HomeBusiness Ideas20 Best Import Export Business Ideas in India

20 Best Import Export Business Ideas in India

In India, people are crazy about imported items. Thus, starting Import Export Business in India is a lucrative business option. You can earn a lot of money in the export-import business.

Many people want to start import export business but they are not aware of – How to Start Import Export Business in India? If you are one of them, here is a complete process explaining steps for starting an export-import business including a list of 20 Best Import Export Business options in India.

import export business

How to Start Import Export Business in India?

In India, foreign trade is monitored and controlled by DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade). It is mandatory to obtain IEC code and license for starting this business. The steps of getting IEC code for starting an import-export business in India is given below.

  1. The first step is to register a company in India. You can go for a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited company. Decide the company name and file required forms to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  2. Once your company is registered open a current bank account to deal in foreign currency.
  3. Once you are done with the above steps you can go for applying IEC code. IEC code is 10 digit number required for import and export business.
  4. You can apply for this number online at DGFT website. You need to upload mandatory documents such as bank certificate, address proof of the firm.
  5. Once you get IEC number, you can apply for register cum membership certificate. This certificate is required for availing authorization of import-export and other concessions.

Also Read – 11 Best Distribution Business Ideas

Points to Consider before Starting Import Export Business

You should consider the following points before starting the import-export business.

Right Product

The first point to consider while starting foreign trade is selection of right product. There are certain restricted products. You should study product range before making a selection. You also need to study export and import trend.

Market Potential

The next step after deciding product is finding market potential. You need to do market research to find out competition, product consumption, and applicable export benefits. You can make use of data available with export agencies.

Potential Buyers & Sellers

You also need to find out potential buyers and sellers of the product. The buyer can seller can be across country. You can make use of online websites in order to do that.

Payment Terms

You need to discuss about applicable payment terms, currency used in transaction as well as payment mode well in advance. It will help in maintaining transparency in the business.

Risk Coverage

You are also required to assess the risk associated with this business. The major risk you will face while doing this business is payment risk. You can make use of ECGC to cover risk of non-payment. In addition to that you can cover risk by taking insurance.

Mode of Shipment

You also need to decide mode of shipment. The shipment can be done via air route, sea route, road, post parcel etc. The costing associated in each mode is different.


It is very important to check profitability associated with product you select. A higher profitability is likely to give you quick success in the business.

20 Most Profitable Import Export Business Ideas

1. Aluminum Import Export

Aluminum and Aluminum products are in demand outside as well as inside India. Thus, starting the Aluminum Import Export business makes sense. In addition to IEC license, you will need approval from the pollution control board and other government authorities to start this business.

2. Coffee

Coffee export is very good business. The demand for coffee is very high across the globe. India is the sixth-largest coffee producing country.  Countries, where you can export coffee, are USA, Finland, Noraway, Sweden, etc.

3. Cotton Yarn Fabric Export

Cotton Yarn Fabric Export is next on the list. Cotton Yarn is used for producing cloths. India is the second-largest producer of cotton yarn fabric across the globe. If you have know-how of cotton yarn you can opt for cotton yarn fabric export business. USA, Japan, Spain, China are some countries are the major importing countries.

4. Diamond Import Export

India is Diamond polishing hub all over the world. India imports rough diamonds and send back polished and cut diamonds. Availability of low skilled labor and expertise are plus points regarding diamond business. It is a risky business and requires a lot of investment. If you have expertise and knowledge you can start this business.

5. Electronic Component Import

Demand for Imported Electronic items such as television, refrigerator, mobile, and other consumer goods is very high in India. So, starting an electronic goods import business is a very good business option. Investment required for this business is very high. You need to develop a good marketing strategy for electronic goods import business.

6. Fertilizer Import

India is an agriculture-based economy. Demand for fertilizer is very high in India. Most of the fertilizer is produced locally. However, few farmers prefer imported fertilizer. This gave birth to the fertilizer import/export business. Except for urea all other fertilizer can be imported freely in India.

7. Glass Import

Glass and glassware comes under hazardous waste items. Most of the countries regulate and controls imports and consumption of glass. You need to follow guideline and terms in order to import glass and related items. Imported glass products usually remains in demand. You can start this business and earn lot of money.

8. Handicraft Item Export

Handicraft items are decorative items made up by hand or by tools. Indian Handicraft items usually remain in demand outside India. So, starting handicraft item export is a lucrative business option.

9. Jewellery Export

Jewllery export business is next in the list. A demand of Indian traditional jewellery is very high outside India. If you have expert jewllery designers who can design unique jewellery you can rule this market. It is risky and moderate investment business option.

10. Machinery Import

Imported tools and machineries remains in demand all over India. If you are from mechanical background or aware of machinery you can start machinery import business. You can sell these machinery locally or open up online website for selling it online.

11. Milk Products Export

India is one of the largest producer of milk and milk related products. Milk production and selling is important for the live hood of people. Milk export can be done in nearby countries like UAE, Bangladesh, Singapore and Nepal. A challenge you will face is maintaining temperature while these products are in transit.

12. Natural Rubber Import Export

Natural Rubber Import Export is one of the best export import business idea. Natural rubber is produced on the rubber tree. A special treatment and care is required for these trees. Natural rubber can be exported in the countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam etc.

13. Oil Import

Edible oil is widely used in food products. A demand of edible oil in country like India is very high, thus starting edible oil import business is very good business idea. Edible oil can be imported under open general license.

14. Organic Food Export

Organic food is natural food (vegetable and fruit). In India organic food is not that much famous. However, in countries like USA, UK, Canada demand of organic food is very high. You can start business related to organic food export and earn lot of money.

15. Processed Food Item Export

India is largest producer and consumer of processed foods. The processed food produced in India can be exported to nearby countries. The challenge you may face in this business is packaging and shipping.

16. Readymade Garment Import Export

India is famous for the garment. The garment produce in India is cheap compared to other countries. This is mainly due to availability of labor at low cost. A readymade garment is very good product for the import export business.

17. Sugar Export

The sugar sector is partially decontrolled by the government. The export of sugar is free provided you have registration in DGFT. Sugar can be exported to countries like China, USA, Australia, Brazil etc.

18. Tea Export

Tea is one of the widely used item all over the world. Tea is available in different types such as herbal tea, Green tea, black tea, organic tea etc. You can export tea from India to various countries and earn lot of money.

19. Tobacco Export

Tobacco export is very good and profitable business option. However, tobacco export is restricted in few countries. So, before starting tobacco export you need to study laws very carefully.

20. Spices Export

Indian spices is famous all over the world. People are crazy about Indian spices. This makes Indian spices export very good business. The export of Indian spices is growing every year and expected to grow further. 

I have tried my level best to shortlist best import export business ideas in the above list. If you find any of the idea missing in the list please add it in the comment section given below.

Shitanshu Kapadia
Shitanshu Kapadia
Hi, I am Shitanshu founder of moneyexcel.com. I am engaged in blogging & Digital Marketing for 10 years. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, knowledge and help people in managing money.