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Ideas to start a business in Rs. 50000/-

 A lot has been said and written about the power of ideas and how no one in this world can stop an idea whose time has come. Every one of us have these ideas that we are afraid to voice out or act upon but subconsciously these ideas are always there in our mind. Sometimes all we need to take our idea from drawing board to execution is just a little push from someone and yes an expert suggestions or two.

TheRodinhoods as a community has been a great source of tacit knowledge that no MBA school can teach and to top on that – we have some amazingly talented people who are always there to help others to realize their dreams.

Few days back a fellow Rodinhooder Atul Pawar  wrote to me after reading my post about our brand Puzzles and wanted to share his concept of introducing exotic cookies to Mumbaikars. We soon got on a long call and discussed his idea which I will share briefly here.

Idea: To develop proprietary recipes of exotic cookies, manufacture them in-house and sell it through stand-alone retail shops and kiosks in malls/high-traffic areas.

Team: Atul and his friend who had done a culinary course from a renowned institute.


  1. How to market these cookies?
  2. Ways to build sustainable business model?
  3. Whether to focus on Brand or Sales?
  4. Lack of funds! This was a major problem – Atul only has Rs. 50,000/-

Somewhere in middle of our discussions I realized that if we really put our heads down – we actually can come up with a list of ideas that can be executed in Rs. 50,000/- and if are backed with disciplined efforts, these ideas can be turned into a solid business over a period of time.

How cool it would be if we Rodinhooders compile a list of such ideas and make a 10 liner plan to make it work and post here?! Event planner, Catering business for small parties, Boutique travel agency/agent and the list can go on and on… Sure, one might need to learn a skill or two but then again – a business in Rs. 50,000/-!!!

So coming back to the problem of Atul – since lack of funds was a major impediment and I had to help him to realize his idea within  Rs. 50,000 – my suggestions to him was:

–          Forget about the kiosks or shops – just the fabrication cost of a kiosk will be more than the amount he has.

–          Forget about the brand thing but focus on building the product right and the consumer experience – If the taste is good, people will find him and repeat sales would come. Also, if that small cookie is hand-packed in a creative way it will not only be cheaper but will also attract eye-balls. Twitter and FB can be used as a way to brand and market the product and concept. Till the time the business reaches certain level – this can be handled by founders.

–          Forget about in-house manufacturing plant since it will entail high CAPEX in initial days but focus on getting a SINGLE oven which will cost around 15K and start with it.

–          Produce in smaller lots so that the cookies are always fresh and there is no unsold inventory.

–          Now, since everything else looked OK we had to think of a business model in absence of kiosk or a shop!

We already have so many VC funded FOODTECH companies, and imagine how cool it would be to use their money instead of ours! This might mean working on a thinner margin but this will help in testing the product at a lower risk.

So, the idea is to

i) tie-up with these Foodtech companies and sell these cookies to them at a subsidized price. This will help him spread the name and also gather feedback from the market about the product.

ii) He can also put small stalls in corporate offices on a weekly rolling day basis so that he gets some traction.

iii) Apart from it – school and college fests is an excellent way to start promoting the business.

iv) Atul and his friends can also tie-up with various clubs and restaurant and sell their cookies in Birthday and Kitty parties that keep happening at such places.

I am sure that there will be so many more ways in which Atul can handle each of these issues and if anyone from the community can help him in this – it will be great.

Not to forget – let’s try and work on ideas for businesses that can be started with just Rs. 50,000 and see how many creative ideas we get?!?!

Looking forward to GREAT ideas!


