The economy of Bhopal is heavily industrial based with pharmaceutical, automobile, textile, and production of electrical goods mostly being prevalent. The city’s GDP was estimated to be around $17 Billion in 2018. With Madhya Pradesh’s GDP growing to $140 Billion in 2021, the Greater Bhopal Area which includes Mandideep , Bagroda and Acharpura inudstrial towns, is expected to contribute a GDP of around $32.5 Billion. The major industries in the old city are electrical goods, medicinal, cotton, chemicals and jewellery. Other industries include cotton and flour milling, cloth weaving and painting, as well as making matches, sealing wax, and sporting equipment. The residents of Bhopal also engage in large retail businesses. Handicrafts, like zardozi and batua (a small string purse, usually used with Indian traditional dresses) are some of the products of the Old City.
Bhopal is also home to the DB Corp, informally called the Bhaskar Group (named after its major publication Dainik Bhaskar), a ₹17 billion business conglomerate with a strong presence in media. Its head office is located in Maharana Pratap Nagar. While an IT Park, near Bhopal Airport, houses various software development companies and the city is expected to further enlarge its IT presence in near future with giants like WIPRO intending to establish software development centre in the city. Other Software and IT companies established in the city include Sutherland Global Services, ISoft InfoTech, Soluzione IT Services, Netlink Softwares Pvt Ltd., Caresoft Inc India, Osmo IT Solution Pvt Ltd., and many more.
Manjul Publishing House, located in the old city, is a major publishing house made famous by the translation of the Harry Potter series of novels into Hindi.