Small Business Ideas in India
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Best Small Business Ideas
At present there are several young professionals who are looking to earn money in short term and
event managers are also searching for more workers – this indicates a lot of possibilities for
companies in this sector.
Business ideas with INR 1000
A great business idea with nearly INR 1000 is ultra short temping services. As part of this business,
the companies provide manpower services on a temporary basis for event management firms. The
break even period for this business is close to 10 months and a gross profit of approximately 20
percent can be expected. An important skill needed to make this business a success is networking.
Business ideas with INR 7000
A good business idea with a budget like 7 thousand rupees is a shoe-wash company. Previously
canvas shoes were cleaned using old toothbrushes and detergent but nowadays people have
moved on to trendy sneakers and want the shoes to be cleaned by people who are experts in the
field so that they can be maintained properly.
In order to be successful in this business it is essential to know how to use chemicals and a fair
degree of marketing skills are required too. The break even period for this form of business is at
least 3 months. The businessmen can expect a gross profit of nearly 40 percent in this case.
Business Ideas with INR 15,000
Having a food delivery service is a great business idea if an entrepreneur has around 15 thousand
rupees with him or herself. Nowadays customers want the best food on their tables without making
the effort to go and get them and this is where a food delivery company can come in handy.
The main skills needed to run this business smoothly are sales and management. This business has
a break even period of 2 months at the very minimum and can provide gross profits of nearly 20
Business Ideas with INR 20,000
If entrepreneurs want to start a business with 20 thousand rupees, they can opt for uniform making.
Nowadays even business schools, medical and law colleges are making it mandatory to wear
Interested businessmen can establish connections with uniform manufacturing companies and
provide dresses at convenient prices. The most important skill in this business is man management
and it takes almost a year to break even.
Business Ideas with INR 50,000
Property management can be considered a great business idea if the start-up capital is
approximately 50 thousand rupees. The businessmen need to find out a proper workplace and take
responsibility for their detailed documentation procedures and thus save a lot of their time.
Adequate sales and marketing skills are needed in order to be successful in this business. The
company can achieve break even status within a month and also expect a gross profit of around 50
Yet another profitable business venture in this range is phone based business consultancy services.
Nowadays several entrepreneurs are looking to make a name for themselves and the time is right for
experienced businessmen to make the most of their skills and knowledge and guide these young
enthusiasts with some good business plans.
Networking is a critical skill needed to flourish in this business that can take almost 4 months to
come on break even terms. Wedding planning is also a good business idea with 50,000 rupees to
Nowadays, weddings in India are being celebrated on grand scales and the celebrators might not
have the time to properly attend to every little nuance as a lot of time is involved in this as well.
Wedding planners can help people in such situations.
Creativity is the name of the game in this business domain that can provide gross profits of almost
15 percent. However, achieving break even status will depend on the quality of projects that the
Concierge services such as baby sitting and medical treatment can be started with an initial capital
of 50,000 rupees or more. Network communication capabilities are the most critical skills required to
do well in this business that can take at least half a year to achieve parity and give approximate
gross profits of 10 percent.
Housekeeping services for hotels is a proper business idea if an entrepreneur has 50,000 to start
with. With the hotels looking to keep their rooms spanking clean, this is a good business idea. Good
communication and man management skills are necessary to succeed in this domain. This business
can provide gross profits of almost 20 percent.
Business Ideas with INR 75,000
Pre-recruitment assessment is a profitable business venture if the entrepreneur has a starting capital
of around 75 thousand rupees. This service can be helpful in letting companies hire the best
possible employees. The companies in this domain can chip in by creating the tests at different
levels and then evaluating the candidates based on their performance in the same.
Good marketing and sales capabilities are necessary for good performance in this domain. The
minimum break through period for this business is 2 months and it can provide gross profits of nearly
Business Ideas with INR 100,000
Entrepreneurs looking to offer custom made chocolates for their customers can get started with
almost 1 lakh rupees. They can make chocolates that are chemically okay and also taste great. It is
important to love chocolates and be creative to thrive in this business. Expected gross profit in this
segment can vary between 30 and 35 percent and the minimum period required to achieve parity is
Business Ideas with INR 200,000
If an entrepreneur knows inter-city and inter-state bus routes really well and has almost INR 2 lakhs,
then a bus service website can be regarded as a good business opportunity. The website can also
provide information on the ticket rates and the channels for booking them.
However, it is essential to have good IT skills to be successful in this business. The minimum period
needed to achieve break even in this business is 5 months and the expected gross profit is close to
Business Ideas with INR 300,000
A good business idea with a start-up capital of 3 lakh rupees is custom made festival gifts. The
owners can choose innovative gifts for their clients, wrap them in an eye-catching manner and then
send them to their clients.
