Hear us out, young entrepreneurs. Dreaming about starting your own business doesn't have to stay a dream forever. The idea of starting and running a company may seem frightening, but success demands risks and sleepless nights. Here is an article to help you choose a startup idea that has the potential to disrupt an industry.
Our top 10 list explores a couple of startups (Meatable, MasterClass, Kisan Network, and more) that are already on their journey to becoming tough competitors for traditional businesses. Don't forget to read our guide that follows to learn some core concepts every aspiring entrepreneur should be aware of before the brainstorming sessions begin.
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Table of Contents
We discuss some critical topics like choosing a niche market, competitor analysis, creating a business plan, and many more in the sections below. Our buying guide also explores some of the hottest industries for startups in India and the wealth of possibilities they offer for young entrepreneurs.
A niche market is a specific segment of a larger market with a set of problems or unmet needs that require fixing or addressing. For example, transportation is an industry, and on-demand transportation service is a niche market. You could start a technology company in the on-demand transportation segment and develop an app that connects riders with drivers (like Uber).
As your company grows, you could start offering more services. The possibilities are endless. You can buy a fleet of cars, hire drivers to work for you, roll out new service offerings like food and package delivery, etc. Most big businesses in the world once started small by targeting a group of underserved customers and then offering them a unique selling proposition (USP).
Maybe you graduated with a Master's in marketing, or you have worked with a marketing company for so long that you have learned all the ins and outs of the trade. Know what you are getting yourself into. Having profound knowledge about the niche market you are targeting will help prevent your business from failing.
Maybe your business won't fail. But not making enough profit is also an issue. You may not have knowledge about any particular market segment. Maybe you are just fantastic at doing business. Then, we recommend researching the unmet needs of a population.
It could be the people in a panchayat, district, or even an entire state. Then offer a brilliant solution at an affordable price. Want to learn more? Think School is a YouTube channel that uploads video clips of business case studies every Tuesday. The channel has quite a good collection already. Go watch all of them and get inspired.
Starting and running a business is not an easy task. There will be obstacles, and you need to stay motivated to push forward. That's why choosing an area you really care about is important. If you have a passion, now is the time to monetize it! Maybe you are just passionate about being an entrepreneur. Then carry on with finding the best niche market.
But profiting from passion is something that a lot of people who work 9 - 5 in a cubicle dream about. We advise you to consider it seriously. What YouTube channels, Reddit threads, and Instagram pages do you follow? What groups on social media are you a part of? What are your hobbies? These are some questions you can ask yourself.
They have enough restaurant and delivery partners now. Even if they cut down on the discounts, people would still use their service. If you want to rise above them, you need to offer something new or better to your partners and customers. In a nutshell, the product/service you are offering should be cheaper and/or of a higher quality than your competitor's for your business to make a profit.
Maybe your product is not on par with your competitor's product. But during your competitor analysis, you found out that your competitor is not spending much on advertisements. That's their weakness, which is an opportunity for you.
A business plan is a document that details the goals of a business and how it is planning to achieve them. It describes the nature of the business, budget, marketing strategies, and many more. There are two benefits to creating a business plan. A business plan can also help you realize if your idea is practical. There is no point in pumping money into a business that is not going to be profitable.
It is useful after you have started a business, too—as a guide that you can use to analyze how well your business is performing. Have you achieved the milestones that you have set? How well did your strategies work? These are some questions that a business plan can answer. Another benefit of creating a business plan is to attract investors.
If your idea has the potential to make millions, the first thing an investor will check is your business plan. Imagine how unusual and promising the business plan of Bitcoin would have been. Creating a business plan should be one of your topmost priorities as an entrepreneur. Head over to Inc.com to download some business-plan templates for free.
Finding a niche in a saturated market can be quite bothersome. But that doesn't mean that you will struggle to make a profit. Below are some of the best industries for an entrepreneur to start a business. There are plenty. But we are only discussing the most trending ones.
Globally, the Indian e-commerce sector is ranked 9th in cross-border growth. We don't mean that you have to compete with Amazon and Flipkart, the two e-commerce giants in India. There is no limit to what you can sell online. You can start small by selling agricultural, dairy, and poultry products to your local customers.
If you are a fashion designer, you can sell designer clothing online. Got a 3D printer at home? Start an e-commerce website and sell phone covers, toys, etc. With an e-commerce website, you have an opportunity to sell to anyone in the world. We recommend partnering with a logistics service provider once your business starts picking up pace.
By 2025, the Indian Fintech market is expected to grow from $31 billion to $84 billion. As a country with the highest FinTech adoption rate globally, this industry can make entrepreneurs some serious money. There are several ways to emerge as a powerful contender in the FinTech industry.
You can create an app or a website that enables micro-investing, a platform that helps users buy gold, trade stocks, an online savings account that automatically deducts money from your salary account every month—the options are endless.
