10 Best Business Ideas in Chennai


Ellorukkam Vanakkam! Your search for the best business ideas in Chennai ends here as we bring you a list of the top 10 businesses that you can start.

Chennai is the sixth most populous metropolitan city in the country and is the capital of Tamil Nadu. This is an economic powerhouse where there is a huge scope of new businesses to mushroom. 

With several ports located along Chennai’s large coastline, the city is also known as the industrial hub. As per FICCI, Chennai ranked fourth in overall tax collection at INR 74,000 crore between 2018 and 2019.

It further stated that the automobile, electronic hardware, and information technology and information technology-enabled services (IT-ITeS) sectors are the three pillars of Chennai’s economy.

With a revenue of over USD 18.51 billion, the IT-ITeS sector has generated direct employment for over 4,00,000 people in Chennai. The city also attracts close to 45% of the health tourists coming to India and is known as the “Health Capital of India.”

Chennai has done extremely well and has grown across sectors in the past few decades which has further resulted in many business opportunities for anyone who wants to start their own business.

Doing Business in Chennai

Image Source – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/indias-detroit-chennai-struggles-as-new-states-become-growth-drivers/articleshow/61940163.cms?from=mdr

Chennai is famous for a lot of things. From Chettinad cuisine to art and culture and travel, the state is always bustling with people.

Apart from this, the city is also known as the leading industrial hub and has ranked 14th in the 2019 state-level list of ease of doing business in India, as per the department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India.

The factors that make Chennai a business-friendly city in India are:

SEZ policy

The special economic zones (SEZ) policies in Tamil Nadu are one of the key performance areas for the city as it ranks high on the parameters listed by export-focused businesses due to its business-friendly policies.

The single-window clearance mechanism backed by other simple procedures makes Chennai a favourite city for businesses.


Chennai has airports, metros, ports, and a well-developed road network and these are all the factors that are required to drive industrial growth are available in Chennai. The strong infrastructure has been able to position the city among the best industrial hubs in India.

Talent pool

There is a wide availability of talented resources in Chennai as there is a large number of educational institutions that have been established near its coastline over the years.

The workforce available in Chennai is 10% to 30% cheaper compared to other metropolitan cities such as Bengaluru, Pune, or Delhi NCR.

Government Support

The state government has been supportive of businesses over the years. The mechanism and laws required to set up and manage businesses are simpler in Chennai compared to other cities.

Business Ideas in Chennai

Franchise Model

One of the best ways to get into a business is to sell different products and services in the franchise model business.

Approach a big brand that has multiple chains and you can buy their franchise to open one of your own outlets. From national to international brands, you can work with some of the biggest names in the business. 

Even though this is a competitive industry, you will get to make a lot of money. One of the most profitable and popular franchise business models in the food business can be costly at the initial stage. This is definitely one of the best business ideas in Chennai.


Being a metropolitan city, the people of Chennai are always looking for a nice cafe where they can just hang out and enjoy some delicious food with their friends and family.

There are multiple cafes in the city at the moment that are doing exceedingly well and that’s why it is one of the best ideas in Chennai to work on.  You too can get into the industry and have something of your own. Pick a nice place at a prime location.

Do nice interiors and focus on great staff and a  mindblowing menu that caters to all kinds of cravings that people have. You can also offer home deliveries, pick-ups and build a strong social media presence to get more and more customers.

Travel and Tour Agency

There is a lot to see and explore in and around Chennai. From visiting some of the most popular heritage places to having a great time shopping some traditional fabrics and items and feasting on authentic local food, people come to Chennai for kinds of reasons. 

You can decide to get into this industry one way or the other. You can either be a tour guide who sells well-curated tours based on various interests of people and sell them to companies and tourists or be a travel agent who manages bookings, reservations and other important things.  This is definitely an interesting industry where you have the chance to meet a lot of people. 

Event Management

Image Source – https://hillpost.in/2014/06/the-economics-of-indian-wedding-photography/99284/

Make the most of your talent by getting into an event management business. If you like organising parties, decorating places and managing things, then this is definitely the business for you.

Today, people are interested in celebrating even the smallest of days and events in a big fancy way. You can initially start small with birthday parties, anniversaries and dinners and slowly move on to big events like weddings and corporate events. 

Or maybe choose a niche for yourself and stick to that. For example, if weddings are your things then you can get into it since there is a lot to manage in weddings and it consists of multiple events.

The event management industry is definitely one of the most booming ones where people do not hold themselves in spending A LOT! Hence this makes for an industry that is highly profitable.

