December 3, 2023


Supportive Business Potential

5 small export business ideas to start with investment as low as Rs 50,000

“The Indian diaspora is one of the most vibrant and dynamic,” the United Nation mentioned in one of its reports, stating that in 2020, around 18 million Indians lived away from their country. 

Recently, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said India’s exports in December 2021 surged 37 percent on an annual basis to $37.29 billion — the highest-ever monthly figure — and the country’s merchandise exports would cross $400 billion this fiscal.

If we think about this data, there seem to be immense opportunities in the global market emerging from India. To count on this growth and capitalise on business opportunities, SMBStory lists five small export business ideas you can start with an investment of as low as Rs 50,000. 

Imitation jewellery

Indian jewellery has a wide global appeal, and the industry has immense potential. The beauty of ethnic jewellery lures every Indian, especially when they are away from their country. In fact, foreign nationals fond of jewellery never miss a chance to flaunt their Indian ornaments.

Small businesses for jewellery export are easy to set up. You can either outsource the latest collection from domestic manufacturers or get it manufactured on contract.

Moreover, you can opt to sell either directly to customers through a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) website or by listing on marketplaces that accept international orders. 

According to TrendEconomy, as of 2020, the top export destinations for Indian imitation jewellery includes the US, with a share of 22 percent ($31 million), the UAE, with a share of 14.3 percent ($20 million), and the UK, with a share of 8.39 percent ($11.8 million), among others.


According to various media reports, India has emerged as the ‘pickle king of the world’. The country exports pickles to around 54 countries — revealing that the market for pickles is popular beyond Indian boundaries.

If you are thinking of building a business with global appeal, venturing into the pickles exporting business is a great step. 

You can start a pickles business from home with a minimum investment between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000. It can be outsourced to other small pickle making businesses or women Self-Help Groups (SHGs). 


From Amritsari to Bikaneri, India boasts of a plethora of papad varieties that appeal to diverse consumers abroad. You can begin a papad business with a minimum investment of Rs 20,000.

According to a report, Indian papad is exported to over 121 countries. In 2020-21, India exported papad worth $34.1million. 

One can start a papad business from home since it requires a small setup. You can either sell handmade papads or deploy hired machinery in the initial phase of the business. 

Incense sticks

At present, India’s agarbatti (incense sticks) market is growing leaps and bounds because of higher domestic and global demand. India exports incense sticks to over 150 countries on the back of the rising popularity of aromatherapy and meditation in other countries. 

A small scale agarbatti manufacturing business can be started with an investment as low as Rs 50,000. Like the papad business, incense sticks manufacturing can be outsourced to women SHGs. 


Indian handicrafts are cherished globally. Each Indian state boasts of a variety of handlooms and handicrafts. From sarees, handbags, footwear, paintings to home decor, small businesses involved in these handicrafts products can export them to different countries and run a profitable business. 

Handicrafts products can either be directly sourced from the artisans, helping in creating employment opportunities for them.