7 Online Business Ideas in India (without investment)

India is a big country and different kinds of online business are budding up day by day. Which online business is apt for you?
Lets have a look at some of the online business that are popular and feasible in India.

1. Ecommerce

India is a country with more than 1.3 Billion in population and is expected to become the country with biggest population by 2025.  The  internet just have around 48 % penetration of the total Indian population, where in countries like US , the penetration is more than 85 %. This states it clearly that the Indian eCommerce industry(which is a 30 Billion dollar industry right now) is gonna skyrocket in the upcoming years.
Some of the biggest players in the Indian eCommerce industry are,
Biggest ecommerce websites in India
India being a big country, have the space for many ecommerce businesses. Here is a list of the top eCommerce businesses in different sectors. You can also see that most of these ecommerce portals were started around 2011-2012.
First of all you need to identify your ecommerce niche. You cannot compete with Flipkart or amazon, the niche must be comfortable for you, also it should a space in the gigantic ecommerce market. In 2016, the success of ecommerce lies in picking the right niche. You also need to create a proper marketing strategy for your ecommerce store, like whether to use Facebook/Google ads,direct ads etc.

2. Digital Product Store

Starting a digital product store is another good online business in India. The biggest advantage of a digital store is that the investment is one time . A digital product can be sold repeatedly and the profit percentage will stay high.
Some of the popular digital good store ideas are
Ebook Store – When it comes to 2016, ebooks are as popular as paperbacks. Start an ebook store in a niche , market your ebook store and bring audience and sales to it.
Softwares – We are living in a world of free softwares. But, there are software niches that are not available online. Find out the right opportunity and start selling your software. Long tail pro is one such good example for a software that has demand.
[spencer haws longtialrpro earning image]
Photos/Videos/ Graphics – 2016 is an age of designers. Without good design, you cannot do anything. If you are a creative designer or do have a team of good designers, you can start your online graphic store. Through this digital store you can sell your graphic designs to the users. Some of the good examples would be istockphoto, shutterstock etc(at times, I’ve found them expensive). If you can find out an economical solution in a good niche , you can certainly turn out your store into a success.
Themes/Plugins – We sell WordPress themes through themeforest. So far we got more than 130 sales. Not that big, but a good start. Some of the hottest platforms that do have great demand for themes/plugins are WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Joomla, Prestashop etc.

3. Ebook Selling

Ebook Selling is another good online business model. Being a digital product, the efforts/ investment are one time. You have multiple options to sell your ebook .

  • Amazon and Amazon Kindle store – List out your ebook in the amazon stores for free. If your book is good, the amazon audience will buy your ebook
  • Blogs – Start your own blog, build audience to it and sell your ebook on behalf of this audience. If you have no interest in starting a blog, make a list of blogs through which your ebook can be sold. Contact these bloggers and offer a commission per sale.
  • Shareasale – You can list your ebook in shareasale, shareasale affiliate users can promote your ebook
  • Warriorplus – Warriorplus is similar to shareasale, where you can offer a percentage the sale revenue as affiliate income to the seller.

4. Blogging

Blogging is another online business in India with great demand. You can see the income reports of many Indian bloggers all over the internet. Amit Agrawal is one of that old and popular Indian bloggers and is expected to have an earning of $60,000 a month. Harsh Agrawal from shoutmeloud publishes his income report regularly, In June 2016 Harsh earned $29,659 from his blog.
Yes, the blogging industry is crowded very much but if you can find the right niche which has space, you can definitely make money out of it. Tools like Google trends can be used to find out the new trending blogging niches.

Note: – If you are looking to launch a blog in the fashion niche, we have created an excellent guide on How to Start a Fashion Blog and make money from the blog.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another online business model possible to operate in India. The idea of affiliate marketing is very simple. You refer a customer (possibly a visitor on your website) to a particular product and if the customer buys the product, you’ll get a percentage of the sale as commission. If you are new to the term ‘affiliate marketing’, read our guide on – What is Affiliate Marketing to get a good idea.
Harsh Agrawal from ShoutMeLoud has published this blog post in which he has disclosed his 5-year affiliate earnings – $80,410, Out of which more than 20% of the earnings came through hostgator affiliates.
Indian E-commerce giants like FlipkartAmazon.in and SnapDeal offer affiliate programs for its approved associates. If you are familiar with the Amazon.com Affiliate program, things will be easy for you. The affiliate programs of these Indian e-commerce companies operate somewhat similar to the Amazon affiliate program. You have to refer visitors from your website to the websites of these e-commerce companies through their product affiliate link. You will get a commission when any of those referred visitors makes a verified purchase.

