Best Business Ideas In Rural Areas In India [Village Business Ideas]

Updated Aug 7, 2023.

Even if you live in an Indian village, there are bountiful entrepreneurship opportunities for you. Here are the best business ideas for rural areas in India.

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It might not seem so, but the typical Indian village is a trove of entrepreneurial opportunities. With nearly 70% of the Indian population living in rural areas, you can be sure that there are bountiful business opportunities as there are so many people whose needs must be met daily.

For the most part, rural communities engage in agriculture, contributing their quota to the growth of the national economy. To start a profitable business in rural areas in India, small business owners do not have to worry about securing high-end infrastructure or advanced equipment, filling out detailed paperwork, or strict regulations.

In addition to agriculture, you will find many other business opportunities in India in the services, retail, livestock, manufacturing, and trading sectors. In this post, we’ll discuss several of these opportunities.

Online Business Ideas for Rural Areas

1. Start a Blog

Editor’s Take
Start-up Time:
Less than 24 hours 
Effort to Start:
Medium start-up effort
Time to Revenue:
3 – 6 months
Initial Investment:
Free – 1000 INR

Blogging is an excellent option for anyone living in a rural area in India. If you have half-decent writing skills, a story to tell, and high-speed internet, you can become a wildly successful rural blogger.

You might think blogs are expensive and difficult to run and can only be afforded by large businesses and publishers, but that's no longer the case. These days, anyone can put out great content, build an audience, and monetize that audience to make a lot of money.

While it does take a lot of work to get started, blogging is great because it can quickly become a source of passive income, even offering several possible streams of income via affiliate links, sponsored posts, courses, book deals, consulting opportunities, and digital and physical products.

Get started in five simple steps:

  • Pick a profitable niche for your blog
  • Choose a blogging platform (like WordPress or Squarespace)
  • Design your blog well to make a good first impression on your visitors
  • Promote your blog so that people know about it
  • Monetize your blog with ads, product placements, affiliate links, sponsored posts, and other products.

2. Start an Online Store

Editor’s Take
Start-up Time:
4+ weeks
Effort to Start:
Medium to high effort
Time to Revenue:
4 – 6 weeks
Initial Investment:
80,000 INR – 90,000 INR 

E-commerce is massive and is here to stay. The industry presents a unique business idea, and this is only the beginning; it's primed for massive growth over the next few decades.

Another compelling reason to take advantage of this idea is that the barriers to entry here are much lower than most other business opportunities. Platforms like Squarespace, Zyro, and Shopify make it easy to launch your e-commerce store all on your own. 

You have absolutely no reason to get started today, and here's how:

  • Choose an e-commerce platform to host your store
  • Choose a target audience to make it easier to attract buyers to your store
  • Find profitable products to sell on your online store
  • Design your website, bearing in mind that your store's design will determine how credible you are in the eyes of your visitors
  • Launch and promote your store with Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, blog posts, SEO, and other paid and organic methods.

3. Become a YouTube Influencer

Editor’s Take
Start-up Time:
A few hours
Effort to Start:
High effort
Time to Revenue:
3 – 6 months
Initial Investment:
Free – 100,000 INR

Becoming a YouTube influencer is another good business idea for those in rural areas who have basic filmmaking skills. Even if you don't have those skills, an inexpensive online course will quickly get you up to speed.

There are several ways to earn with YouTube. You could create tutorials on a topic that interests you, post funny skits, talk about fashion, or do anything your audience might like.

For the best results, your content must be educative or entertaining. For a start, your goal is to grow your channel to 1000 subscribers, which is where you need to be before YouTube lets you monetize it with YouTube Ads to start making money from it.

As time goes on and your followership grows, brands will pay a fee to have the products placed on your channel via product placements and sponsorships. You'll also be able to sell your products on the channel or become an affiliate for other products.

The steps are simple:

  • Decide on what topics your channel will cover and who your target audience will be.
  • Acquire the right tools. If you already have a smartphone with a decent camera, all you need for a start are a ring light, a tripod, and a good microphone.
  • Activate your YouTube channel, which you already have if you have a Google account.
  • Create a trailer for your channel.
  • Create and post your first video.
  • Promote and grow your channel.

