Climate and geography have long pushed Gujarat towards commerce. Poor rainfall made it hard to scratch out a living by farming, so that other industries were developed to pay the bills.
With its long coastline of 1,600 kilometers and a border with Pakistan, the region was a natural hub for international trade. As a result of lucrative trading relationships, the state has long been one of India’s most prosperous. Today, Gujarat is an industrialized hub with its main commercial city, Ahmedabad, nicknamed “Manchester of India” on account of its huge textile industry.
Gujarat has also been the flag bearer of India’s pharmaceutical industry since the establishment of the country’s second oldest drug company, the Alembic Chemical Works Company, in Vadodara in 1907. According to Dr. H.G. Koshia, commissioner of FDCA Gujarat, the state regulatory body for pharmaceutical drug approvals, the Gujarat model has allowed pharma companies to thrive.