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Oct, 22 2009

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If you have the vision and passion for entrepreneurship, a hobby or a vocation can be turned into a high growth business venture, provided you have the right business acumen and funding. However, finance is one great deterrent for many aspiring entreprene

If you have the vision and passion for entrepreneurship, a hobby or a vocation can be turned into a high growth business venture, provided you have the right business acumen and funding. However, finance is one great deterrent for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, not all businesses require startup investment in multiples of lakhs or crores. Low investment business models allow you to start your dream venture with a seed capital of Rs 1 lakh or under.

One can begin with minimum infrastructure even from home. Bootstrapping your entrepreneurial stint can be highly rewarding as your seed capital can come from your own savings or borrowing from friends and relatives. This saves you from the arduous task of getting a loan from banks or other financial institutions. Following are some of the businesses that are low-cost investments:

TanClean - Tank cleaning

Sunil Uplap,
, Business model

Tank cleaning business is about providing safe and scientific solution for cleaning and disinfecting storage water tanks. The process involves professional cleaning of tanks using appropriate equipment and anti-bacterial agents. As Sunil Uplap, Founder, TanClean says, way back in 1995 when I started TanClean, tank cleaning was an unorganised process done manually. I started the business with a strong realizsation that these services can be professionalised using modern procedures and equipments.

Tank Cleaning can be set up in four verticals: residential, commercial, industrial or government set ups. A fresher can start with one or all verticals.

Seed capital

As Sunil Uplap says, “One can start with an initial capital of 1.5 lakh. This is majorly invested on a computer, telephone and equipments. This is apart from the hiring cost of 3 -4 operators.”

Break even

The demand for tank cleaning services is concentrated in the urban areas. So, profitability depends upon the area of operation. However, it may take about 6 months for break even.

Ozone Media - Online Advts.

Kiran Gopinath,
founder, Business model

The internet advertising market stands at a whopping Rs 600 crore and this is about 3 to 4 per cent of the total advertising market. The business is about bringing together those with advertising space on the web and those who need it. As Kiran Gopinath of Ozone Media says, “We aggregate media inventory by partnering with online publishers and serve advts. from advertisers targeting them to the audiences they are meant to reach. The whole process requires a technology called ad server.” Venturing into this business, you need to have a strong understanding of online advertising,  internet and networking.

Start-up capital

This venture can be started with an initial investment of Rs 3 lakh which includes the cost of office space, a computer and an internet connection and also the salaries of the people you employ.

Break even: 12 months 

Dial a Meal - Meal delivery services  

Pani Kumar Reddy,
founder, Business model

Meal delivery service can be a viable business model for those who want gains without taking much pain. You have to tie up with local restaurants and hotels which do not have a delivery cell. You take orders from your customers and the order is forwarded to their preferred restaurants. Delivery boys collect the parcels from the restaurants and deliver them to the customers. This business model allows you to earn delivery charges from your customer in addition to the commission you charge from the restaurant. Pani Kumar Reddy of Dial a Meal says, “One can earn  10-15 per cent commission from the restaurant.”

Seed capital

In the meal delivery business you need to invest on office space (you can also start from home), telephone connections, mobile phones and vehicles for delivery boys, brochures, leaflets etc. Salaries of your office boys will also count in your expenses. As Reddy says, “I started with an initial investment of Rs 1,75000 and hired 22 boys. Today, my net profit is about Rs 98,000 per month.”

Break even:  four to five months

Outrigor - Plan trips

Sandeep Chakraborty,
founder, Business model

If you have the wherewithal, passion and knowledge to offer personalised guidance for soft adventure trips, like rafting, trekking, angling (sport fishing), wildlife safari, birding, camping etc, this may be the best entrepreneurial option for you. The crux of the business is developing itineraries for trips to exciting destinations.

Says Sandeep Chakraborty of Outrigor, “This is a highly specialised and sophisticated service which is different from that of a tour operator. Quite often, I accompany my clients on their trips to help them make the most of the trip.” One can also book hotels or resorts for clients depending on the preferences of clients. So, you charge a fee from your clients and also a commission from the respective hotels or restaurants.

Startup capital

One can start working from home initially with a computer along with an internet connection and phone. Besides this, one needs at least one vehicle to ferry clients. You will also need to keep a stock of equipments like binoculars, camping chairs, fishing equipment and tents. Sandeep informs, “Having a website is a must because it is the primary tool of marketing.”

Break even : one to two years   

Concierge4India - Concierge services

Arvind Pandey,
founder, Business model

Way back in 2005 when Arvind Pandey started Concierge4India, concierge services were only being provided by the Start Hotels to their clients. “I had a strong inkling that the idea can work well with employees of MNCs as well,” says Arvind. Today, his persistence with the idea has paid off. The business model is quite simple. One has to tie up with HR departments of MNCs and set up a Concierge Services Centre on the campus. The company provides the infrastructure and also pays the salaries of the personnel you hire. Concierge service covers a gamut of services as under:

  • Errand service (Dry cleaning, post office, banking, pharmacy, delivery etc.)
  • Child care service
  • Executive and corporate assistance (planning meetings, transporting clients etc.)
  • Office help: filing, organising, faxing, copying
  • Planning parties (invitations, food and drink, decorating, music etc.)
  • Travel service (Planning and booking)
  • Pet care service (feeding, walks, grooming)
  • Relocating services (evaluating homes and rentals, moving and storage arrangements, etc.)
  • Shopping services (groceries, gifts, gift wrapping, etc.)

Startup capital

One can start working from home with a personal computer and a phone connection.

Break even:

It may take you from 6- 12 months.. A lot depends on your networking skills.

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