4. Create and Sell Online Courses

Editor’s Take
Start-up Time:
1 – 2 weeks
Effort to Start:
Medium start-up effort
Time to Revenue:
3 – 4 weeks
Initial Investment:
15,000 INR – 200,000 INR

One awesome thing about creating an online course is that it's an excellent passive income generator. Create it once, launch it, and it costs almost nothing to deliver to each new customer.

With the need to adapt quickly and learn new skills in today's rapidly changing marketplace, there's a massive appetite for digital courses, hence the increasing popularity of online course marketplaces like Skillshare and Udemy.

Get started in these five simple steps:

  • Choose a topic and test your idea.
  • Write a course outline.
  • Create the course content.
  • Choose where to host your course, whether on an online course platform or your website.
  • Launch and promote your course.

5. Make Money as an Online Freelancer

Editor’s Take
Start-up Time:
A few hours – 1 week
Effort to Start:
Low start-up effort
Time to Revenue:
1 week
Initial Investment:

The growth of the gig economy has caused freelancing to become one of the most popular business ideas. The fact that it can mostly be done remotely makes it particularly suited for those living in rural areas.

From writing and data entry to graphic design and digital marketing, practically all roles an online business requires can be freelance services. It can be something you do full-time, not just as a side gig.

One important thing about freelance jobs is that they're not a great source of passive income since you're trading money for time. Your cash flow dries up if you can’t work for any reason. That makes sound financial management especially important.

If you already have digital skills, you're in luck; simply sign up on one of the many freelancing platforms and start earning immediately, even within a week.

But even if you don't, it doesn't take advanced skills to start earning as a freelancer. You can start earning quickly with data angry or virtual assisting while you learn a high-income skill.

Here's how to get started:

  • If you don't have one already, find and learn a skill with huge demand, like web design, graphic design, coding, or writing.
  • Create a portfolio to show off your best work.
  • Choose and sign up with a freelancing platform like Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Start sending proposals to get clients.
  • Deliver and exceed your clients' expectations.

Small Business Ideas For Rural Areas/Villages

1. Kirana Store

Retail stores are one of the most successful small businesses in rural India because of the shortage of larger retail outlets. While there are different types of retail stores that cater to different needs, the easiest option is to open a Kirana store.

A Kirana store is a small-scale grocery shop found mostly in rural regions. Before opening a retail store, you will need the right location for your store and a reliable supply chain.

A huge advantage of opening a small-scale retail outlet is that there is less time and money involved with the start-up process, and it does not require an elaborate business plan.

2. Flour Mill

You can also establish a flour mill as a ticket to making more money in your local community. A rural community is bound to have an abundance of raw materials that you can use for your business. All you will need is constant electricity and adequate funds.

Since people don’t purchase packaged goods as they do in urban areas, grinding grains is a feasible and profitable small business idea. You can expand your business to cover the needs of your rural area and neighboring urban communities.

3. Small-Scale Manufacturing Units

Starting a small-scale manufacturing business is one of the most lucrative businesses to start in rural areas and small towns because they often cater to the needs of more than one area or town.

You can produce products like disposable bags, matchboxes, and others that are easy to produce. Ensure that a few urban cities near where you intend to set up shop.

4. Clothing Store

Opening a clothing store in your local community is another wonderful business option to look into if you reside in a rural area. Many residents of rural areas will appreciate not having to journey to larger cities just to buy clothes.

As long as you can provide the latest fashions, styles, and clothes designs, there will be a high demand for your goods in villages and small towns. You can include tailoring services to your clothing store and provide handmade products for your clients.

5. Poultry/Livestock Farming

With the support received from government agencies, the poultry farming business continues to grow at a rapid pace. If you have little funds to start a business, this is great because it does not require much land and isn't capital intensive.

Bear in mind that you might have to hire someone with experience with poultry or get your own experience to run this business.

You can start with a small number of birds, but you can rest assured that the number, variety of species, and quality of birds will increase as your business continues to grow.