They need to be sensitive and have good knowledge of the outlets of gift-makers. It can take at least
3 months to achieve parity in this business, which can be expected to provide gross profits of almost
Entrepreneurs with such start-up capital can also go for the online ads service business. They can
have contacts with the website owners and then get the appropriate space, which can help the
clients get access to their target audience.
The owners should have good knowledge of networking and media planning in order to be
successful in this business. The minimum time required to come to break even status in this
business is a year and the anticipated gross profit is 20 percent.
20 ventures you can start with Rs 5 lakh!
Last updated on: October 26, 2007 12:01 IST
In 1995, Sabeer Bhatia started Hotmail with his idea - of a free, Internet-based email service that can be
accessed anywhere in the world - and seed capital from pioneering venture fund Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
The service was commercially launched on 4 July 1996. The idea found takers, 8.5 million of them by
December 1997. That month itself, Microsoft [ Images ] Corporation, the world's largest software company,
That's the power of a good idea. In the last decade, businesses like Hotmail have rewritten the rules of
starting a new business. The first idea that has been junked is that you need a large amount of capital to
get it off the ground. The second concept to go was that you must make a tangible product to sell. Their
demise has been helped in no small measure by the increasing access of the common man to the
Internet, as well as by the emergence of the services, rather than manufacturing as a huge and fastgrowing sector. Further, the emergence of angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity funds
has made it easier, although still not easy, to fund a new venture. The first new requirement for newgeneration businesses is what old advertising hands would call the big idea, the ability to spot unmet
One, two, clean a shoe ... Take the case of Mumbai's [ Images ] Sandeep Gajakas. He saw a lot of
otherwise cleanly dressed people going around in expensive, but dirty, footwear. That was because ageold methods were not good enough for cleaning hi-tech branded shoes that used different materials and
20 Businesses You Can Start With Rs 5 lakh Or Less
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So, armed with a knowledge of chemicals and cleaning methods and all of Rs 7,000, he started a shoe
cleaning service, Shoe Laundry, four years ago. His service appealed to company brass, TV and film
stars, models and politicians, among others, who did not mind spending Rs 120 a pop to have their costly
sneakers looking like new. Today he has the likes of Yash Chopra [ Images ] and family among his clients
and his turnover has ramped up to about Rs 1.5 lakh a month. While initially he did all the cleaning
himself--he did not trust anyone else to do the job--he has now hired help to keep his business growing.
Low entry fee. Gajakas is not the only one who has managed to turn a good idea into a successful
business. The table 20 Businesses You Can Start Within Rs 5 Lakh is about initiatives that do not require
very high seed capital, taking into account both the initial capital expenditure as well as the working
capital required to get rolling. In each case, somebody has actually made a success of it. And all of them
can be replicated, although the specialised knowledge that most of them need creates an entry barrier
Spot a need. Few things can be more mundane than cleaning a drinking water tank. But Mumbai-based
Sunil Uplap thought there was a job to be done when he saw tobacco chewing, beedi-smoking men
cleaning one. So, in 1995, he set up TanClean, which uses modern cleaning and disinfection methods to
ensure the water is potable. Today, TanClean operates in 87 cities and towns now and Uplap is on the
The dotcom bust of 2000 proved that you cannot succeed simply because the entry barrier is low. But
Bangalore-based Phanindra Sama, Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri proved that good ideas
still work with www.redbus.in. It is one of the few websites through which you can buy bus tickets in India,
just as you buy air tickets over the Net. Investment is low, but you need grit to stick through the initial
stages, says Sama. Sanjay Anandaram, managing director of JumpStartUp, provides the perspective:
"Bus service is usually ignored, but in India it is a $2 billion-plus (approx. Rs 8,000 crore) industry."
