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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » 10 BRILLIANT start-up ideas for college students

10 BRILLIANT start-up ideas for college students

Last updated on: June 29, 2012 16:28 IST

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Photographs: Satish Bodas/

It doesn't matter if you are still in college. Murtuza Rohawala, founder and CEO of Edfin Consultancy suggests a few ideas you can get started with in India right away.

There's been a lot of talk as of late regarding young entrepreneurs given the massive wealth Facebook's IPO has created for its billionaire founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Google, Microsoft and many other companies were started on campus.

Unfortunately, there simply aren't that many investors in India out there to fund ideas from mostly unproven young adults, so it remains up to the entrepreneur to do it on their own.

For young adults, the best place to flex your entrepreneurial muscle is while you are in college -- or at the very least when you are young enough to not be bogged down with a career.

College is a great place to start your venture as you have lots of free time, access to a large pool of human capital and your college can provide much-needed support.

The following ten business ideas are what can be executed while being on campus.

The author is the founder and CEO of Edfin Consultancy which provides strategy and financial consulting to a lot of promising businesses. An MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, he also actively mentors students from various institutes in India.

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1. Flier marketing service

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Photographs: Rediff Archives

Lots of local small businesses are interested in different ways that they can reach the customers around them for cheap.

Marketing for them usually involves buying space in the local newspapers or cable channels.

Many small businesses would jump at the chance to have your company design and pass out fliers around town announcing sales or specials that they are offering.


2. Shoe wash company

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Photographs: Rediff Archives

Previously, canvas shoes were cleaned using old toothbrushes and detergent.

But nowadays people have moved on to trendy sneakers and want the shoes to be cleaned by people who are experts in the field so that they can be maintained properly.

In order to be successful in this business, it is essential to know how to use chemicals. A fair degree of marketing skills are also required.


3. Doorstep grocery delivery services

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Photographs: Rediff Archives

Nowadays, customers want the groceries at their doorsteps without having to go the bazaar or wait in long serpentine queues on weekends at supermarkets. 

This is where a doorstep grocery delivery company can come in handy.

The main skills needed to run this business smoothly are sales and logistics management.

This business has a break even period of 2 months at the very minimum and can provide gross profits of nearly 20 per cent.


4. Wedding planning

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Wedding planning, made popular thanks to the Bollywood flick Band Baja Baraat is also a good business idea for those inclined towards event management and enjoy Indian weddings!

Nowadays, weddings in India are being celebrated on grand scales and the celebrators might not have the time to properly attend to every little nuance as a lot of time is involved in this as well.

Wedding planners can help people in such situations.

5. Day care centre

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Photographs: Courtesy Chandni Mehta/Rediff Archives

Given rapid urbanisation, nuclear families and both parents professionally working, babysitting services is the need of the hour.

One needs to start with friends and referrals to build credulity and confidence of parents.

The ability and tact of handling kids is a pre-requisite. If all is well this is a perfect business where one can study while being on the job!


6. Housekeeping for corporate firms

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Photographs: Reuters

Housekeeping services for small businesses is a proper business idea.

With corporate firms and offices looking to keep their offices spanking clean, this is a good business idea.

Good communication and man management skills are necessary to succeed in this domain.


7. Resume writing services

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Are you good at presenting information?

You can start a resume writing service and help students put their experience in the best possible format and phrasing words to attract interview and career opportunities.


8. Student awards programme

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Everyone is looking for a way to get ahead in today's competitive job market.

Team up with the Student Affairs in your college or join any club like Lions or Rotary to start an on-campus student awards programme where students are rated and awarded in certain categories that are relevant to future career success.

Charge an entry fee and look for sponsors.

This is a cool way for students to get accolades they can add to the list of credentials that can be presented to possible employers later.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

9. Financial planning services

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Personal financial planning is a field that is expected to grow in the next few years.

You can get an early start by beginning your financial planning business on campus.

Work with students to help them save and manage their money.

College is a time when people can really put a damper on post-college opportunities by ruining their credit or getting into debt.

Help students avoid this and get paid for it.


10. Website for rating professors

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Some professors are amazing, some are more boring than paint drying on a wall.

Your college mates might want to know that and maybe you can start a website to allow group rating and comments so everyone will know what they're getting into before they register for a class.

There are possible many other things one can look to start with on campus.

Just get a team in place, stop thinking and start acting. This is the single biggest step for an entrepreneur, Just do it!