The Industrial Development movement in Bikaner can be traced to as early as in 1962. Though industrialization process started somewhat late but in a short span of time, the cityís industrial growth is remarkable. In between 1967-70, the first industrial area was outlined and the Bikaner district association was formed. Thereafter, instead of moving to other regions for doing business, people preferred to stay at Bikaner to do business. Soon, favorable business conditions encouraged people to start industries in their home district. Not only residents of Bikaner but also people from neighboring areas started to participate in the eruption of industrial development of the city.
During early eighties, the small scale industries got the attention and the progress was achieved at the end of eighties. During this period, Bikaner saw tremendous growth in the industries like wool, agricultural products and chemicals and ceramics. At present, Bikanerís industrial estate has 250 fully developed plots where industries are thriving greatly. In 1980, the Bikaner Industries Association proposed to set up a second industrial estate and for which a 250 acres area of land was allocated.
The most prosperous industries in Bikaner are:
Woolen Industry: Bikaner boasts of being the biggest Woolen Mart not only in India but also in Asia. Bikaner has been a center of wool business for more than 185 years. The wool is taken from Bikaner to Badhohi in Uttar Pradesh for making good quality carpets. Carpet weaving is also a famous industry at Bikaner.
Ceramic Industry: In and around Bikaner, Gypsum is found in good amount. Thus, industries based on gypsum, white clay and fullers-earth are quite abundant in Bikaner. It is said that Maharaja Ganga Singh had sent silica-sand to Belgium as a raw material where quality glass was manufactured and brought to Bikaner. Several glass articles can still be seen in the museum in Bikaner.
Bhujiya and Namkeen Industry: Bikaner is famous for its Papad and Bhujias. There are hundreds of big and small units in Bikaner which are involved in making Papads and Bhujias of different varieties. Thousands of people are employed in these papad and namkeen industries. At present, there are about 425 units in Bikaner producing Bhujias. These units are located in the Bikaner district and nearby areas of Shri Dungargarh, Churu, Nagaur and Sri-Gaganagar. Except a few most of these units are small and cottage type industries.