Local Food Business

Opening a local food stall or restaurant is one of the most popular business ideas in India, especially in the South. From the various types of dosas and idlis, biryanis to the spicy Chettinad food, this is a food haven. Hence tourists are always on the lookout to try and find out the place with the most authentic food. 

If you are good at cooking delicious local food, then you can start your own kitchen either from home or get a place for rent.

Or you can get a talented chef who makes the most delicious local food and give the people what they are looking for. Remember to make the whole experience of dining truly local and authentic.

Photography Business

Today it is all about getting a nicely done photoshoot on almost every occasion. Whether it is birthdays, weddings, pre-weddings, baby showers, pregnancy, family portraits etc, there is always a demand for a good photographer who can capture these beautiful moments in the rawest and most real ways. 

So get your camera and start looking for clients online or get in touch with various event management companies and you can work in collaboration with them. This is definitely one of the most profitable small business ideas in Chennai.

Vacation Rental

Today people are always looking for authentic experiences that give them the taste of the local culture. If you have a beautiful house or an empty home, then you can turn it into a BnB and open it up for tourists visiting Chennai.

Since there is a big footfall of tourists in the state, this is your best bet to get into the industry and make good money. It does not require a lot of work and you can make all the decisions of who stays and who does not.

House Help Services

With people being busy with their work and not having enough time to take care of their houses, they are always looking for a good house help who can help them in managing their homes.

With a big shortage to find efficient, good and reliable house helps, the need of people is not being met. You can get into the business of starting a house help service where you can provide people with the kind of help they are looking for. This helping services and making people smile makes this concept on the list of our top business ideas in Chennai.

From cooking to cleaning and doing daily house chores, you can provide people with various facilities. 

For this, the most important thing that you need to do is get your local network strong to get people who are looking for similar jobs, train them well make them professionals and then spread the word and earn some money. To do this in Chennai, you definitely need to speak the local language. 

Pet Shop and Services

People love keeping pets and south Indian people are really fond of animals and keep pets which makes this industry a clear opportunity for one of the business ideas in Chennai for you.

You can open a pet store and cater to all kinds of pets like dogs, cats, birds, fish, etc. From their food to toys, clothes, and treats, this is a big industry where people are willing to spend big moolahs. 

If you wish to expand your business, you can get professionals who can also groom these furry babies and pamper them well. To start the business you would require a food license if you want to sell pet food. Create a website online and sell products anywhere. 

Social Media Strategist

Image Source – https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/05/social-media-marketing-statistics

Today, one of the major things that a company can do to get customers and grow is getting on to social media. There are several social media platforms and each one has its own rules.

To grow, companies are desperately in need of someone who can handle their social media and plan a nice marketing plan for them and this is your chance to get into this business.

You do not have to work for this company but start your own social media strategist business or a digital marketing agency and offer them the services. 

To get started, this is definitely not a business model that you can just put money in and start working, you need to know all about digital marketing and social media and should be thorough with it because only if you show results, you will be able to retain a customer, get new ones and grow your business. You can offer packages that cover various aspects of marketing and the type of content and growth in a certain amount of time. 

Also Read: 8 Booming Business Idea in Kerala You Must Know

How Lio Can Help

If you are planning to start a business of your own, it is a given that you would be surrounded by a lot of numbers, people, data, information, lists, tables, and more.

It would be super important for you to keep track of all this data and you would be needing and working on it at all times. But how do you manage to do so and carry this data with the constant travel that this new venture would make you do? Enters Lio

Lio is the one app that is here to make your life easier and a lot more organized. Offering you templates based on all needs and requirements, you can use the application to make the task of organizing data hassle-free. If it is tracking money and transactions, adding photos, maintaining any kinds of records, you can use it for all purposes.


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FRequently Asked Questions

What businesses can I start in Chennai?

Here are a few profitable businesses you can start with:

Electronics Repair
Event Planning
Computer Training Center
Coffee and Tea Shop

What kind of business can I do at home?

Today, you can make a business out of just about anything – online tuition, groceries, food delivery, restaurant, baking, clothes, art, electronics, etc.

Which businesses are most profitable?

Food delivery, eCommerce, baking, catering services, and restaurants are profitable in Chennai.


Chennai really does have a lot to do and explore when it comes to business. With all these business ideas, you can explore what is your interest and start exploring and doing thorough research on that particular field. have a business and plan and build a foundation for the business that you want to get into.

In my opinion, Chennai is definitely one of the best cities in India to start a business. There are several business opportunities for all budding entrepreneurs in Chennai and one can really run a successful business.

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About the author

Dennis Nath

A football fanatic, his weekends are mostly spent in front of the TV biting his nails off. And when there's no football, you'd find him in the kitchen whipping something yummy.

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By Dennis Nath