Hyderabad's V. Pani Kumar Reddy has found a novel way of bringing demand and supply together. His
Dial-A-Meal has tied up with restaurants in Hyderabad to deliver food to all parts of the town. Today, it is
Bangalore-based Kiran Gopinath's Ozone Media is an Internet advertising network. It brings together
those with advertising space on the Web and those who need it. He partners online publishers to take
advertising reach across the world. His initial investment was just Rs 3 lakh, but his success is also a
Even the killing pace of today's life can throw up an opportunity. Bangalore-based Sandeep Chakrabarti's
Outrigor organises stress-busting trips for others. Says Chakrabarti, "I was a little hesitant in the
beginning and did not want to put all my savings in a business venture." Initially, he used to hire
Business creates more business. E-States International of Pune-based Sachin Dhanwala and Sundip
Joshy will take over the job of finding the right office space for companies, which can be quite a
headache. Say Joshy and Dhanwala, "We will not only find a place or two but also take care of all the
paper work, which can be quite time consuming." The spreading boom has brought opportunities for
professional housekeeping companies too. Says Delhi-based Ramesh Verma, who owns housekeeping
firm Collections: "With many malls and BPOs coming up in different parts of the country, there is a lot of
scope for the success of such a venture." Ritu Mukherji, who owns Delhi's Pristine Interiors, which does
housekeeping for hotels, adds: "The real investment that a person needs to make is their time and
knowledge." Her business is based on the 16 years of experience she had with the Oberoi group. And
Arvind Pandey's eponymous Concierge 4 India offers concierge services to expatriates. With more of
them moving to India, there is enough and more opportunity for anyone who enters this field.
Ride the boom. The BPO upsurge has made data security a growing concern. Pinkerton Consulting and
Investigations takes care of this by checking the credentials of prospective employees. Managing director
Krishnendu Biswas says the "growth potential is massive". Sridhar Pai, a 15-year telecom industry
veteran, set up Tons Telecom to mentor newcomers and even help them work out their business plans.
Event management is growing in India and managers often need temporary staff. Mumbai's Chirag Bhatia
and Varun Parekh bring them in touch with students wanting to supplement their pocket money.
Deepak Mendiratta has been successfully using his expertise and knowledge of insurance to bolster the
revenues of his Noida-based revenue credit billing company, Heath Insurance Integrated. His job is to
handle the paperwork and complications that arise when patients make payments in credit and claim the
Do what you love. Passion is a key element in these ventures. You need loads of it. That's what lies
behind chocolate freak Rashmi Vaswani's Rage Chocolatiers in Bangalore. Appreciation for a casual
chocolate preparation for a friend two years ago got her an order of 150 kg of customised chocolates, and
there was no looking back. Like her, you too can give a new twist to a common product. With average
incomes in India soaring, weddings are becoming more opulent and a need has arisen to creatively
organise them for others. Delhi-based Rita Bhasin's TAB Events has been doing just that. "Seed capital is
minimal, but what one really has to invest is time," she says. Prakash Mundhra of Pune has made a
business out of his skill at sourcing gifts for festive occasions. His Sacred Moments makes designer puja
Finally, we leave you with five more business ideas that have been successful in the West, but have not
seen much activity in India yet. Given that some aspects of life are becoming homogeneous across the
world, it is just a matter of time before Indians, too, start demanding these services. To that extent, we
think they have good prospects. What's more, you should be able to start them for Rs 5 lakh or less. Here
Home inspection. Looking for a house to buy or rent can get pretty tedious. Many would be grateful if
E-bargain website. A website that simplifies the job of choosing the best price--for toasters, trucks and
Payroll administration. This includes tax deduction at source, PF contributions and tax-saving
investments. Target clients: SMEs that cannot spend too much on administrative expertise.
Website for children. A website that lists children's names for parents to choose from and also
Warehousing services. The job of transporting products from warehouses to retail outlets.
With such a wide range of choice available to start small and think big, what are you waiting for? Go, start
Top 20 business ideas & opportunities
9th January 2011 in Springwise.
We‘ve selected 20 business and marketing ideas that we believe will provide entrepreneurs with plenty of
opportunities in 2011. We hope that you‘ll find these concepts as inspiring as we do, and that you‘ll be
able to apply them to your own company, brand or work in the coming year!
1. Pop-up ‘MedCottage’ enables senior care at home
As the massive baby-boomer generation enters its senior years, a strain on long-term care facilities
seems inevitable. Aiming to offer an alternative mode of senior care, Virginia-based N2Care has come up
with the MedCottage, a pop-up, medically equipped suite that families can use on their property to care
for seniors at home. The MedCottage is already authorized for use in Virginia and is designed to comply
with local zoning ordinances throughout the US.