My twitter handle: imabhinavgupta



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  1. wow. this is exactly what alok and i have been talking about – how rodinhooders can become rodinhooders’ mentors/guides!!

    atul should really write a testimonial for you!! this is super awesome stuff. pls ask him to follow this post!

    okay – love your ideas – totally agree with the tying up with foodtech ventures – i know for a fact a few ventures in delhi/gurgaon offer snacks for tea time. find similar ones in mumbai – cookies might work there.

    he should approach startups like TheFirstMeal (our hyderabadi rodinhooders) – they are doing breakfasts and brunches. see if someone would like a couple of cookies for the coffee that follows their meals.

    schools and colleges have canteens. it’s always nice to be able to grab a cookie on the fly.

    offices provide tea & coffee. some even cookies?! 🙂 dunno about a stall. but even if they just provided a weekly tin? get offices to order every week. to beat fatigue, the cookies need to be assorted or change every week/few days. don’t know how exotic/expensive would work!

    one could do cookie baking classes with kids activity centers (for a small fee) – kids love cookies and will become your customer forever! (make sure they take home branded paper bags carrying the cookies) – the not so exotic kind, of course!

    b’day parties are a great idea – again – as an activity for the party – one could do cookie baking classes! big branding opportunities to do theme birthdays as well. 

    not sure about kitty parties, but if you go to these small flea markets where folks appreciate baked goodies, you will get regular customers. my friend bakes breads & brownies and sells it at such sunday markets and has a huge patronage!

    cafes are a great place to make a dent in. all coffee shops need to sell cookies 🙂

    organic cafes are huge in goa. is his stuff organic?? 

    just realised i didn’t even put down my thoughts on other ideas!!

    thanks abhinav – i think this post will benefit a whole bunch of rodinhooders – cookies or no cookies

  2. Hey Abhinav,

    I have a couple of ideas which I’m just gonna say out loud if it benefits 🙂

    1- A lot of maternity homes / hospitals/ healthcare chains/ service apartments have opened up in the boutique space. He could look to partner with them and offer this as a customised gift everytime someone checks out. This can also be offered in high end hospitals chains who offer premium healthcare services. One of this kind contract can help him out with start-up funds.

    2- He can get into the B2B business and take partner with renowned bakers from India world over and see if there is an opportunity to mass produce/ manufacture any of their signature recipes for them?

    3- A spin off from idea 2 is that he can partner with wedding planners/ event management businesses and look at offering customised event take aways.


  3. you know ruby, 

    the hospital idea is great – high-end hospitals have these health check up packages – they have to serve you breakky/coffee/tea – this could be a great place to pitch cookies!!

  4. Yes exactly Asha, they could even look it from a complimentary gift perspective- ex: a maternity home could gift cute baby shaped (pink/ blue) healthy cookies/ eats/ candies in a nicely packed gift box for every baby born. I know of having such a partnership with a maternity home in bangalore 🙂

    Even 5 / 7 star hotels/ resorts have a seprate assortment of goodies for their premium suite guests.

  5. free cookies in the room is such a nice gesture! 

    trust me, little kids get so excited when they see the goodies in the mini bar (that are chargeable!) 

  6. oh my god !!!!

    I just cant believe this ! Overwhelmed !!

    Thank you so much ABHINAV GUPTA for writing this article. i never thought a simple casual phone call will lead to this.

    Short of words !! thank you man !!!!!

  7. Thank you so much asha for all the inputs. i will surely keep these in mind.

  8. If anybody who is from food/ bakery industry / home bakers wants to share their views or offer their services can contact me on following email id –

  9. arrre let people share their ideas/views here atul. if someone wants to partner with you they will ask you and reach out to you! all the ideas coming here will benefit the whole community as well!!

    btw, what may seem as a casual phone call to you, was abhinav’s time he invested. and trust me, very few people do that nowadays!! you really owe him a testimonial after your venture successfully kicks off!! 🙂

  10. yes surely .

    i never thought about it but he has done a lot.

    i really don’t have words to describe what i am feeling right now.


  11. Hi Abhinav,

    Do we need “ANY” Government permission/registration if we self-pack and sale these cookies.Kindly enlighten me with this one.

