24 Most Profitable Wholesale Business Ideas for Earning in 2023
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Opening a wholesale business can be a lucrative as well as a profitable option for aspiring and passionate entrepreneurs. As the name suggests, the wholesale businesses demand less capital or investment compared to the other manufacturing businesses for their operational purposes.
However, before starting a wholesale business in India, the business owner should have the right business planning and proper inventory management. Along with it, the sellers should choose the product for wholesale business wisely.
The business setup of wholesale business allows the products to the customers through a chain of suppliers. The success of the wholesale business in India is dependent on the following factors, such as:
- The demand for the product in the local market
- Product promotion strategy
- Customer service
Tip: Before starting the wholesale business (after choosing the product for business), the sellers should check the sufficient buyers in the territory. The manufacturers sell the products to the wholesalers at a cheaper price and then the wholesalers sell the products to the suppliers/ retailers at a higher price. This is how the business cycle of wholesalers goes. From the point of making money, the wholesale business idea is worthy.
Top Wholesale Business Ideas in India
Here in the following the list of top wholesale business ideas in India has been discussed in a details manner:
1. Wholesale Distribution of Agriculture Equipment
In the Indian retail industry, the demand for agricultural equipment is never-ending. There are several manufacturing and import organizations in India, that are in search of distributors to the specific regions. Some of the most popular agricultural equipment for wholesaling are
- Farm machinery
- Hand tools
- Fertilizer tanks
- Agricultural wire etc
Some popular Wholesalers in distributing agricultural equipment in India are:
- Shri Saikrupa Agrotech
- Shree Narmada Integrated
- Greenco Equipments LLP
- Harihar Agro Enterprise
- Usman Agriculture
- Padgilwar Corporation etc.
2. Agrochemical Wholesale Distribution Business
Apart from the agricultural equipment, demand for the Agrochemical items is also very demanding as the wholesaling products. Since India is the global agricultural powerhouse and is the largest producer of Agro products, the businesses related to the Indian agricultural sector are always in demand as the top wholesale distribution.
Demand for agricultural inputs has been growing at a faster pace. The agrochemical items include fertilizers, growth promoters, nutrients, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides etc. Along with the agrochemical items, fertilizer distribution goes hand to hand as a popular wholesale business idea in India.
As per the experts, the fertilizer industry in India is more organized than the other sectors. And the demand for fertilizers in the global market is approximately more than 85 million tons. This means that if a seller in India has plans of starting his wholesale business in the fertilizer industry, he will experience a sharp growth rate.
Tip: If the sellers are from the metro cities or urban areas, then you should not choose an agrochemical distribution business as a successful wholesale business.
3. Apparel and Textile
If you are looking for a lucrative segment in wholesale distribution opportunities, then go for the Apparel and Textile venture. As per the market analysis report, 3% of Indian GDP is solely dependent on the Textile industry. Apart from that Indian Apparel and Textile industry has the second largest capability as per the global textile needs.
The sellers who are from the urban and major cities of India can pick up this business option for starting wholesaling. Though the Apparel and textile wholesale industry in India are highly competitive, the wholesalers associated with this industry are capable of experiencing good profitability. This is the reason why most of the sellers want to pick this industry for running their businesses.
As per the above graph, it can be seen that the Indian Apparel and textile industry will be growing sharply. Since India is the largest producer of cotton, therefore, the wholesalers aligned with this industry will never fail the shortages of raw materials. Consequently, the wholesalers are required to invest less. For instance, the Indian wholesale textile industry will likely grow by USD 209 billion by 2029.
4. Arts and Crafts Wholesale Business
As per the National Census of handicrafts, managed by NCAER, the Indian Arts and Crafts sector contributes approximately 1.2% to the world market. It in turn produced approximately Rs 26213 crores. Apart from this, the Indian Govt also encourages arts and crafts companies of India in shaping more sales from the global market.
This is a clear indication that the arts and crafts wholesale business of India has a good prospect across the country. If you have a plan to start an arts and crafts wholesaling business, then you gotta change all the following support facilities:
- Skill training
- Product adaptation
- Vocational training
- Entrepreneurship development
In the Arts wholesaling business, the sellers should look after the artists, retail stores, and art schools as the target audience.
