Termed God’s own country, Kerala is a coastal state in the southern part of India. For years, the state has been known for its progressive culture, high literacy rate and great employment opportunities. Settled between the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean to the south, Kerala is also known for its trade and cultural importance. The state truly earns its nickname for its scenic natural beauty embedded in places like Eravikulam National Park, Edakkal Caves, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and much more.
The state is not only a tourist hub but also provides unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and hustlers to start successful businesses. Today, we will discuss the importance of Kerala from a business point of view and what could be the best choice for you to start a business in one of the southernmost states of India. So, let’s begin!
Key Insights of Kerala
On this page:
- Key Insights of Kerala
- Top Low-Investment Business Ideas in Kerala
- List of Top Small Business Ideas in Kerala
- Why is Kerala a Great Place to Start Your Business?
- Important Things to Know Before Starting Business in Kerala
- How to Start a Business in Kerala?
|State Rank||21st in India|
|Kerala GDP||US$140 billion|
Top Low-Investment Business Ideas in Kerala
1. Affiliate Marketing
Not endemic to Kerala, Affiliate Marketing is a great business anywhere in the country. It involves promoting products for retailers online and earning a commission on every sale. You do not need any particular qualification to become a successful affiliate marketer. This technique of marketing goes hand-in-hand with content creation. If you can create written, audio or visual content, you will be able to find a wider audience base to promote online products.
2. IT Solutions
If you are a keen observer of the corporate world, you must have seen that most companies have their technical offices settled in southern India. This is because of the higher literacy rate and low workforce cost. The Information Technology industry is flourishing, and every company these days require a dedicated team to keep their operations afloat. If you have a great knowledge of different aspects of IT and are confident that you can find more people to support your venture, this field may be the way for you.
3. Tourism Industry
Kerala was the choice of more than 75 lakh travellers in 2021. The tourism industry in the state is booming due to its scenic beauty, peaceful environment, and unique culture. Kerala is home to locations like Kochi, Munnar, Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam, Kozhikode etc., which have been the top listers for travellers worldwide. You can venture into any part of the tourism industry – agencies, hotels, restaurants, transport & travel, photographer, videographer, etc., depending on your budget and business goals.
4. Online Reselling
Starting an online reselling business in Kerala involves utilising well-known e-commerce platforms to sell various products. By sourcing items from wholesalers or manufacturers, you can resell them at competitive prices and generate profits.
5. Plant Nursery
Establishing a plant nursery in Kerala can be a highly lucrative and fulfilling business venture, considering the rising interest in gardening and the growing demand for green spaces. By growing and selling a diverse range of plants, including indoor plants, ornamental plants, herbs, and even rare species, you can cater to the needs of gardening enthusiasts and capitalise on the market’s potential.
6. The Beauty and Wellness Industry
The beauty and wellness industry in Kerala is flourishing, presenting an excellent opportunity to start a business in this sector. By offering a wide range of beauty and wellness services such as hairstyling, makeup, massages, facials, and skincare treatments, you can tap into the growing demand for these services and build a loyal customer base.
7. Personal Fitness Training
Becoming a personal fitness trainer in Kerala is an excellent choice if you have a passion for fitness and a desire to help others achieve their health goals. By offering personalized fitness training sessions, either in-person or online, you can cater to individuals who are seeking guidance, motivation, and accountability to improve their physical well-being.
8. Event Decoration Services
Starting an event decoration service in Kerala can be a highly rewarding business venture, considering the region’s vibrant culture and the demand for visually appealing setups for weddings, parties, and other special occasions. By offering creative and customized event decorations, you can contribute to making celebrations in Kerala truly memorable.
9. Customized Gift Items
Starting a business that specializes in customized gift items in Kerala can be a profitable venture, considering the growing demand for personalized and unique gifts for special occasions and celebrations. By offering a range of customized products such as personalized mugs, photo frames, engraved items, and custom-made jewellery, you can cater to individual preferences and provide thoughtful gift options.
10. Home Cleaning Services
Starting a professional home cleaning service in Kerala can be a lucrative business opportunity, considering the increasing demand for assistance in maintaining clean and organized living spaces. By offering a range of cleaning services, such as deep cleaning, regular maintenance, or specialized cleaning for specific areas, you can cater to the needs of busy professionals, families, or individuals who require reliable and efficient cleaning services.
List of Top Small Business Ideas in Kerala
1. Spice Farmer
This business may require some technical know-how and manual labour on your part. Kerala is rich in nutritional land and is known for its spice production throughout the country. The state produces important raw spices, which include pepper, vanilla, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. And the best part? There is no shortage of demand for these products. You can easily find land and human resources to support your business and start selling your organic spices anywhere you want.