One of the main factors contributing to the success rate of poultry businesses in rural areas is the huge demand for poultry products in rural and urban areas, which helps reduce the return on investment.

You can also expand your business to meet the demands for meat and eggs in larger cities.

6. Pesticide Store

Most rural economies are based largely on agriculture, and it only makes logical sense for anyone to start a pesticide business targeted toward the vast agricultural customer base.

While making a profit in this field is easy, it is just as easy to fail if you do not do proper research. Like many other countries, you must apply for a license in India before starting this business.

7. Tutoring Services

Finding well-qualified teachers in rural areas is a huge problem. If you are a teacher or have access to qualified teachers, you might consider starting a tutoring center as a side business.

Starting a tutoring service is not only a means of making money, but it will provide employment to qualified local youths and help residents send their children to a good teaching institute that is not too far away.

This side business does not need large capital or space to thrive, making it a great business opportunity as long as you have the required qualifications. You can start your tutoring service small and grow to become a standard teaching institution.

8. Dairy Production

Due to the abundance of milk in rural India, establishing a dairy production center is a great business idea. You can collect milk from different houses and supply it to dairy farms. Starting this business requires low investment, but you must have the required licenses.

If you need more money to start your dairy farm, different financial institutions like commercial and NBFCs can help you.

9. Organic Vegetables/Fruits

The organic fruits and vegetable market is growing rapidly worldwide, and living in a rural setting or small town provides you with a good business opportunity to grow and sell your farm produce.

Remember that starting this business is difficult and often requires farmland or an agreement with farmers for the products you need. Also, you need a refrigerator to store these perishable goods properly. You can start with vendors to vendors for less transportation logistic charges.

10. Hardware Store

Establishing a business connected to technology, communication, and entertainment is another ticket to a successful business since these areas are integral even in villages. Opening a hardware/ electronic store is one of the businesses you can consider opening in a small town or village that will result in huge success.

No one does not want to stay connected with their families, especially with the popularity of mobile devices. You can keep affordable, even used mobile phones that you can sell at local flea markets.

11. Fertilizers & Seeds Storage Store

You will find more farmers in the rural setting, and their existence creates a local demand for agricultural tools and products. Farmers make money by producing well-irrigated crops that they can sell at good prices.

The fertilizer and seed storage business is one of the local businesses that can provide much profit. This business requires low investment, as purchasing fertilizers and seeds from a store can make anyone run this business.

12. Automobile Repair

Automobiles have become instrumental to our daily existence, and this development does not exclude remote areas. In most cases, people in villages still have to go to nearby towns to service and repair their vehicles.

This makes an automobile repair shop one of the greatest business ideas you can start in a village but ensure you have prior experience handling automobiles. This small town business can also attract attention from neighboring villages as well.

13. Water Supply Business

There are many offices, public offices, and educational institutions that require water canes in their offices. Villages have many sources of water that can be purified and transported to cities.

This is a small investment business in villages that has the potential to become a big business going forward. You might have to purchase some four-wheelers or hire on rent to transport in quick time to fulfill orders.

Besides, people in villages can walk into your store to get the water canes for their consumption, thus adding another revenue stream for you in such business ideas for a small village.

14. Medical Store

People in small towns usually flock to nearby cities for medicines that are not very common.

One of the business ideas you can start in a small town is a medical shop offering all the possible medicines a health clinic will need, including diabetes, blood pressure, and insulin.

You will have to get a supplier from the city that can offer delivery services to have a constant supply of drugs. This can be one of the lucrative small town business ideas.

15. Flower Farming

Otherwise known as floriculture, this type of farming is done for many commercial uses in several states of India. This is a great business to start in areas that have nutrient-rich soil.

This business never goes out of season due to the use of flowers in numerous cultural and religious ceremonies. Flowers are also used for decoration in celebrations and get-togethers, opening another market in this small-scale business in villages.

16. Farming

Crop production is a tested way of generating income. Multiple crops thrive in India, including rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, mustard, bamboo, cotton, tea, spices, sugarcane, medicinal plants, and condiments.