Read more about MedCottage »
2. Vegetarian butcher serves up lupin-based meat substitutes
De Vegetarische Slager — the vegetarian butcher — opened a store in The Hague that‘s dedicated to
meat substitutes in the same way a butcher is dedicated to meat. The company‘s main innovation is its
own line of lupin-based, protein-rich products, developed by a Dutch team of scientists and chefs. De
Vegetarische Slager is targeting the higher end of the market — consumers willing to pay as much for a
meat substitute as they would for the real thing. As more people opt for meatless Mondays or cut out
meat altogether, we wouldn‘t be surprised to see vegetarian butchers pop up on main streets around the
Read more about De Vegetarische Slager »
3. On a bet, party people fill KLM flight to Miami using Twitter
DJs, promoters, label reps and ‗professional party people‘ from the Netherlands have persuaded Dutch
airline KLM to add an extra flight to its roster. In a new twist on crowd-buying, the initiators of Fly2Miami
made a bet with KLM on Twitter to organize a non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Miami. Crowd clout and
group buying — turbo-charged by social media — provide companies across industries with new
opportunities to empower consumers while improving their bottom line or, at the very least, their brand
Read more about Fly2Miami »
4. Indian courier service hires only deaf workers
India has one of the largest deaf populations in the world, but social stigmas have eliminated many job
opportunities for the roughly 6 percent of the population that is affected. Aiming to empower this isolated
group economically while tapping into a growth market, Mirakle Couriers is a messenger service that hires
only deaf workers. The company puts a heavy emphasis on the training of employees — right down to the
finer points of personal grooming.
Read more about Mirakle Couriers »
5. Luxury women’s panties by curated subscription
Panty by Post is a Canadian venture that offers a selection of women‘s underwear by monthly
subscription. Customers can order panties individually, or they can sign up for subscriptions lasting two,
three, six or 12 months. A different panty is then sent every month, each wrapped in an attractive mailing
package. It‘s a great example of subscription-based retail, offering curation alongside convenience. One
to apply to a category you‘re passionate about.
Read more about Panty By Post »
6. Buy-one-give-one indie eyewear sells for $99 per pair
The market for prescription eyewear has traditionally been dominated by high prices, little innovation and
a few large competitors. That‘s why we‘ve seen online discounters emerge, and it‘s also why Warby
Parker has set its sights on the industry — so to speak — with a paradigm-busting model that aims to
combine independent design, ―buy one, give one‖ generosity and some long-overdue pricing
Read more about Warby Parker »
7. Fiat offers electric bikes as loaner vehicles
Showing smart thinking from a major brand, and tapping into the desires of eco-conscious consumers,
Fiat now offers Spanish owners of its Fiat 500 an electric bike option while their car is in the shop. The
service is available in various cities in Spain through a partnership with bicycle maker Trek. There‘s no
charge for borrowing the electric bikes, which have a 70 km range and recharge during braking as well as
through plug-in power. Fiat hopes the loaner bikes will demonstrate its commitment to sustainable
mobility. Since this is a relevant and appealing way to let consumers try out a product that‘s still unfamiliar
to most, electric bicycle brands would do well to seize the opportunity and initiate similar partnerships in
Read more about Fiat’s electric loaner bikes »
8. Tapping professional skills of micro-volunteers via iPhone & web
San Francisco-based Sparked by The Extraordinaries is an online platform that seeks to make it easy for
altruistic consumers to support an organization or cause. It enlists both individuals and groups of
company employees to contribute their expertise to a nonprofit in even the smallest chunks of time.
Requests by nonprofits might include translating a page of a document into Spanish, for instance, or
helping to choose a new logo. The organization neatly combines people‘s desire to give back to society
with another prevalent trend: their need for convenience.
Read more about Sparked »
9. Cleaning product sold in cartridges, diluted at home from the tap
Forward-thinking manufacturers are working to decrease the amount of packaging used for their
products. Some offer concentrated formulas, others sell refills in bags instead of containers. Now, a
Canadian startup has come up with an innovative solution: refill cartridges that consumers dilute at home.
Developed by Planet People, the iQ line of household cleaning products features small cartridges of
plant-based concentrate. Consumers fill a spray bottle with ordinary tap water and pop in a cartridge. The
coloured concentrate visibly mixes with the water, and voila: a full bottle of cleaner.
Read more about iQ »
10. A fresh take on online memorials
1000Memories provides a place for friends and family to gather and remember deceased loved ones.
While the field of online memorial services is a crowded one, many of those sites were clearly created in
the early days of the web. With its fresh design and more current feature set, 1000Memories sets itself
apart and could attract a sizeable audience. (One to launch in other countries!) The concept is part of a
wider trend in web publishing, whereby it‘s becoming increasingly simple for non-geeks to build beautiful
websites, often in 10 minutes or less. Other examples include Flavors.me and Tumblr.
Read more about 1000Memories »
11. Trial gear and showers for runners at Tokyo Adidas store
Located near the Imperial Palace, the Adidas Runbase store is a far cry from your average sporting
goods purveyor. Included in the space are 16 shower cubicles and 248 lockers for rent. Also available are
a broad array of cutting-edge Adidas shoes and clothing available for the borrowing. Expert staff are on
hand to offer tips and recommendations, so runners could presumably try a different combination of
goods each time they run, giving them the ultimate in try-before-you-buy purchasing confidence. This is
brand-as-butler thinking that‘s well worth considering for your own marketing and sales strategies.