Around 3500000 employees are associated with the Arts and Crafts sector of India and a total of 4500 companies are operating their services. Some of the popular Indian Arts and Crafts wholesalers are:
- Gallery Kolkata
- Jehangir Art Gallery
5. Automobile Wholesale Business
The automobile segment can be a good option in the Indian wholesale industry. Some of the potent automobile parts for the wholesale business are spare parts, vehicles, lubricants, tyres, batteries, car accessories etc. In India, the automobile segment is partly organized.
Hence, there are multiple distribution opportunities in this similar aligned business in the Indian market. Before investing, check your niche first in the Indian automobile wholesale business.
6. Building and Construction Material
Wholesaling of the building and construction materials are money-spinning business ideas and the industry has been experiencing a sharp rise in the market share. Therefore, people, who are connected with the wholesaling of construction materials business, have been making a huge profit.
The wholesalers involved with this business can earn up to Crores depending on the network and capacity of running the business. Only make sure that the quality should not be compromised in the construction business.
However, to start wholesaling the products, you should learn everything about the details. You should start to build connections with the manufacturers as well as the suppliers. So that you can get good quality raw materials for building and the suppliers will like to trust and want to take supply from you.
First, you should shortlist the companies, which are the best in their domains such as brick manufacturing companies, iron-making companies etc.
Tip: Crusher is the best place, from where the wholesaler can source the raw materials like bamboo, sand etc.
7. Distribution of Books
Book distribution can be another popular wholesale business idea in India, through which the wholesalers deliver the books to the customers, directly from the publishers. This refers that after the printing of books, they will directly go to the readers, instead of through the retailers.
In the Book distribution wholesale business, the wholesalers can either opt for offline distribution or online distribution. To get the right price from the book distribution wholesale business, it would be better for the sellers to go for bulk printing through the et technology. Whereas, print on demand could be the better option for avoiding the inventory and logistic hassle.
8. Distribution of Chemical Industrial Products
With the rising of the infrastructure and allied industry, the demand for the different types of Chemical industrial products has been growing with time. Therefore, the manufacturing of chemical additives, organic and inorganic chemicals, pharma formulations, and pigments has increased.
To get success in the chemical wholesale products, the sellers should expand the channel partner network. Along with the above-mentioned products, also start the distributorship of texture paint, natural dyes, waterproofing chemicals, natural rubber, silica gel, activated carbon, organic acid, synthetic rubber, powder coating chemicals etc.
Since you have a plan of distributing the raw materials, not the finished goods, therefore, make sure, you distribute the premium quality chemical items. Otherwise, the quality of the final goods will also be degraded.
9. Computer and Peripheral Distribution Business
In the case of starting a wholesale business in the selling of Computers and Peripherals, the sellers should directly distribute it either to the retailers or directly to the end-user customers.
If you choose such distributorship, then you must improve the networking with the manufacturers (such as HP, Dell or Sony), meeting federal, and state tax regulations, so that you can provide the accessories or other peripherals to reliable customers.
Do not forget to register your business and provide detailed information such as business name, address and contact details to the retailers or your clients. If you want to expand your business more, then you have to hire employees.
Before hiring the employees, get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Also apply for state sales tax permit, vendor’s license and business license from the state government.
10. Cosmetics Wholesale Distribution Business
The beauty segment of India has a large contribution to the nation’s GDP. Those, who are fond of doing makeup or have good knowledge in beofty-related products, can start the distributorship in Cosmetics items.
Before starting distributorship, the sellers should identify the market niche and also conduct market research. You should also conduct in-depth market research so that you can identify the most demanding and trending products, which brands the customers are inclined etc.
The distributors should work with the space arrangements. The beauty products are very delicate and most of them are required to be kept in a cooler place so that the products cannot be wasted due to excessive heat.
At first, you should arrange a space of at least 150 sq ft to keep the beauty products. If you do not have spare space in your house, then you can take a place for lease, so that you can place the products safely. Make sure, you have looked after all these things, and then you are good to go to the distributorship with these items.