Farming is a wonderful business idea for residents of villages with some knowledge about farming.

People are willing to spend more on high-quality crops than buy bad crops at cheaper rates. Therefore, if you can provide quality products in the market, you'll never fall short of buyers.

17. Fishery

There's a high demand for fish and other seafood in most rural environments, making it one of the best small business ideas if you live in a small town in a coastal area. You just need little land and startup capital to become a business owner in this field.

Another perk is that there will be no intermediary involved, and you can trade directly with customers to anyone. If you can produce large quantities, you can start exporting seafood to other small towns or even large cities.

18. Agarbatti Making

Agarbatti is used in every shop, home, and temple in India. Starting this rural business idea will meet this demand. It is used for prayer and is thus a highly sought-after product.

The ingredients used to make Agarbatti include charcoal powder, perfume, oil of sandalwood, and a few other cheap and easy ingredients. The cost of production is low, and the demand for the product makes it one of the most profitable businesses today.

19. Medical Shop

People in small towns usually flock to nearby cities for medicines that are not very common. Among the business ideas in small towns is to start a medical shop offering all the possible medicines for common ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, and insulin, apart from paracetamol.

You will have to work with a supplier in the city to get constant supply regularly. Besides, you can place orders on a Just-In-Time (JIT) basis with your supplier for medicines you don’t stock due to low demand. This can be one of the lucrative small business ideas for small towns in India.

20. Microcredit Services

The use of financial services in India has increased in recent years, but many areas still lack traditional financing sources.

In communities like this, people still fall prey to local money lenders who exploit these residents with abnormally high-interest rates. This creates room for micro‐lending services, making it one of the best small business ideas for small towns in India.

21. Food Truck

People in small towns and villages are also on the go and might not have time to cook some of their favorite delicacies. This is where food trucks come in. This mobile restaurant can provide food to people in different areas at different times.

It is a cheaper option than opening a full-fledged restaurant business, and you can also arrange to have a small seating capacity.

Unconventional businesses like these tend to succeed in villages because they can make the most out of the biggest form of advertisement, word of mouth.

22. Threshing Machine

One of the other profitable small town business ideas in remote communities is buying a tractor with drilling and threshing equipment. The rural economy is agrarian dominant, and most farmers don’t own threshing machines.

There is a high number of farmers who rent it, and you can be the one renting. This equipment is usually in demand during every harvest season and thus can be a great small-scale business in villages.

Small-Scale Manufacturing Business Ideas for Rural Areas

1. Poultry Feed Production

A poultry feed mill manufacturing plant is always profitable due to the massive demand for quality poultry feeds. The most important step is identifying the market need where poultry feed suppliers are underperforming and then planning to fill that need.

2. Potato Chips

Potatoes are consumed as a vegetable and in other processed forms, making them a perfect business idea. Dehydrated potato products are easy to store and use.

There’s been a recent increase in the consumption of potato-based processed goods like dehydrated mashed products, potato chips, and other frozen products. Potato chips are popular for being a sought-after snack. Their crispy and delicious taste makes them a favorite for all age groups.

3. Aluminum Foil Manufacturing

Aluminum foil is used in several businesses in multiple ways. Its uses include unitized packaging of tea and coffee, pharmaceutical pills, bakery commodities, frozen poultry, fish, milk container lids, wine, lube oil, powdered milk, and photographic pictures.

Aluminum foils are here to stay, and with the long list of organizations in need of this product, it is easy to turn it into a ticket for a new life.

4. Packaged Drinking Water Production

The shortage of clean drinking water has created a market for packaged and properly processed drinking water. It doesn’t matter if the area is urban or rural because water is a necessity for all. Before diving into this line of business, you must check the PH levels of the water wherever you will set up your business.

5. Candle Making

Candle-making at home is an easy way to supplement your income. It’s not as difficult or time-consuming as many other small businesses. If you enjoy your work and put in the effort needed, candle-making is a great means of income.

6. Spice Manufacturing Unit

It is no news that Indian spices are known around the world. Depending on how much you can invest, your spice manufacturing unit can be either small, medium, or large.