    ~Sunil Suri


  12. Hi Asha,

    I am glad that you found this of some interest and thanks for the help on this one 🙂 Also, your inputs on this one are amazing – I loved the ones with cookie baking classes and making kids your customers.

    I think more than anything or anyone – Atul should be thankful to The Rodinhoods as a community and you and Alok as founders! If it wasn’t for you guys – no one here could have done anything!! So a big Thank you to you 🙂


  13. Hi Ruby,

    Another great idea that Atul should most certainly make a note of! This idea can generate so much of buzz around the brand that he wouldn’t have to worry about anything!

    Appreciate your reply!

    How about thinking of some ideas of business that can be started with Rs.50000/-?!? 🙂 🙂

  14. You’re welcome Atul – I really hope you can actually take your venture from drawing board to execution now!

    And I will have to agree with Asha that the replies to this should be coming here as this community that she has been building for so long is a repository of knowledge which everyone can benefit out of 🙂

    Good luck with your venture mate!!

  15. Hi Sunil –

    Yes, you will need a ‘re-packer’ or ‘manufacturer’ license from FSSAI depending on if you re-pack or produce it from scratch.

    Also – if the business crosses a turnover of Rs. 5 lakh – you need to take a sales tax number which also is mandatory. I think these 2 are the only 2 licenses one would need.

    Hope this helps! 🙂

  16. Dear Atul,

    If at all you decide to go ahead with this idea get on touch with me. We can help you with some really affordable ideas for packaging your products..

  17. Hi Atul,

    I am Ashish from… We deliver feelings in the form of Cakes, Chocolates and Flowers. These cakes are listed on our site. with the name of the bakers. This gives bakers their due share in recognition. If by any chance you would love to list your cookies on our site let me know. We will be happy to be part of your journey. We are based in Ahmedabad. You can anytime get in touch with us at 7600056247.

    Wishing you all the best…. Ashish S Parik, the cakeman who deliver feelings.

  18. :))) ashish – you are so awesome!!

  19. Hi guys,

    Seeing some really cool ideas here.

    A couple of questions from the top of my head –

    1. Has Atul already tried and tested recipes of the “exotic” cookies? I am assuming exotic = rare. There would be a cost involved in this process.

    2. Generally, what would be the shelf life of the cookies? This lets us know how soon he has to sell a batch of cookies.

    Trying to decode the challenge, the constraint is 50 grand, and absolutely nothing more than that.

    I see two possible ways to move forward.

    1. If exotic actually means rare, you should look at places like Good Earth, Moshe’s, etc, they have a flair for exotic items. Also try to make inroads with hotels, the likes of Taj, Four Seasons, etc. Here you’ll achieve good margins which will pay for testing recipes (logistics associate w.r.t each targeted customer) and wastages due to slow churn rate. – risky proposition.

    2.Always better to get the ball rolling asap and improvising as you move forward. After purchasing the oven I guess Atul would be able to produce batches of 10-15 kgs at a time. Build a good network of bakeries and the other suggestions mentioned before. – lower risk maybe

    Atul, if you happen to have answers to these questions, may be the forum could give more specific ideas.

  20. Thank you mihir for your inputs!

    1.I have categorized cookies into 2 segment – Normal cookies & sugar free cookies for fitness freaks and diabetic people .I have.not tested it yet . looking for a baker as of now, as I am from the events and marketing field. So getting someone from the bakery/ food industry as co founder will be a great thing.
    I am in talking terms with 2-3 bakeries for the same but if I outsourced it then i won’t be having any control over quality and hygiene that’s what I am worried about.

    2 .Shelf life of these cookies are 15-20 days normally.