11. FMCG Product Wholesale Distribution Business
As per Forrester Research, the FMCG product wholesale distributorship will project a 10-12% growth rate per year over the next ten years. Indian FMCG product distributorship experienced a growth rate of 21.4% over the past ten years. This is a clear indication that FMCG product wholesale distributorship can be a good choice for the sellers.
Before starting wholesale distributorship in FMCG products, you should confirm in which niche you want to work. As per the market share report, every year, household and personal care items accounted for around 50% of sales in India, followed by healthcare (31%-32%) and food and beverage (18%-19%).
If you have planned to take the traditional FMCG distributorship, then after directly purchasing the products from the FMCG producers, you have to distribute them to the local grocery stores, local stores or smaller businesses.
Or, if you choose modern trade distributorship, then you have to distribute the products to giant shopping chains like D-Mart, Big Bazar, Reliance Fresh etc. Only you have a proper godown for storing the products.
Apart from the two above-mentioned methods, you can choose super stockist distributorship. Through this, the sellers can distribute the FMCG products not only in the city but also in the rural regions. In such a scenario, the sellers should take a rented godown at the district headquarters, so that they can provide the FMCG distribution also to the remote regions.
To become an FMCG distributor, the sellers should have the investment capacity. If one wants to take the distributorship of FMCG products, then he should spend the same amount in the business as the monthly turnover.
After finances, the next prerequisite to operating an FMCG wholesale distributorship is to have enough experience in running a successful business functioning. Lastly, a successful FMCG distributor should have set up a warehouse, hire a salesperson to receive the orders from the FMCG producers and then rent a truck for delivering the items to the market. The distributor also requires a computer system to charge and generate invoices for the merchants.
12. Furniture Wholesale Distribution Business
In the case of the wholesale furniture business, the sellers should purchase in bulk quantities and then sell the items directly to the retailers. Sometimes, the wholesale business partners make a connection with the dropshipping companies.
The furniture industry is booming and it can be anticipated that the wholesale furniture market will be valued at more than USD750 billion by 2026. However, before starting the furniture wholesale distribution business, the sellers should do market research and need to identify the audience. You have the flexibility of targeting budget stores, high-end stores or something in between.
While choosing the target audience, the sellers should consider the below-mentioned aspects
- Geographical location
- Quarterly/ Monthly/ Annual need for the service
- Type of store (Luxury/ Budget/ General etc)
Next, the sellers should focus on sourcing the products. Sometimes, wholesale distributors source the items directly from the in-house manufacturers or other wholesalers.
Though sourcing from other wholesalers is comparatively sourced from in-house manufacturers, however, the profitability margin decreases in such cases. Hence before sourcing, check the pros and cons of the manufacturers.
13. Wholesale Distributorship of Gems & Jewelry
Demand for gems and jewellery has increased over the past years in India. People become fashion conscious today and this industry has been thriving at a steady growth rate. To start a wholesale distributorship of Gems and Jewelry, the sellers should follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Selection of distribution channel: The sellers can sell directly to the jewellery retailers (B2B) or the customers (B2C). In the case of a B2B distribution channel, the sellers need to invest a lot. If your budget is constrained, then go for the B2C wholesale distribution channel.
- Work on Jewelry Niche: To choose the jewellery niche, the sellers should start with the target audience, so that they can easily cater. If the target audience likes matte-finished jewellery, then you should distribute bulk orders of those items. The distributors should target those customers, which are in the resell business and are likely to purchase products in bulk.
- Promote the Jewelry Business: This is the most important part of the wholesale distributorship of the jewellery business. You should create a logo first. Add catalogues, and images and add product descriptions, social media content etc. After that promote the business through social media. In this case, the sellers can take the help of the Fynd online platform.
14. Herbal and Ayurvedic Product Distribution Business
As per the latest report, Ayurveda is witnessing evolutionary growth in the form of herbal and ayurvedic products. Consequently, for the time being, the Herbal and Ayurvedic wholesale business became profitable in India. Therefore, if you start a wholesale business you have a good choice of starting an Ayurved distributorship to get a good return from the business.
To make the Ayurvedic wholesale business profitable, the sellers should open the shop at a prime location, so that the retailers/ suppliers can easily get to know about the distributorship and purchase the products.