Here are some examples. CRED is an app that facilitates credit card bill payment. You get CRED coins every time you make a payment through the app, which can be used to buy products for a good discount. Lazypay and Simpl are credit-based payment options that also help customers pay faster. The money will be deducted from your credit balance, which you can pay later.
Cryptocurrency belongs to the FinTech market, but the potential is so big that it deserves a separate mention. India saw a crypto investment increase from $923 million in April 2020 to about $6.6 billion in May 2021. The country marked a 612% increase in the number of cryptocurrency users. The cryptocurrency arena is for those who are financially literate and skilled in IT.
Possibilities include creating a cryptocurrency exchange, a mobile payment that accepts payments in the form of cryptocurrency, etc. You may want to wait till the central government clears its stance. Right now, cryptocurrency is not illegal in India but is unregulated. Every cryptocurrency is based on blockchain technology. The main benefit of blockchain is that it is decentralized.
This means that data is not stored on servers owned by a few entities but across a network of computers spread across the world. The result is greater transparency, improved security, enhanced efficiency and speed, and reduced costs. All these could benefit business owners and customers alike. Blockchain technology will run tomorrow's world. Make sure that you sow the seeds early.
Statistics show that India's healthcare market is expected to reach US$ 372 billion by 2022. People are more aware and concerned about their health than ever before. There are several opportunities for entrepreneurs other than starting a clinic, hospital, or lab.
Healthcare tech or healthcare IT is a niche market that offers a ton of possibilities. Create a platform where doctors or hospitals can share the medical records of patients. In case of an emergency, the hospital could access crucial information through a biometric scan.
How about an app for people living alone with chronic conditions? The app should automatically alert a nearby healthcare provider in case of an emergency or the person can voluntarily send a request for immediate assistance at the push of a button. Startups in the healthcare tech market are making revolutionary changes. It's time for you to jump on the bandwagon.
The AI startups in India raised a whopping $836.3 million in 2020. Nothing else can give you more motivation and assurance of this promising tech sector. There is no limit to the areas where AI can be utilized. For example, AI in robotics can be used for cleaning your house or office (robot vacuum cleaner). In agriculture, AI can be used for harvesting crops and even test soil health.
The idea of self-driving cars in India seems a bit far-fetched. But AI in automobiles can be used to assist drivers and prevent accidents. If you are an entrepreneur focusing on other markets, check if AI has the potential to improve efficiency and reduce the operating costs of your business. You may want to create a captivating business plan and look for investors, too.
In the financial year 2020, the revenue collected by the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry of India reached US$3.5 billion. Of that, 75% came from global markets. The software is hosted on a cloud server, and the customers can access it just by entering an address in a web browser. SaaS is offered on a subscription basis, meaning the customer will be charged monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
SaaS startups sell to other businesses. Even small businesses have started adopting this technology for billing, bookkeeping, project management, marketing, customer service, and many more. Study the industry, do competitor analysis, hire cloud app developers by offering them equity in your business, and work together towards creating an MVP before looking for investors.
India's food and beverages industry contributes approx. 3% of the country's GDP. It is an industry that attracts people with very little capital. You don't even need a degree to excel in this industry. Here are some possibilities. Are you a masterful chef? Start with a food truck. Spread the word through social media and posters.
You will make enough money to start a restaurant or maybe send more food trucks to various parts of the city. Those with a strong academic background can also excel in this industry. How about creating a food delivery app that delivers homemade food? Creating plant-based meat and milk alternatives for vegans, a cloud kitchen that delivers to restaurants, etc., are some business ideas worth considering.
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Meatable may seem like something out of a science fiction movie. The company sells lab-grown meat (also called cultured meat) manufactured using cruelty-free technologies. They take cells from an unharmed pig or cow and replicate the natural process of fat and muscle growth in a lab.
The process is also sustainable for the environment. Meatable is backed by eight investors so far. It raised $47 million in March 2021 from early stage venture capital funding. India has a population of 1.3 billion. A sustainable product like cultured meat or plant-based meat alternatives will attract the attention of a lot of investors.
FreshMenu is a food-tech startup that prepares and delivers food on its own. They operate in four cities in India from hyperlocal kitchens spread throughout a city. The secret of their success is that they change the menu every day. Customers won't get bored eating the same food every day and compel them to order food more frequently than before.
So far, FreshMenu has raised $25.8 million over seven rounds of funding. There are not many food or food tech companies in India that have adopted such a business idea. If you are interested in the idea of "a different menu every day", buy a few pre-owned trucks and convert them to kitchens. You can send these trucks to hot spots in a city like tech parks, colleges, tourist spots, etc.
India is on a journey to become the tech hub of the world. For companies to stay afloat, optimizing customer experience is crucial. Observe.AI uses artificial intelligence to analyze agent-customer conversations, evaluate agents, and coach them to use the best practices to increase conversion rate.