You can start your journey in this industry from your home. Bear in mind that you only need one or two types of spices to start. Once your business s stable and flourishing, you can expand into a full-fledged spice processing company.

7. Adhesives/Glue Manufacturing Unit

Adhesives are used to glue two objects together, while sealants are used to create a non-penetrable barrier. Adhesive products are used by different industries, including consumer products, construction, packaging, labeling, transportation, and assembly.

Home Business Ideas in Small Villages

1. Home-Based Catering

Home-based catering has a high potential of succeeding because it is the catering option most busy people in India prefer. If you love to cook and need an additional source of income, then consider home-based catering.

This business will require investment in cooking hardware and capacity. You’ll also need a permit from the government.

2. Beauty Parlour At Home

If you have the right skills and licenses, you can start a beauty parlor in your home with little to no investment. Starting your own home-based beauty parlor will allow you to work for yourself and make your own money.

It could also grow into a larger business model if you can satisfy your customers with quality products/services.

3. Artificial Jewellery Making

Making artificial jewelry at home is quite an interesting and rewarding business initiative in the global market. If you have a knack for creating jewelry from scrap material, you can make artificial jewelry at home.

With artificial jewelry making, you can turn something cheap into something that looks expensive. Nowadays, there’s a high demand for certain types of jewelry; for example, jewelry made with clay seems to be on trend.

4. Jute Bag Making

People all over the world are becoming more environmentally conscious. With this development comes the demand for natural products like jute bags to replace plastic bags, especially with the ban on plastic bags. This means you can start a home-based business making and selling jute bags.

Jute bag-making can be quite rewarding. You can do it creatively and artistically so that your products will carry a unique identity in the market, leading you to generate more sales.

5. Pet Sitter

If you love animals, you can start this business. If you have some extra space at home, you can make a proper arrangement with local pet owners to care for their pets when they go out for work or on vacation.

The primary role would be to take care of the pets and take them for a walk twice daily. It’s best to have a pet store close to your residence to give you quick and easy access to products the pets will need.

6. Home Bakery

A home bakery is an approachable option if you have prior experience or a passion for baking. You can bake anything, be it cookies, cake, or brownies.

Depending on your experience and clients, you can start your own business at home without leaving your day job once you have an oven, some raw materials, and your perfect recipe.

The cost of starting up this food business is low, but keep in mind that you might have to hire a delivery service to get the products to your customers’ doorsteps.

Village Business Ideas FAQ

What is the best business to start in a village?

There are multiple business ideas that are great to start in small towns, from a retail store, farming, tutoring, and cleaning services to much more. 

What will determine if your business succeeds or not is your preparedness to put in the maximum effort and make financial sacrifices to sustain the business. 

What is the most profitable business to start in a village?

There are numerous small-town business ideas that you can start in your local area that have the potential to become profitable small businesses or big businesses. 

You just need to look out for businesses that do not require high investment or lots of paperwork and don’t have strict regulations around them.

As long as the demand for whatever good or service you provide is high, there is a high chance of making a lot of profit. 

Some of the most profitable small business ideas include retail or thrift stores, small manufacturing units, liquor stores, ice cream shops, and many more.

How much money will I require to get started?

The recommendation for starting a business is to have enough money to cover your fixed and variable expenses for a minimum of one year after taking care of your building and equipment needs. 

These costs include your compensation as the owner and money to repay your debt. 

Inadequate start-up funding is one of the main reasons for business failure. While some businesses require very little start-up funds, others require larger amounts. 

It is best to work with an accountant when drafting your business plan to predict your cash flow and capital requirements.

What is the Most Profitable Business Idea in Small Towns

Finding profitable small business ideas may seem hard if you live in a rural area. There are multiple thriving business types that are easily accessible in urban areas but not in rural regions.

However, the benefit of starting a small business in the village is low competition. Other benefits are the ease of starting your business, enthusiastic aid, cheaper labor, and networking opportunities.

  • Start a blog
  • Start an online store
  • Become a YouTube influencer
  • Create and sell online courses
  • Make money as an online freelancer

Learn more about ways to make money online with the following articles:

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.