After that, shop registration is very necessary to successfully run the Ayurved distributorship business. You must follow the local authority norms. The distributor also needs GST registration for operating the business.
For maintaining the goodwill of the Ayurved wholesale business, the sellers should source the products from a reliable source. Next, you should promote your business, so that it can get recognition and everybody comes to know about the newly launched wholesale business. Fynd platform is ideal for further business promotion.
For instance, the Herbal and Ayurvedic wholesale business has been experiencing a steady growth rate. In 2018, the industry was valued at Rs 300 billion, which is expected to reach Rs 710.87 billion by 2024. More specifically, it can be forecasted that the growth rate of the Ayurvedic wholesale business in India will be 16.06%.
15. Home Appliances Distribution Business
If you have an idea of selling home appliances such as electric kettles, chimneys, electric stoves, microwaves etc, then think of starting a distributorship with a corporate name and logo. It will be the best decision to sell supply items through a direct sales organization.
To start the home appliances distribution business, the sellers should first estimate the startup costs. Being a distributor, your single biggest expense will be inventory. Based on that you can determine how to fund the business.
As per the expert's suggestion, to start home appliances distribution business, the capital investment will be moderated. After that, the distributors should figure out how to sell the products.
The distributors should also legalize the business. Usually, you can set up the home appliances distribution business in two ways, either as a distributor of a renowned brand like Samsung, Godrej etc or as a multi-brand dealer.
16. Hospital Equipment Distribution Business
If you start a wholesale distribution business, you can distribute hospital equipment such as patient beds, ECG machines, X-Ray machines, operation theatre equipment, MRI machines, wheelchairs etc.
To start this cash-intensive business, the distributors should have a good connection with the hospitals and clinics. The wholesale distributors should also arrange to fund for starting the business.
The sellers should register the business with various levels of government. For instance, all federal registration will be done with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Apart from that, if you want to sell any equipment which needs a prescription, then comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
At last, create a website for your business and market it, so that you can get a strong customer base for the medical business. As per the expert's suggestion, the distributors should advertise the website in medical publications and medical websites.
17. Leather Products Distribution Business
The leather industry in India accounts for 13% of the world’s leather production. This industry Leather products cater to the fashion industry. It can be a good option if one wants to explore the wholesale business.
To take wholesale distributorship in the leather industry, the sellers should register the business. Once it will be done successfully, start to create a web network. A strong network helps you to reach a wide range of customers. Do not forget to arrange to store capacity or think about a warehouse to keep the products. Lastly, the distributors should create a credit policy.
As per the statistical report, Indian leather will experience a 10% growth rate by 2024. On the other hand, India is the second-largest producer of leather garments and footwear in the world. For instance, Indian leather footwear exports approximately 46.2% every year. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu is the highest producing leather state, which solely produces 40% of leather in the country.
If the distributors start a wholesale business in distributing the leather products such as footwear, garments, gloves, belts etc, then it can be a wise decision to further flourish this business. Instead of distributing the products to the suppliers, it will be better if the sellers export the items at higher prices.
18. LPG Distribution
All across the world, petroleum companies appoint distributors for the domestic and industrial LPG supply. Nonetheless, in the case of the LPG distributorship wholesale business, the sellers need adequate investment capacity. To get LPG distributorship, the sellers should fulfil the basic eligibility criteria.
The distributor should be an Indian and need to pass at least class Xth standard examination or equivalent from a recognized board. The distributors must have a land of minimum dimension for the construction of the LPG godown. This is a highly organized sector and to operate the business, you should fulfil the criteria of LPG companies for getting the distributorship.
19. Organic Food Distribution Business
The organic food distributorship business in India has been experiencing a steady growth of almost 27% every year. Hence, one can start wholesale distributorship in the health and wellness industry.
To take distributorship in organic and wellness food, the sellers should arrange a space between 250 to 600 square feet. And you would need an investment of Rs 2 lakh to 5 lakh for getting the franchise.
20. Safety and Security Products Distributorship
Security is everybody’s concern. Hence, the buyers of safety and security products are both domestic and commercial. Some of the popular safety and security products are CCTV cameras, intelligence systems, helmets, alarms, access cards, devices etc.
