India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world. Enormous domestic market and increasing middle class with high disposable incomes have insulated the country from global economic challenges. Most successful firms in India are export oriented. While this strategy works well for the companies, the domestic market remains underserved. Most of the startups in India have copy pasted the business models of international firms (mainly American startups). Therefore, the local market has an enormous potential for new ventures that can meet Indian needs.
If you are looking for traditional business that requires low invest, read following article:
However, if you are looking for innovative business ideas that can be scaled quickly, here is a list of business ideas that can be turned into a successful business models to serve domestic market:
If you are aware of firms that offer services related to the listed ideas, please mentioned them in comments and I will include the list in blog for readers’ reference:
1. Real Estate Research Firms
If I want to purchase or rent a home or office, I have no option but to spend a lot of time in finding the right information. Commission based business model leads to miss-selling by most of the brokers. Although I am ready to pay a fixed price for an extensive research that includes visiting some of the properties or localities, taking new images and providing a fair analysis of the properties. I can’t find a firm or an independent professional who can do this work. Some broker free portals are good for nothing as they have very limited useful information. Some research firms work for high-end corporates or provide subscription-based analysis which is too standardized to be helpful.
Another micro-business model (perhaps a blog is enough) that can provide accurate construction updates of new projects or recent developments in localities. Currently, you need to visit personally to get information that can easily be accessed through a platform.
2. Sales outsourcing services for B2B Businesses
Major e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon work as brokers for B2C sellers. While the e-commerce is booming for B2C market, B2B sales are almost untouched by the technological evolution, especially in the services sector. Some of the sales processes such as tele calling, mass mailing, inbound call centers are outsourced. There is a great market for end-to-end outsourcing of sales and marketing for high-value products and services.
3. Lead Generation Services
Affiliate marketing has solved the need for result based marketing services to an extent. However, it is not popular among the Indian small businesses market. Also, there is a vast scope for lead generation services for offline and B2B companies that can’t take direct advantage of affiliate marketing technology.
4. Technology Business Consultants
If I want to start a payment gateway business or a mobile payment system, I don’t know where to find relevant information. Similarly, non-technology companies require the help of consultants to start technology-based businesses. Currently, the firms rely on technology services providers (such as developers) who hardly know anything other than coding. Large companies such as Infosys and TCS provide such services. However, they are too expensive to be approached by a small to medium business.
5. Independent Media
The news seems to be a thing of the past. A majority of media houses are either cheerleaders or adversaries of government and corporates. Newslaundry is making a right effort in this direction. However, they are still more focused on media critique and unbiased opinion rather than simple everyday news. There is an enormous scope for independent media entity that provides straightforward news without putting their stupid views that waste readers’ time.
6. Government Purchase
This kind of a business has a huge scope but requires connections in government. The defense purchase (or any government purchase) is still a messy and an expensive process. Startups can use technology for streamlining the purchase made by the government departments. Big corporates will never do it as they are the largest beneficiary of the current mess.
7. Content Writers
India is the second biggest country in terms of English speaking population. However, there are very few professionals who brace ghostwriting or content writing as a full-time profession. Therefore, there is a massive shortage of writers who are also a subject matter experts in specific domains. Excellent writers can earn more than IIT/IIM Graduates.
8. Queue Management Mobile App
The hue and cry by media over long queues after recent currency ban exposed their ignorance of rural India. People in the countryside are required to be in long lines for necessary daily requirements. From railway ticket, ATMs, cinema halls to banks, you can find long queue in almost every small town and village. Queue management apps can help institutions manage queues efficiently and save a large population from an unnecessary hassle.
9. Career Counseling
Pathetic is the mild term to describe our education system. It produces people who don’t know what they should and can do even after completing their studies. A professional career counseling can not only help students identify their strengths and weaknesses but also suggest in choosing the right schools, colleges, courses, and jobs. Currently, most of the career counselors act as an agent of sham institutions who pay commission for every admission.
10. Getting rid of unwanted Guests and noises
In many localities of India (especially in urban areas), it is difficult for sensitive people to sleep peacefully in the night. Sometimes stray dogs bark continuously, or pigeons keep fighting in the bedroom windows. Stray cows and buffaloes create traffic jams while monkeys create havoc all around in a busy market. Organized networks of beggars present a different set of challenges for people on the street. Currently, there is no way to get rid of such small but critical problems. Addressing these issues will be a great social work in itself.
11. Hiring of semi-skilled and skilled labor
If you want to start a restaurant, salon, beauty parlor or a taxi services business, you will have a nightmare in finding people. Hiring plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. for minor household work is another big challenge in urban and semi-urban areas. On the one hand, people blame governments for not creating enough jobs while on the contrary; businesses are shutting down due to lack of skilled individuals. The government has established National Skill Development Center for training and placement of semi-skilled and skilled labors. However, intermediaries are the biggest beneficiary of this initiative. Some portals such as Babajobs, Careersma, Quikr and OLX have done a good job of providing a platform to hire such people. However, their scope is limited to the major cities of India.
12. Car Pooling and Hiring a private car
Quality public transport is still a dream for the majority of Indians in urban as well as rural areas. Uber and Ola have done a brilliant job of providing cabs on demand in the main cities. Their reach is limited to commercial vehicles and big cities. Providing GPS based car and bike pooling facility for private individuals can be a significant boost to the public transport infrastructure.
Most office goers have their car parked during working hours. Renting the idle car will not only help others, but owners can also have an alternate source of income. This will also contribute to reducing congestion on the road. The implementation will always be difficult for this kind of business. But, this is what entrepreneurs are made for – to solve difficult problems.
13. Solid Waste Disposal
Solid waste is one of the leading causes of concern for urban areas in India. Municipal bodies don’t have the competency to address the concern. A technology based startup can easily get government funding to address this problem.
14. Laundry Services
Some startups in the major cities provide laundry services. However, its reach is still limited. The demand for such services is increasing in semi-urban as well as rural India. Although this business has a lot of implementation challenges in 2nd and 3rd tier cities of India, it also presents enormous opportunities to entrepreneurs.
15. Pending Court Cases
Our judicial system is amazingly slow. More than 20 million cases are pending in district courts in India. People hardly have any faith in the justice system. Criminals and corrupts are rarely punished whereas innocent and minor offenders spend years behind the bar. Courts will not fix the problem as the judiciary is not accountable to any institution in the democracy. No government will ever want to solve this issue as the politicians are the biggest beneficiary of the current system. Legal startups should step in to use technology to settle civil cases through arbitration or easing the burden on lower courts. Activists should build public opinion to pressurize governments to bring in judicial reforms.
I will keep adding more ideas to the list in future. Some may be far-fetched; some may look promising, while others might look laughable or ridiculous. But that is okay. If you also come across any pain points or business ideas (even if they are not implementable), please write them through comments, and I will include them on the blog with due credits. Also, please share your input and feedback on ideas mentioned above. Together, we can build a better India.