, for your insights. Even Mumbai had/ has some very good defence research establishments, demand for engineers from the textile and other sectors, academic institutes like TISS, TIFR, UDCT, IIT etc... but it has somewhere lost it to Bangalore.

      on Mar 17, 2013
  • Akarsh

    Good insight :) The future is Bangalore provided we get the governance right. The city has the right balance of a global city with a young, intelligent and cosmopolitan population. Great weather to 'Chill out' in the fast paced boom town and great opportunity everywhere. But when it comes to the corridors of power something seriously looks like its gone wrong. Nevertheless, tonnes of public initiatives is still keeping the city on track. Mumbai has its own charm but its decaying under its own success. I love mumbai and the vibrance it carries but when it comes to Bangalore, one can truly sense its place in a global perspective. Delhi unfortunately feels like a very hostile setting and kolkata has good culture but is not competitive any more. Chennai is not my cup of tea :) This is my opinion and i'm sure your entitled to yours. Cheers :)

    on Mar 14, 2013
    • Girish

      Very true mate..

      on May 5, 2014
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thanks, Akarsh

      on Mar 17, 2013
  • Yeshwanth Gowda

    Good blog, Nice to have somebody start comparing cities and make politicians and big guns jealous. This way our cities would be the ultimate winner when people who matter think and execute. Although i am in Orlando, Fl now i am from Bangalore and think its the best place to live in India. I have been to Mumbai, Delhi and I think Delhi came close second. I am thinking of settling back in Bangalore. For me Mumbai is just like their crowded train, no clue about making it better but somehow it just goes on.. On the other hand i feel Bangalore is growing too fast and i hope it just slows down a bit. If they develop the city with same way they created Jayanagar, largest planned locality it will be good. Its just a perfect place with good schools, parks, recreation club, hospitals... what more do u want. Best city is one when people think they can spend their whole life out there..

    on Mar 14, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thank you, Yeshwanth, for sharing your experience

      on Mar 17, 2013
  • Saif Merchant

    Industrialists in Maharashtra and the Government of Maharashtra should seriously look into this !

    on Mar 13, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Indeed, Saif

      on Mar 17, 2013

    Mumbai is Mumbai. Mumbai offers many opportunities be it to the educated or otherwise.

    on Mar 13, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thanks, Prasanna. Without a doubt Mumbai offers a lot of opportunities and will continue to. That is why so many flock to this city. For some with a choice, cities like Bangalore, esp if it gets its infrastructure right, are emerging as cities of first choice

      on Mar 17, 2013
      • Pawan

        I am not so sure that he will be a one term wonder. People wrote-off Bill Clinton in 1994, only to have him re-elected in 1996. Just for clirafication: Yes, I live in the US, but I am an independent voter who did vote yesterday. I am glad that power in the congress is divided, this will force both parties to come to the table. If they manage well, they both will get a pat on their backs, but if they dig a deeper hole, both will share the blame too. I am actually happy that the power is now divided. I predict that this will help Obama in 2012.I think this so called "Balance of Power" will help Indians in negotiating with the US. Any necessary approvals in congress may take time but will get through as no party would want to bare the blame for not approving a deal that could mean billions in revenue for the US businesses. The percentage amount of Indian purchase may not be big, but in this environment people will notice that and may become a campaign issue in the next election cycle.

        on Apr 7, 2013
  • Sanchita

    Well analysed and written. And since I lived in all the 4 cities - Mumbai ,Bangalore , Delhi and Kolkata for a considerable period of time(as a part of the working population) , I could relate to your views points . When I first came to Mumbai.I fell in love with the city( like most newcomers who are out of their hometown for the first time specially Kolkata:)) Back in 1991,two things stood out for me in Mumbai - the'feeling safe' as a woman and the dedication of the working they utilize their time , do their daily chores even while travelling in an 'overcrowded' train to work. They used to develop a 'train' bonding . Straight from safe city of Mumbai , I landed in the 'crime' capital of India-well I donot need to talk about my experiences in our capital city as a working woman. And well while working in Kolkata, the prime attraction of weekdays was lunch! And of course politics n football( for men). Then came Bangalore- wonderful city..awesome weather.. Even the autorikshaw drivers spoke ( my field of work) obviously my first love 'Mumbai' scored second in the list of preferred city(note: my choice ends with two cities only:) But thinking back, I think, why Bangalore came as the 'charming' one- it was then a young growing city where one felt engaged in the development of the city somehow or the other , one had an after work life , professional opportunities, women friendly etc etc..Needless to say affordable real estate compared to Mumbai., whereas Mumbai felt like a 'matured' city with citizens executing their bit of work with dedication and the 'money making' capital of India. But saying all that in favor of Bangalore, I would like to share a recent experience of mine . Few weeks back, I landed at Mumbai international airport at 2:30 am , and believe me I felt the same comfort and confidence which i had years back , of taking a cab from the airport to lower parel at that wee hour of the morning.To my surprise , on the way , I saw a lady jogging, few ladies walking barefoot to SiddhiVinayak Temple.. I was feeling so happy that 'amchi Mumbai' still remains un stained. On the otherhand, Today, I donot dare to take a cab from Bengaluru airport , when I reach at odd hours.

    on Mar 13, 2013
    • Vivek

      I must agree with you Sanchita, being the resident of Bangalore from 20 years things have changed a lot. The taxi and auto riksha drivers are getting worse day by day. Though the public transportation system of the city is modern and awarded by various authorities, it is still one of the unfriendly service we get in the country (i exclude Bangalore Metro). The bad roads, unmonitored traffic rules and increasing food inflation adds up to this. But still home is home, i am happy that it hasn't reached to a worst condition, before it does it's the duty of all the citizens and the authorities to preserve the sheen of the city.

      on Oct 19, 2013
      • Vivek

        I apologize for the grammatical mistakes!!

        on Oct 19, 2013
    • Anirudha Dutta

      Thanks, Sanchita. Is the distance of Bengaluru airport an issue or something else? And even I love Mumbai.

      on Mar 17, 2013
  • Mumbai vs Bangalore – Forbes India (blog) | Travel Guide for India

    [...] vs Bangalore – Forbes India (blog)By admin on March 12, 2013 Mumbai vs BangaloreForbes India (blog)But a city that is almost never discussed in comparison is a relative new player [...]

    on Mar 13, 2013
Cabinet Committee for Investments is not the solution to the investment problem
Will Aadhar Put an End to Double Subsidy?