Distributors should also promise the Return on Investment (ROI) by investing in safety equipment, security system, parking management system, queue management system, safety harnesses, home security equipment, people counting systems etc.
Wholesale Business with Zero/ Little Investment
There are many wholesale business ideas in India, which can be started with zero/ little investment plans. Check the list of those wholesale business ideas here in the following section.
1. Home decor items
If you have plans of starting a wholesale business with zero investment, then you can start to sell handicraft home decor items on a large scale. So that the aesthetic appeal of the room can be increased and the buyers want to show their interest more to get a new look of their living places.
You can sell handmade living room decor items, wall hangings, bed products, rugs etc. In addition, demand for eco-friendly home decor items has also increased. Hence, the retailers/ suppliers also show their interest to purchase the home decor items from the wholesalers.
On the other hand, the budget for operating the home decor wholesale business is very less. Therefore, if you choose this business idea, you can think of getting a good profitability percentage.
2. Handmade Candles and Incense Sticks
Selling handmade candlesticks can be a good option for wholesale business ideas with low investment. You should not rent a room or place for running the business. You can make the candles at your home and then supply those to the retailers.
With time, the demand for scented candles has increased. It is not only used for worshipping the god but also perfumed candles are highly demanded by the spa owners. People also love to decorate their rooms with it. Hence, wholesaling of handmade candles can be a good way of earning revenue.
3. Paper Bags
Paper bags are the perfect substitute for plastic bags. Selling paper bags can be a good option for wholesaling since it is one of the eco-friendly products and it is highly demanded in the market.
As per the statistical report, the sales of the paper bags wholesale business will be estimated at USD 18.1 billion by 2026. On the other hand, the investment required for this business is very limited.
Initially, you can make handmade paper bags directly at your place and hence, you should not invest in labour, land and machinery then. What you will earn, will completely be the profitability percentage of the business.
After that, you can make paper bags using a fully automated machine. One fully automatic machine can produce 15000 pieces of paper bags per hour. Considering the production, the wholesale owners can invest in purchasing the machine after a certain period, which will cost approximately Rs 5-8 lakh.
Tip: When you operate the handmade paper bag wholesale business from your home, you only need a Trade license to run the business. However, if you are planning to produce the paper bags using an automated machine, then you should register your business with the “Registrar of Companies” (ROC). You will also need a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification for running the business.
4. Homemade Pickles
Selling homemade pickles can be a good option for wholesale businesses with low investments. In case of preparing homemade pickles, you can use a home kitchen. It in turn reduces the cost of renting commercial space.
Demand for homemade pickles is always high over the packaged items since chemicals are not used here. Apart from that, the price of homemade items is always budget-friendly. Therefore, it can be a good scope of earning by starting a homemade pickles wholesale business.
Steps to Start a Wholesale Business in India
The wholesale distributor in business acts as an intermediary between the manufacturers and the suppliers/ retailers. Before starting a wholesale business in India, one should know the following attributes
- The wholesalers should buy the products at a lower price from the manufacturers
- Wholesalers have to purchase the products from the manufacturers in a bulk amount
- The business cycle followed by the manufacturers and the wholesalers, might not be the same and the nature of the business models is depending completely based on the business type
The business structure, followed by the wholesalers in India, are:
- One person company
- Public limited company
- Limited liability partnership
- Private limited liability
- Sole proprietorship firm
- Partnership firm
To start a wholesale business, the sellers should also require to submit the given highlighted documents for completing the registration for the same.
- Photographs of the proprietors/ all the partners/ Directors
- PAN Card of all the partners/ Director/ Proprietors
- ID proof
- Electric bill
- Passport (It is mandatory for foreign directors)
After the successful registration and providing the above-mentioned documents, to operate the wholesale business in India, the sellers should follow the below-mentioned steps:
Selection of products: The wholesaler business owner should select the product for starting the business very wisely. The sellers should start a business on those items, which are in high demand. Before choosing the product, detailed market research is necessary to be carried out.