Moreover, for those who are from the village area and looking for a profitable business opportunity, we have created this amazing list of the best village business ideas in India. Do have a look.
2. Spice Trader
Spice trading goes alongside spice farming. One cannot survive without the other. A trader generally acts as an intermediary between the producer and the customers. Spice farmers need to gain the best knowledge of how to reach customers and get the best price for their production. Traders help farmers get the best price for their produce and sell these spices at a margin to wholesalers, retailers and direct consumers. This margin is their main source of income. Traders can also charge commissions from farmers for promoting their products.
Business Ideas for Other States:
3. Banana Chips
The recent trends indicate an uptick in demand for banana chips. Health-conscious people all over the country are looking for an alternative to traditional potato chips. At this point, the Banana Chips industry could be more organized. If producing and feeding healthy snacks to a large number of food lovers is something that resounds with you, you can think about starting in this industry. One of the recent success stories seen on Shark Tank India includes the company Beyond Snack, which was also started by a Kerala resident.
Kerala provides some of the most unique and intricate works of art in clothing and jewellery. The state is home to handicrafts made from wood, bell metal, coconut shell, screw pine, straw, natural fibres, paper mache, clothes etc. Some of the most famous articles include sculptures, pottery items and murals. As an entrepreneur, you can either create a network of local artisans and produce products under your brand name, or you can become a handicraft trader to facilitate sales directly from the manufacturers.
Furthermore, we have also walked through some of the best unique & new business ideas in Delhi in our latest blog. Do give it a read.
5. Tea Production
As we mentioned, more than two-thirds of Kerala is equipped in mountain regions. The state is known for its high rainfall and excellent weather conditions for tea production. Locations like Idukki, Wayanad, and Munnar are tea-growing regions. Like handicrafts, you can either start your tea plantation (if you are not worried about the budget) or become a tea trader to start a commission-based business.
6. Eco-friendly Products
Starting a business that offers eco-friendly products in Kerala is an excellent opportunity, given the growing awareness and demand for sustainable alternatives. By providing a range of eco-friendly options such as reusable bags, biodegradable packaging, sustainable home goods, and organic personal care products, you can cater to the needs of environmentally conscious individuals and contribute to a greener future.
7. Coconut-Based Products
Starting a business that focuses on coconut-based products in Kerala is a great opportunity, considering the region’s abundant coconut resources. By utilizing these resources, you can create and sell a variety of coconut-based products such as virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut snacks, and coconut-based beauty and skincare products.
8. Pet Care Services
Starting a pet care services business in Kerala can be a rewarding venture, considering the growing number of pet owners in the region. By offering a range of services such as pet grooming, pet sitting, dog walking, and pet training, you can cater to the needs of pet owners who require reliable and professional care for their beloved pets.
9. Solar Energy Solutions
Starting a business that offers solar energy solutions in Kerala is a promising venture, considering the region’s abundant sunlight and the growing interest in renewable energy. By providing solar panel installation, solar water heaters, and solar-powered lighting systems, you can contribute to a sustainable future and help customers reduce their carbon footprint.
10. Mobile App Development
Starting a mobile app development business in Kerala can be a lucrative venture, considering the increasing demand for mobile applications in various industries. By offering customized mobile app development services, you can cater to the digital needs of businesses and individuals, helping them create innovative solutions and enhance their online presence.
Why is Kerala a Great Place to Start Your Business?
1. Wide Range of Opportunities
Due to its unique geographical, cultural and historical qualities, Kerala is a great place for businesses to flourish. You can set up many different types of businesses in the state. Tourism, Spices, Education, Chemicals, Ports etc., own the main share of the GDP of Kerala.
2. Highly Developed
Kerala runs faster in terms of development when compared to the rest of the country. This major growth can be attributed to different state and central schemes and, overall, the higher literacy rate in the state. All the facilities an offline or an online business might need are already set up in Kerala to attract more entrepreneurs.
3. Well Connected
Even though more than two-thirds of Kerala is covered in the mountains, the state is well connected to the rest of the country and foreign nations. The Jewel of Southern India has a network of 11 National Highways and 72 State Highways to maintain land connectivity.
4. Kochi Airport
One of the best airports in the country, it is a major contributor to air connectivity. At the same time, more than ten ports (including major, intermediate and minor ports) account for water connectivity.
5. Digitally Sound
Kerala is one of the states with the highest levels of internet penetration. In today’s world, every business needs an online presence to survive. Due to higher data usage and educated users, Kerala provides a wider consumer base to businesses.
