16 Profitable Business Ideas for Students in India

Very often, students have to depend on their parents to fulfill their monetary needs. Sometimes, for children from middle-class or lower income groups students, it's not possible to trouble their parents for money often. But now, with the progress in technology, students can start a profitable business from scratch with little or no financing. Let us look at some of these ideas ourselves.

1. Freelance writing services:

Average cost: Zero rupees

A freelance writer can be a good side hustle for students who have good English skills. As long as they have good grammar and can rephrase and research topics online, they are good to go! Except for English skills, no other investment is needed to begin. Just register at any freelancing site like Fiverr and bid on writing projects. On average, freelancers earn 15-30 PPW (paise per word)

2. Blogging business:

Average cost: Rs 5000/- to 10,000/- cost to buy a simple blogging website and domain

Blogging is one of the businesses which are trending among students these days. You just need to create a simple website using Word press or hire someone to do it. After that, select a niche like food, travel, or fashion and start blogging about it. You can even add about it to your blog to attract more audience. Google ad sense pays good money based on traffic at such blogs. Your investment will see returns typically in 6-12months time depending on niches you choose. You can find 60+ Best blog niches ideas for your blogs here

3. Photography:

Average cost: Zero to Rs 35,000 - the cost of a professional DSLR camera and stands

Often mistaken as a hobby, photography can be a lucrative business opportunity. These days, people have a craze to click photos and upload them on social media all the time. More so during occasions like weddings or birthdays. If you are good at photography, you can start by catering to family events. All you need is your smartphone camera. As you earn more you can invest in a better camera. Eventually, through word-of-mouth, you can take in more contracts.

4. Food delivery service:

Average cost: Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 - raw materials for food and extra kitchen equipment

If you love cooking for people, then this is the right business idea for you! With an initial investment in ingredients and utensils, you can open your delivery service. You can start with catering meals and tiffin services for your friends and expand as the word goes about. Try to keep a small menu, to begin with, and increase items as you progress. This can be a solidly profitable venture.

5. Selling E-books:

Average cost: Zero rupees

If you are an aspiring writer and have many ideas that can turn into books, go for this idea. It is also for students who are passionate about certain topics and have enough information to educate people about them. They can put their knowledge down as How-to or DIY books and mint money by selling them as e-books. Amazon has tie-ups with great publishers as well as a self-publishing platform to showcase your books.

6. Master of ceremonies (MC):

Average cost: Zero to Rs. 500-600 /- for a public speaking course

Every public event has a person who hosts or conducts the event called an MC. If you are confident and have great social skills, you can be a part-time MC for different college events or even public functions. Even, if you aren't confident enough with an initial investment in a public speaking course you can develop the skills needed to become an MC. This is a great and fun way to make money on the side while increasing your social contacts.

7. Disc Jockey (DJ):

Average cost: Zero to Rs. 2000-3000/- monthly for music mixing software license

Nowadays, anybody can become a professional DJ using music mixing software like VirtualDJ. With a little bit of practice and creating remixes, you are all ready to begin DJing at parties, college festivals, or functions. Everybody loves a good DJ! Starting with family functions or friend's parties, you can earn good money taking outside contracts eventually.

8. Music and Singing classes:

Average cost: Zero rupees

This is a good idea for those skilled at a musical instrument or professionally trained singers. You can now put your skills to use by teaching others. Music and singing classes can be started in the comfort of one's home. You can advertise for the classes in your colony's online groups and start with teaching the children in the society or family. Later on, you can expand to accommodate students of all ages.

9. Yoga or Fitness classes:

Average cost: Zero to 500-600/- for a yoga mat

You have practiced Yoga or Zumba for years and have become the go-to person for advice relating to these matters in your group. Why not make money off your knowledge instead? People these days are health-conscious and exercise is an important part of their lives. Opening a Yoga/Zumba or fitness class can be a profitable venture if done right! Give a demo class online by sharing it on different social media platforms. Slowly increase your reach to increase your following and start making a solid profit. Although slow at first this can be quite a profitable venture.

10. Graphic/Web designer:

Average cost: Zero to 3000-5000/- for a short graphic designing course

For creative people, this is a profitable and fulfilling profession. Website design companies are always on the lookout for individuals who can design innovative logos, menus, and catalogs for their clients. After a free tutorial online or a paid course, you can join a freelancing site to build your initial client base. Once you have established your base, you can grab more business through recommendations.

11. Online tutor:

Average cost: Zero rupees

If you have good speaking skills and thorough knowledge about an academic subject then this gig is perfect for you. You can easily join an online teaching class and start teaching other students courses about your subject. It requires no initial investment and gives a good return.

12. Virtual Assistant:

Average cost: Zero rupees

Basic IT and email writing skills are a majority of the qualifications needed to become a virtual assistant. You must also have good social skills as you will be handling phone calls from clients and other employees. Your job will include sending emails, setting meetings, and creating schedules for your boss. It is a good part-time venture that can earn you good money.

13 Dance classes:

Average cost: Zero to Rs. 10,000 to 15,000/- to rent a dance studio

For students who are trained in any dance form, this can be a good side business to earn from. You can easily conduct online classes or have them at home. As your outreach grows, you can hire a studio to teach your students. It is a good venture as many parents enroll their kids to dance classes nowadays for their all-around development.

14. Organize Webinars:

Average cost: Zero rupees

This is another business idea that can be done by a lot of students without any prior special skills. You can organize an online seminar on any topic you have knowledge about and charge attendance fees for it. You can even offer courses or showcase any product of companies for a commission. You can create webinars on commonly asked topics online.

15. Transcription and Language translation services:

Average cost: Zero rupees

Multilingual students will find this a lucrative business option. There are many sites online that require part-time freelance translators and transcribers. You can easily get jobs to translate content from English to other languages and vice-versa. Translators usually get paid 150-300 rupees per hour depending on their level of experience. Medical transcription jobs have a higher demand compared to normal ones.

16. Affiliate marketing:

Average cost: Zero rupees

Students with knowledge of sales copywriting and pay-per-click or web marketing can consider going into this line of business. As an affiliate marketer, you will have to advertise company products and services. You will in return receive a commission fee from every sale made. A good amount of social skills is also needed to thrive in this business. Although slow in the start, as your clients increase, profits will flow in too.


The online world offers students these days many ways to make money online. The above-mentioned options are zero or low investment ways to make money as a side gig. As students, practically earn nothing they can profit from these ways to take care of their financial needs. Some businesses pay you based on a project-to-project basis. Others need a dedicated amount of time to be invested every day to flourish. Students can choose whatever option floats their boat.



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