  21. Thank you so much ashish !
    That would be great ! Can’t ask you much .
    Thank you so much!

  22. Thank you anurag!
    Will surely get in touch with you for the same.

  23. Ashatai, 

    i got too much from trh. If you remember my first post here was almost at the same time we started cakehunt… And by doing this i will also be benefited.. Now I am Gujju too 😉

  24. I could help you out too.

    Could give you a good deal at

  25. daniel can u be a bit more specific in simple words, how u can help atul? and what was the link for? you want to create an app for him? he has 50k to start a cookie business and you reckon he needs an app?? 

    sorry – bit lost here 🙁

  26. Hello Asha,

    I run this company, and we are currently looking for business associates to partner with. You’ll find more details in the link on the why’s and the how’s..


  27. daniel – if you want to feature your company in the showcase section, you’re more than welcome to. but i have a simple question which i’m sure everyone else on this thread would have – how can you help atul? why would you want to partner with him??

    (pls don’t ask me to go to your link. when folks ask me about therodinhoods, i don’t share the link with them. i tell them what we do and how we can help them!) 

  28. Hello again !

    Sorry if I made it look as a promopromotional activity. .

    What I meant was that I am willing to offer a better deal for an investing of 50k than what is mentioned in the link…

    When I say a better deal, I mean wavering off some of the investment.

    Hope that helps.


  29. I will have to agree with Asha on this Daniel! The idea behind this article was to help Atul and also generate ideas to start a business within Rs.50,000/-. 

    I am sure you have team to develop apps but I am not sure if it will really help Atul at this stage.

  30. Okay Abhinav & Asha,

    Here you go. The previous post were made by me over the phone, so couldn’t type in detail..

    But here goes.

    We are all aware about the booming app industry. Ever other start up is coming up with the next big app idea. 

    With smart phones getting cheaper, the app industry in India, is growing more than ever !

    I am sure we’re all aware of it and I don’t need to provide stats. 

    My point is, the app hype has lead many SMB’s wanting their own app. No, they don’t want to develop the next best app, but just a simple to showcase their services and utilize loyalty programs, and trust me, this market is massive ! Its a total virgin, untapped market !

    They are looking for budgeted solutions. Something that falls in the price range of Rs. 20,000 to 35,000.

    A small business owner would see much more value having their app besides flipkart, amazon etc. I’d say, any business that has an annual budget of even Rs. 50k on marketing materials would be interested in investing in an app, irrespective of the industry they are in.

    So here’s the plan:

    1) Atul ties up with us on a profit sharing module. Lets assume that Atul invest Rs. 50,000. (The initial investment we charge is mostly refundable after a certain sales target is meet. In this case 7)

    2) These applications come up with pre-developed features, hardcoded for every industry.( strategies for 20 industries) Pre-developed features, reduces changes of bugs, and have a faster turn-around time. Since most of the features are hard coded, we do not have to program every app. This allows us to save cost involved in developing each app, and thus enables us to offer much more margins to our business associates.

    3) We work on a 60:40 profit sharing module. Atul gets to keep 40% of the business he gets. We train him on how the product functions, and who are the potential customers.

    4) Lets assume Atul touches his target of 7 sales after month 2. That gives him the initial investment of Rs. 50,000 (refunded) + Rs. 56,000 he made in 40% commissions. Thats Rs. 1,06,000. 

    Assuming that he spends Rs. 2k acquiring each client, thats Rs. Rs. 92,000 in revenues month 2 onwards.

    Now, obviously the time period in which he gets to 10 sales may vary, the point is, its a low risk, high profitability business. Much better than selling cookies i’d say.

    All Atul needs to do is focus on acquiring new clients.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers !

  31. “much better than selling cookies”…?!!

    coming from advertising – i like to stick to the brief daniel 🙂

    thanks for the explanation. i think your plan/pitch comes under “if you have 50k to invest, you can partner with us” rather than telling atul to not sell cookies 🙂

  32. Hi Abhinav,

    I love the cookie idea and may be I can provide iota of help. We at are coming with the version 2.0 next month where we will be featuring cookies as well. So Atul is most welcome to place his cookie section there.

    With out manpower already in place he just need to deliver to us and we will further deliver to the end customer.