6. Affordable Costs
Kerala, even though ranking highest in indices like Human Development and Literacy, is comparatively cheaper than the rest of the states. Different resources can be accessed at a lesser price, helping startups to expand their business.
Important Things to Know Before Starting Business in Kerala
1. Business Analysis
You can get a general idea about any business by reading up on it for a day or two, but to start a business, a higher level of skill, information, and knowledge is required. Before starting a business, you must research the on-ground conditions relating to demand, supply, customer perception, budget requirements, future predictions, etc. If things look good, you can go ahead with your plan.
2. Competition Analysis
Once you enter any industry, you are bound to face competitors. The level of competition depends on the nature and size of your market. You should check up on your competitors before you get too deep into your business and learn about their strategies, margins, marketing, market share, etc.
3. Cultural Sensitivity
Kerala is a state rooted in its deep history and culture. When you think about starting a business in the state, it is important to be aware of your workforce’s and the customer’s perceptions of your business. This awareness is key to your business’s long-term success.
At last, we would also like you to check our latest blog, where we have featured some of the most famous business ideas in Punjab. Do check it out, and maybe you can get some good ideas for your startup.
How to Start a Business in Kerala?
To start a business in Kerala, you can follow these general steps:
- Idea Generation and Market Research: Identify a business idea that aligns with your interests, skills, and market demand. Do thorough market research to understand your business idea’s target audience, competition, and potential profitability.
- Develop a Business Plan: Create a detailed business plan summarising your business goals, target market, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational requirements. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business and help you secure funding if needed.
- Choose a Legal Structure: Determine the legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or private limited company (PLC). Consult with a legal professional to understand each structure’s legal and tax implications and choose the one that best suits your needs.
- Register Your Business: Register your business with the appropriate government authorities. In Kerala, you can register your business with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) if you choose a PLC or LLC structure. For other structures, you may need to register with local municipal authorities or obtain licenses and permits specific to your industry.
- Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits from relevant government departments or regulatory bodies. If applicable, examples include trade licenses, GST registration, food safety licenses, environmental clearances, and professional certifications.
- Secure Funding: Determine the financial requirements of your business and explore funding options. You can self-fund your business, seek loans from banks or financial institutions, approach investors or venture capitalists, or explore government schemes and subsidies available for entrepreneurs.
- Set Up Your Infrastructure: Secure a suitable location for your business operations. This may involve leasing or purchasing commercial space, setting up a home office, or establishing an online presence. Arrange necessary infrastructure, equipment, and utilities based on your business requirements.
- Hire Employees and Build a Team: If your business requires a workforce, recruit and hire employees with the skills and qualifications needed for your operations. Ensure compliance with labour laws and provide necessary training and orientation to your employees.
- Establish Supplier and Distribution Channels: Identify reliable suppliers for your raw materials, products, or services. Build relationships with vendors and negotiate favourable terms and prices. If your business involves physical products, set up efficient distribution channels to reach your target market.
- Marketing and Promotion: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to create awareness about your business. Utilize various channels such as social media, online advertising, print media, networking events, and collaborations with influencers or industry associations. Build a strong brand presence and engage with your target audience to attract customers.
- Monitor Finances and Operations: Implement a robust financial management system to track income, expenses, and cash flow. Review your financial statements regularly and make necessary adjustments to ensure profitability and sustainability. Monitor your operations closely, analyze performance metrics, and make strategic decisions to drive growth.
Remember to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, maintain ethical business practices, and adapt to market changes to ensure the success of your business in Kerala. Consulting with accountants, lawyers, and business advisors can provide valuable guidance.
With some of the top business choices and the best practices right in front of your eyes, there is nothing left for you to do except start. Find the venture that you are most passionate about, do your research, and start your entrepreneurial journey. Good luck!
To start a business in Kerala, first, decide on a niche, then do your market research. Create a business plan, and then look out for your investment options. Finally, do some marketing to promote your business.
Some of the businesses you can start in Kerala are tea & coffee, banana chips, handicrafts items & jewellery, beauty salon, dairy products, and restaurants.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can either start a business from the comfort of your home or rent a store or a piece of property. Small-scale businesses like a pickle- or snack-making are frequently run from homes. Less money is invested, but the returns are greater.
Spice Business, Tea & Coffee Plantation, Dry Fruits, Ayurveda Products, and Banana Chips are some of the profitable industries in Kerala.
Homemade Sweets and Snacks, Online Bakery, Social Media Strategist, and Breakfast Joints are some of the businesses you can start with ₹10,000