Read more about the Adidas Runbase store »
12. Mobile app for group texting and on-the-fly conference calls
Available for both iPhone and Android, GroupMe is a free tool from New York-based Mindless Dribble
that gives groups of friends private text messaging and instant conference calls. As many as 25 people
can be included in a group at any one time, but users can create as many groups as they want — one for
their basketball team, one for coordinating a surprise party, one for the PTA, one for updating family
members while travelling, etc.
Read more about GroupMe »
13. Books by gift subscription, hand-picked for the reader
The march of the subscription models continues! We‘ve already seen a wide variety of products offered
by subscription over the past year or so, however, Just the Right Book adds a slightly different twist by
adding hand-picked customization. This is where smaller retailers have a chance to shine and to set
themselves apart from the (online) behemoths.
Read more about Just the Right Book »
14. Mobile garage makes any car greener
Colorado-based Green Garage specializes in ―green-tuning‖ cars to run cleaner, greener and cheaper
through sustainable, energy-saving automotive maintenance and repair products. The full-service
company begins by bringing the garage to the customer‘s front door with a valet service whereby it picks
up the car, green-tunes it and then drops it off again. Given where the automotive industry began on the
sustainability spectrum, it seems safe to say there‘s plenty of room for improvement, and that‘s just what
we‘re beginning to see.
Read more about Green Garage »
15. Funding service targets eBay merchants
Online vendors begin with Kabbage by entering their eBay marketplace ID. Using that, Kabbage checks
their activity and history on the marketplace; if both are sufficient, it asks the retailer to complete an
application. That application is far briefer than most because Kabbage learns much of what it needs about
the retailer — including sales and credit history, customer traffic and reviews, and competitive information
— via online data that it can access in seconds with the applicant‘s permission. Kabbage then makes an
immediate decision; if approved, the borrower can access funds immediately via PayPal. Interesting
niche, and potentially a new style of lending to businesses, with decisions based on real-time, readily
Read more about Kabbage »
16. Waiting-room service lets patients pass the time elsewhere
TechnowaiT‘s 1-2-3-Go! service is designed to allow patients to leave the waiting room and go
somewhere else to pass the time until it‘s their turn to be seen. Patients begin by registering at the
doctor‘s office and taking a number. They can then go anywhere they‘re reachable by phone; by calling in
regularly to an interactive system, they can find out via an automated message how many people are still
ahead of them, and how much waiting time still remains. As their turn approaches, they can then return to
the clinic just in time.
Read more about TechnowaiT »
17. High-end clothing brand only sells on tour dates
Over the past few years, we‘ve seen nearly every major clothing brand — from the Gap to Louis Vuitton
— set up one or more pop-up stores, drawing attention to their product lines and to their regular retail
outlets. In contrast, a Munich-based brand isn‘t attempting to supplement its fixed-store bread and butter;
Clemens en August‘s only offline sales are through temporary outlets, twice a year. Avoiding the pop-up
moniker, the brand describes itself as being ‗on tour‘. A lesson in scarcity that other retailers might learn
Read more about Clemens en August »
18. Fair-trade lemonade supports grassroots projects
LemonAid is an organic drink made entirely of a few organic, fair-trade ingredients. The company‘s
organic juice, for example, comes from a small farming cooperative in Brazil; its sugar cane, meanwhile,
is derived from a cooperative in Paraguay. Not only does LemonAid pay its suppliers higher prices on
account of their fair-trade practices, but it also donates a major share of its yearly revenue to further
support small, locally based grassroots projects in the developing world. For every bottle of LemonAid
sold, a share of the proceeds is donated back to the countries from which its ingredients derive.
Read more about LemonAid »
19. Targeting travellers, beauty retailer finds a niche in 3 fluid ounces
Ever since authorities placed rigorous limits on liquids allowed on flights, travellers have had to figure out
how to both pack their favourite toiletries and comply with those regulations. Helping consumers avoid
bag-check charges or confiscation of their toiletries and cosmetics, 3floz sells beauty and grooming
products in TSA-approved sizes only.
Read more about 3floz »
20. Village rainwater harvesting system stores enough for a year
Akash Ganga, or River from the Sky, is a sustainable system that channels rooftop rainwater from every
house in a village through gutters, and then pipes it to a network of multitier, underground reservoirs.
Currently implemented in six drought-prone villages in the Churu District of Rajasthan, the system
captures enough rainwater to meet the drinking needs of an entire village for 12 months. Akash Ganga
currently supplies some 10,000 people with fresh water.