Setting up the warehouse: Arrange a set-up for the warehouse, where the wholesale products can be kept. Since in wholesale business, bulk orders require deal, therefore, the wholesalers should set up a warehouse before starting the business
Establish and share a good connection with the suppliers: Try to make new connections, contacts, dealers and retailers for the further distribution process. Once the wholesalers will come to a good connection, they can fetch good margins in the long run.
Devising the credit policy: Keep a facility-like credit policy, which will be beneficial to grow more in the long run. There are certain dealers, who might face a financial crisis at that moment of purchasing the products. Therefore, it is advisable to devise a credit policy for the wholesale operating business.
Prepare the license documents: It is very important to have a business license to run a wholesale business so that the business will not face any legal issues while operating the services.
Supervise the business: You must monitor the business transaction constantly after setting up the wholesale business. The wholesalers require to maintain a good rapport both with manufacturers and the suppliers/ retailers.
Wholesale Business Without Investment Plan
When you start a wholesale business, then it is mandatory to devise a distribution plan and must follow it. It will in turn help you to earn profit and experience long-term stability in the business.
Apart from the investment, the wholesale business owners should keep in mind a few things, which are highlighted in the following section.
- The first and foremost step is the distributor plan, through which the mission and vision of the business can be defined
- Raise questions like the purpose and goal of the business.
- The wholesale business owners should have clarity about the business ideas and values and it should be followed for the company’s growth and profitability.
- Set up the business structure and run the business smoothly.
- The wholesale business owners should make sure of hiring trusted employees for the business.
- Check whether the short-term and long-term business goals have been met or not. If it will not meet, then take necessary steps or follow new business strategies, so that the goals can be achieved.
- To function smoothly in the business, the owners should devise the apt business strategies.
- The wholesale business owners should focus on suitable and correct marketing strategies so that the business reach can be increased. A large group of people can get to know about the business and increase the sales of it.
- While choosing the marketing plan, the business owner should also consider your budget.
- Research about competitors and follow their steps.
- The wholesale business owners should seek honest reviews so that the goodwill of the business will be uplifted as well.
- Before starting to do wholesale business, the owners should keep arrangements for storage. For instance, if you are wholesale jewellery, then you do not need to be bothered about storage issues. However, in the case of wholesaling furniture, you will need a large space for keeping the items.
- Considering the prices of the products of the competitors, you should set a moderate price. It should be reflective and fair so that the wholesaler will get a chance to make money.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wholesale Business
Apart from considering the important facts, the sellers should also check the pros and cons of wholesale business, before they start it.
Pros in wholesale business in India
- A bulk buying strategy leads to saving more. Hence, if you buy less initially (immediately after starting a business), you will save less
- Before you sell the products to the suppliers/ retailers, check the products. If the products will be found defective after selling, the goodwill of the business will be damaged
- There is a chance of staying on top of your stock levels (very quickly)
Cons in wholesale business in India
- You order only large quantities from the manufacturers.
- For keeping such a large base of inventory, you should arrange a storing place, so that all the items can be kept.
- Some additional costs like overhead costs, packing and staff costs are there, which have to bear to the wholesalers.
- There might be a certain risk if you can't sell all the items, which were all bought by you.
To start a wholesale business in India, the distributors can take the help of the Fynd platform for business promotion. It will help the business to successfully market so that the wholesalers can come up with their businesses to a large base of customers.
Learn from the masters and cracks the code to festive season sales success with Fynd Platform's Festive Readiness Guide
Which is the best business for wholesale distributorship?
Some top wholesale business ideas in India are:
- Wholesale in textiles
- Agrochemical business
- Furniture wholesale business
- Organic food wholesale business
- Ayurveda Products wholesale business
- Stationery wholesale business
- Children’s toys wholesale business
- Kitchen utensils wholesale business
Which wholesale business is the most profitable one?
The most profitable wholesale distributorship business in India is FMCG Distribution.
Which FMCG products are best for distributorship?
Some best and most profitable FMCG products are soap, toothpaste, and shampoo, which are in high demand for distributorship. Also, the investment needed for this business is moderate.
How many registered wholesale businesses are there in India?
There are approximately more than 15,000+ successful wholesale distributorship companies in India.