The software eliminates the need for a soft skills trainer or a call quality analyst in a company. For example, Observe.AI uses SpeechNLP to detect the tone of voice and sentiment and provide coaching to agents if any improvement is required. They also have the technology to detect sensitive customer data and automatically redact it from audio and text transcripts.
Observe.AI managed to impress some popular companies like Microsoft and Tripadvisor. Top venture capital companies like Y Combinator, Scale Venture Partners, and Nexus Venture Partners have shares in this company.
The idea of using used clothing and accessories may not seem appealing to everyone. The Luxury Closet is an online boutique that sells new and, what they call pre-loved items, for huge discounts. It has received over $44.7 million from investors over several rounds of funding, which proves the tremendous potential of the business.
Luxury brands usually dump or destroy unsold and flawed items. You could get into an agreement with a luxury brand in India to become a recognized seller of such items. You could open a shop in a physical location and run an online store together.
MasterClass provides video-based online vocational courses. Unlike many other online course providers, MasterClass courses are taught by celebrities. For example, there is an acting class by veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson, a cooking class by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and a singing class by Christina Aguilera.
A platform like MasterClass with Indian celebrities will see subscriptions increasing exponentially. Imagine being taught film direction by Sanjay Leela Bansali or fashion designing by Manish Malhotra. You will definitely need a passionate crew and a lot of capital. We recommend creating a business plan and looking for investors because this business idea is poised for success.
Kisan Network has the power to revolutionize the agricultural sector of India. The company provides an online supply chain platform that allows rural farmers to sell their produce directly to institutional buyers/businesses. They offer services such as sorting, grading, packaging, and delivery.
India is an agricultural country, and such technology has great growth potential. Investors like Y Combinator, Mistletoe, Thiel Foundation, Venture Highway, and more realized this and led them to invest copious amounts of money in this business.
Here is an opportunity for mechanical engineers to contribute to the environment and build a company with enormous growth potential—build green vehicles. Ultraviolette Automotive builds high-performance electric two-wheelers capable of rapid acceleration. In the Series B round of venture capital funding, the company raised Rs 30 crores.
A removable battery in electric two-wheeler vehicles is not a new concept. But the battery designed by the engineers at Ultraviolette is packed with tons of features that are sure to impress anyone.
Currently, Ultraviolette focuses on building electric two-wheelers. Its F77 is sure to make the young generation of India fans of electric vehicles—both because of the sporty design and performance. Got a new concept for a green vehicle? Build a team right now and create a compelling business plan.
Founded in 2016, Cult.fit managed to become a big name in the health and fitness industry in a very short time. They offer training programs for improving physical and mental health through their online platform as well as fitness centers. Fitness programs are not easy, and they are time-consuming. The company makes fitness fun and easy, which led to its quick success within a few years.
Buying a subscription gives users access to a vast collection of exercise, yoga, and meditation classes, nutrition plans, and many more. Investors know the potential of making fitness programs easily accessible through an app, which resulted in the company raising over $479.7 million in funding.
Good news for programming geeks and computer science graduates. If you are ready to spend time learning about blockchain technology, you could be doing some serious coding, creating apps, and maybe even a new cryptocurrency in no time. Because Java, C++, C#, Go, Python, and Solidity are some of the most popular blockchain programming languages.
Polygon (previously known as Matic Network) makes the adoption of blockchain networks easier for any project. More than 350 dapps use Polygon. The company has raised $450K so far from funding. Mostly from foreign investors. It's the technology of tomorrow, so a blockchain startup is worth your time and money.
Beco is a company that sells eco-friendly products made of plastic-free compostable materials. Their vision and mission revolve around the idea of helping the public contribute to the environment by providing them with eco-friendly and sustainable products. The company recently raised $537K from seed funding in July 2021.
With the general public becoming more and more environmentally conscious, the market for sustainable and recyclable products is booming. The reason behind the popularity of this niche market is that a business could be hyper-local but still be successful.
You can sell your products through a retail shop or become a seller on any number of e-commerce websites you like. The process is extremely simple. Nowadays, it is easier to start an e-commerce website on your own, enabling you to sell products without a middleman. If your idea is unique, we recommend creating a business plan and do the necessary to get on the radar of investors.
Are you passionate about the career you want to build? Then don't worry about working 9 - 5 in an office cabinet. Freelancing opens a number of doors. You get to work with people from all over the globe. You can decide when you want to work. Seems exciting?
Click on the link below to find out our top 10 recommendations for the best websites for freelancers in India. Think it's too risky? We have a buying guide to help you choose the best one for your needs. Freelancer or entrepreneur—you need to be productive to succeed. Check out our top 10 recommendations for the best productivity apps in India, too.
We hope that this article has managed to inspire you. No matter what industry you choose, make sure that your business contributes a great deal to society. We don't mean just charity activities, but also the development of innovative practices that can contribute to the world's efforts to save our environment.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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