What are the popular affiliate programs in India

Amazon is the number one affiliate program in India. Amazon offer 5-10 percent commission per sale.
Shareasale – Shareasale affiliate offers good range of commission, there are products which offer commissions as high as 75%. You need to pick one product and can promote it through facebook, blog, social medias etc.
Hosting Affiliates
Hosting is a niche where the Indian affiliate marketers make great deal of money. Most of the hosting affiliates pays good commision as well, the bluehost hosting affiliate pays you $60+ per signup. Online marketerers like Patt Flynn makes more than $75,000 a month from bluehost affiliates alone.
Some of the most popular hosting affiliate programs in India are

  • Bluehost
  • Hostgator
  • Inmotion

Flipkart one of the most popular eCommerce website in India offers one of the best affiliate programs in India offers upto 12% commission per sale.
BharatMatrimony affiliates
India is a country where arranged marriage is a billion dollar industry. Bharatmatrimony affiliates offers you 25% commission per paid signup. If your blog has descent amount of traffic, you can post text links or banners to bharatmatrimony in your website/blog and get paid per signup.

6. Selling in eCommerce Market places

Ecommerce marketplace selling is another good online business to start in India in 2016. You can register as a vendor to the popular eCommerce portals in India. Some of the popular eCommerce market places in India are.


From my personal experience selling in Snapdeal was not that bad. I have a store for artificial flowers in Snapdeal. I used to get plenty of orders, there were days where I got like more than 20 orders. I didnt have much inventory (around 30 products). I am sure that the number of orders will be improved(may be doubled) if I add more products.
The biggest negative in selling through Snapdeal is the unexpected returns and order cancellations which you may need to encounter. Snapdeal doesn’t have a system to track cancelled orders, you might only come to know about the order cancellation after you ship the product. When I started selling in Snapdeal, I got like 3 orders on the very first day, I was excited and once I packed all those 3 products, I found those orders vanished into thin air. When I called the customer support, they told me that all the orders were cancelled. Well, okay, the poor vendor should be notified right?
Once Snapdeal resolves these problems, it will be a great marketplace for sellers in India.


Amazon is much more organized that snapdeal, I’ve listed 15 products in amazon. The number of orders I get from amazon is far less compared to Snapdeal. May be it takes some more time for the orders to catch up(I only started recently in amazon). But the over all experience was good, very organized, more over I can arrange the shipping of my own. In Snapdeal, they handle the shipping(through couriers with which they have tie ups). I’ve often felt that the Snapdeal shipping charge is little bit over priced. In amazon, we can bargain with our courier partner and this can reduce our shipping cost.


Flipkart is another good eCommerce marketplace with a very big user base. I have no personal experience selling in Flipkart, but many people I know do sell in flipkart and make great deal of revenue online.

7. Selling Services

India is a country with the second biggest population in the world with lots of technical resources. Most of the engineering graduates are into IT/Software jobs, this has resulted in an aggregation of many IT experts in India.
You can bid for works in different domains from upwork(formerly elance), freelancer, guru etc. The industry(especially web development, web design etc)is a little bit crowded, but you can see lots of jobs posted in various categories. Try bidding in low competitive categories, you can definitely get works from these portals. Data mining/Business Intelligence will be be one good area to explore.

What are the scopes of doing online business in India

Doing online business in India do have great scope. Now a days you can see lots of people in India working full time online. The major challenge is to find the right online business for you. Whether it is ecommerce or blogging or whatever, you need to choose an online business that is feasible for your. For instance, if you have an offline business that do have a good scope to go online, then your area is eCommerce.
As I said there is not point of starting another flipkart or snapdeal, but you can always go niche. In my case, I already have an offline business of artificial flowers, which is a niche and I took it online. The online competition for artificial flowers is not that high.
Like wise, every online business models which I mentioned above do have their own opportunities. You just need to identify it. Some says the blogging industry is overcrowded, but I strongly have to disagree. Well, I admit that there is no point in starting another gadget review blog(too crowded) but we are living in a world where a number of topics are generated daily. You just need to find a new blogging niche which do have less competition and vast opportunity.
Hope you enjoyed this article about starting an online business in India. Queries? Just shoot in a comment.

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