    ~Sunil Suri


  33. Abhinav,

    as you have rightly nailed, 50k is a LOT of money.

    The problem today is that wannabe entrepreneurs think of ‘millions of VC $’ as the starting point – not the business itself.

    PS – – the company that led me to where I am today was started by guess how much? ONLY Rs. 5000 :)))

  34. Mng Abhinav

    Good to see your post on how to start in less funds.

    I have also got the idea of a Regional restaurant and the same problem i.e. lack of funds.

    You can view my post in DISCUSSIONS tab,its by the NAME”SANSKRITI-THE TRULY INDIAN RESTAURANT “

    I would love to have your and others comments and inputs for making it  workable.

    Thanks and Regards

    Alok Sharma

    Tweet: @AlokSha2010.

  35. alok – pls share the LINK of your post with abhinav. that’s what everyone does.

  36. Hi Abhinav

    Please find the link below for my startup idea

    Please have a look and provide your inputs.



  37. Abhinav – Great Post.

    @Atul : If you are reading this, please contact me, I would love to sell cookies on my site, if you can make them for diabetics using low-glycemic ingredients.

  38. @Atul : If you are reading this, please contact me at, I would love to sell cookies on my site, if you can make them for diabetics using low-glycemic ingredients.

  39. Thank you so much Puneet !

    Will surely get in touch with you.


    puneet – you are truly awesome!!! 

    and atul you are very lucky to have so many rodinhooders reach out to you to help you!!

    pls keep us updated on what happens after this. and do share one solid story to make us all proud of the community!!

  41. Yes Asha !
    i never felt so positive and confident before regarding this venture. thank you so much for all the support. thanks a ton !

  42. I completely agree to that!

    Every other guy you meet is talking about valuations and not about business and profits! And just Rs.5,000/- WOW!!! 🙂

  43. Hi Alok –

    I will check your link and reply you there so that we are on the same page 🙂

  44. Will share. Waiting for Atul to get in touch with me.

  45. Hey Abhinav – Saw your website about PuzzlesAgro.
    I would like to get some chivda and sev. Where can I get it ? Can I order online ? 

  46. Sunil ji- that’s Infact a great idea. Atul should definitely look into it once the ventures takes off!

    he can leverage on your existing infrastructure and get his brand name going even in Delhi..:))

  47. Hello Puneet –
    Unfortunately not yet – but please inbox me what you need and we will be happy to send and get your feedback on our taste 🙂 my email id is!

  48. This is an mlm style scam

  49. shitij, what do you mean by scam??

    a rodinhooder reached out to abhinav and we all decided to pour our ideas here. this is an idea dump – not a scam. 

  50. or were you referring to daniel’s comments?? 

    shitij, it helps if you address the person to avoid confusion!!

  51. Sorry.
    Everybody brainstorming for the cookies is off course great. I was adding my own thoughts to the thread ina separate comment.

    Referring to Daniels offer of putting 50k and then going around selling the apps and getting a commission.

  52. I’d say 50k can get you going.
    Focus on diabetics, and similar niches..

    Goto Pinterest and find some simple packaging ideas and put 5-10k into packaging. Packaging is as important as the cookies.

    Put 10k into ingredients and raw materials, buy only as much as you need for your orders.

    Remember the marketing is as important as the product, if you can’t let people know you exist only your friends will be eating your cookies.

    For marketing post regularly on Facebook groups, Instagram the correct hashtags, spend some on Facebook marketing targeted to your city and women age 40-55+ ( figure out your target)
    List on all food websites like the offer someone gave in the comments
    Walk-up to the grocery store and bakery in premium areas around your house and tell them to stock just two boxes for trial..they should ideally pay upfront but might ask for sale or return
    Offer them something like 25%…

    Don’t buy a 15k oven just yet, buy a 1500 rs oven or borrow from a friend who has one

    My sister ran a at home bakery for a year and the bulk of her business came from resturants and shops wanting to resell.

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