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A Few Good Things

"Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." – Ibn Battuta

A Few Good Things

A few ideas to start your Business.

For someone with a little entrepreneurial ability there are many exciting business opportunities. Most people tend to be repetitive & follow existing models that lacks innovation. This Blog lists down a few interesting ideas that can be developed as a successful business – so all the intelligent bored housewives, Gujjus, Sindhis …with business in your blood –  here is something to get you started.  All the ideas are based on Basics of human need around Food , Shelter , Clothing. In the past many of my ideas have translated into big business – hoping some of you pick up these ideas and execute them successfully.

Nuts.com – Simple Trading – but go Online

The Marwari’s have built an empire out of this. Small Investment, Low margin but multiple cycles of business is their mantra. If you invest 1 Lac and make a profit of 2 % in one day by trading in wholesale look at the money you can make in a year. The ROI is obscene !

We were recently in Kashmir and found that the best quality of Walnuts & Almonds are available at about Rs 600 / Kg. At Delhi INA market this becomes nearly 1000 / Kg and at Bangalore its closer to 1200 / Kg.

walnut 1

There are at least 10M Indian families whose daily food intake includes some nuts – its good for health. And then during Diwali and other festivals Nuts are great gifts. So here is the idea – start an Online Store that sells limited variety of quality Nuts, Tie up with a large merchant in Kashmir, depending on the scale and margin you want to make you can decide if you want to run this as a small outlet store in Bangalore or a large online play with a warehouse out of Srinagar. So with Nuts.com – you can actually start a very profitable business – margins in excess of 50%. You can then expand this to get dates from Middle East – that’s another great food item, doesn’t need refrigeration, can be stored for long and its rare to find good quality pitted dates in India. Take a look at what sells online in India eTailing –  everyone is busy selling books , gadgets , apparels .

Online Retail

Once the concept starts , further expansion is possible – create an online store for every unique item you get from different States – yes the concept of State run handicraft stores exists, but its poorly managed. So your online store can have Cotton Sarees from Cal, Kolhapuri Chappals, Pashmina Shawls, Silk Sarees from Kancheepuram, Special Navratri Dresses from Gujarat etc – an online boutique that gets you the best from every state in India at the lowest possible prices. Today this segment does not exist online – so there is virgin opportunity waiting to be tapped both from India and the 15 M NRI’s visiting India.

 

Italian Buffet

Indian’s love Pizza & Pasta. India is the fastest growing base for Domino’s & Pizza Hut. We also consume more Pasta than all of Italy ! Yes we have many Italian Restaurants and Pizza Joints but what we lack is a low cost Italian Buffet joint. Many years back we used to frequent one in the US – CiCi’s Pizza, it was a great success story. Unlimited Pizza , Pasta & Soft Drinks for $6.99. In India you can probably charge Rs 499/- for a similar buffet. Clear opportunity to build a chain with scale.

Pizza Buffet

Theme Restaurants

Many years back we had visited Cancun. One evening we visited a cultural program that included a buffet dinner. It was organized by the Mexican Govt – but it was an excellent experience. In any large Indian city we are starved for entertainment – IPL tickets get sold months in advance, and any good dance / musical event at Chowdiah memorial is a sell out. The only entertainment for Indians in most metros is eating food, visiting malls and watching movies.

National Folklore Ballet of Mexico

How about a Theme Restaurant that serves different variety of Indian food each day along with some cultural program from that state using local artists. So Mon night would be Bhangra & Punjabi food, Tue would be Odissi or Baul Sangeet with E Indian Food, Wed could be Gujju food with Dandiya & Garba & Thu could be dishes from the Malabar Coast with Kathakali Dance. You will need a place in the suburbs (Something like Vishala in Ahmedabad) and could announce the schedule in advance and have all the seats booked ahead of schedule. Given the no of IT companies in Bangalore and the foreign visitors who come every week – this one will be a sure hit from an entertainment point of view both for tourists & locals. ( This one may be a little complicated to execute and would require some connections with a big realtor or politician)

Food for Rail Travellers

Not sure how many of you saw the recent TV expose on how food is cooked in Trains. Most people would want to stay away from that food. There are over 5 M passengers who travel every day on an overnight train. They need food – what you get in the train & station is substandard and not something you would want your children to eat. Cooking at home is an option but it would be a lot easier to get something from near the station.  Renting space in the station is difficult (you need to know Mr. Bansal’s relatives). So what’s the Option ?

Passengers crowd together at a platform after part of a railing from a bridge collapsed at Allahabad railway station

A Saravana Bhawan type joint that is located close to the station – offering packed delivery food. Not too many varieties but clean, hygienic & packed well for travel. Idli Vada Combo, Curd Rice, Lemon Rice, Sevai, Roti Subji, Puri Bhaji.. Over a period of time the good food and hygiene standards will establish the place as a brand by itself. You may even have the option of delivery in the platform so that you don’t need to visit the shop as you rush to the

Store for the Sr Citizens 

We have many stores dedicated for Babies – why not a store dedicated for the old ? A store that specializes in food / medicines / soaps / day to day ingredients that they need most. Maybe extend it to a restaurant like Sanjeevanam that serves Indian food with limited oil , create a menu for diabetics , one for Heart patients , make it like a club for old people who can spend a few hrs every day – a sort of CCD for the elder citizens to hang out.

Sr Citizens

And finally my favorite one – A nice housing complex in Coorg on the banks of the Cauvery 

Water is drying up – in the last few years we have seen how the water table has gone from 30 feet to 500 feet and we survive on tankers. Think of how the situation will be 10 years from now as even more people migrate to the cities. A great opportunity exists in building a good quality medium budget villa complex on the banks of the Cauvery – in case of water shortage you can always go and haul a few buckets in. Land in Coorg is still cheap – less than 10 Lacs / Acre – so its very possible build Villas 1500 sft 3 BHK independent houses for 30 – 40 Lacs on 1/2 acre plots – the right builder with the right pricing can sell his layout in one weekend in Bangalore.

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1 Comment

  1. sandeep Karmakar

    Last one is my fav… few more option that I have in my mind as SME start -up

    1) Online vegetable delivery – concept farm fresh(with quality assurance)-direct to home..
    2) 90% of restaurants fails within 12 month of business. -hence food joints are risky to start with.. however would love to start a home-food joint near to a college according to students origin.
    3) hand-loom with origin concept..(fab india is just promoting few) but I could not find place which has kashimiri pashmina to bengal taath or kaatha switch work.. to bandini.. alongwith handicraft(useful furniture not show piece).. margin will help to drive value may not be the volume..

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