We are in 2012 now.  The new year this time has brought several exciting business opportunities at almost nil investment to any investment size.  These opportunities are going to rule the market at least for a decade from now.  I would like to talk here about my choice of top 5 businesses for 2012.  Let us look at them:

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1.0 Web 2.0 Technologies

This is one of my favorite areas of business investment.  We can explore business opportunities like (a) Online marketing (b) Social Media Consulting (c) Content development for web and digital documents (d) Enterprise Analytics (e) Services to develop personal branding.

One can start a business in this line with a of 1 PC from home.  The one other important requirement would be he / she should be English literate with definite knowledge in written English.  This is most ideal for who are passionate to work on their own full time or part-time.  Considering the rapid growth of Internet users, online media has emerged as one of the foremost options for business promotion by small and big companies.  The business opportunities indicated from (a) to (e) above surround Internet and Internet technologies.

Though this is part of Information Technology, I consider this as a marketing and branding opportunity where one doesn’t need to possess any programming or technical skills except using social media platform.

2.0 Food Processing:

Every business activity related to manufacturing, processing or trading of food items falls under this category.  It could be milk dairy, ready to eat food items, juices, edible oil, or energy food.  There are hundreds of such opportunities around us.  We can in fact aim at organic version of these products.  is consciously promoting with loans, subsidies, technology know-how and many props.  Changing food habits, growing tastes for global food culture, and increasing have contributed to the demand of varied food requirements besides the natural increase in the population.  Thus, food sector has become most vital investment opportunity.  The increasing presence of Indian and Global retail chains have brought the need to bring forth food variety.  Besides, it is possible to start a business in this line with low investment like INR 2 lakhs onwards.  A right business for every one including a housewife.

3.0 Retailing

This is another excellent opportunity though demands sizable investment.  What could constitute a business opportunity in this line?

Branding of any consumer product especially a private label product whether it be a food item, textile product, health care item or any other proprietary or sourced product retailing.  For example, one can source a couple of products from local manufacturers like Self Help Groups or other MSME segments and brand it in their own name.  We can see a brand name to every other item today whether it is Wheat flour, masala powder, rice or so.  It only denotes the potential to market a particular item with guaranteed quality.  The one requirement to take up this kind of business opportunity would be right sourcing of the chosen product w.r.t. price, quantity, quality and period of agreement.

Besides the market for luxury product retailing is very profitable and growing.  It can be any thing like an imported exotic food consumables, non-jewellery articles made by silver or gold, furniture, imported building material and more.

4.0 Information Technology

This is one of my favorite business opportunities.  Indian market needs considerable technology implementation in business applications.  It can be customized solutions for a particular segment, web applications, portals, or ERP applications.  I foresee a great demand for mini or micro ERP provided it comes with competitive price and cost effective support and operable from PC to mobile.

Other potential opportunity is mobile or handheld based business management for business persons to end user.  Sales force management applications ported to telecom mobiles with PC like connectivity to cloud applications will be a great choice.  A sales person in the field should be able to effectively perform his field sales, update data in real time to the server, access other business data on cloud, or switch to his personal applications from the same mobile instrument.  Every other task we perform on PC could be ported to a mobile though with limited functionality.  Even that limited functionality is acceptable to users provided it comes with ease and performance.  A provider in this line should extend total solutions consisting hardware, software, deployment and maintenance to capture real market.

Internet portals are another great business opportunity in the present times.  We can convert every offline business to online at a very reasonable investment.  We are all used to online transactions whether it is ticketing, product review, product purchase, online education and many more.  We are in a true e-commerce era.  A right time for people to make online a money making platform.

5.0 Solar Energy

Energy sector in India is undergoing a great movement of tense and uncertainty.  India has pitched a great hope on thermal power projects.  However, infrastructure problems like land acquisition, coal supply, institutional finance have derailed the hope.  Today, we have several pending thermal power projects which are suffering for these reasons.

Wind energy, hydel power or bio mass power are not as viable or feasible to be operated any where.

The one great choice we have is Solar Power solutions.  A right investment opportunity as a few MW plant to 1 KW roof top solar unit.  The prices of solar PV modules are very attractive.  The investment per MW plant has come down from INR 20.00 crore to almost INR 9.00 crore.  The prices are further falling internationally.  It is time for some one to invest on this as a long term business opportunity.  This is right time to build expertise and setup a business.  It can be grid connected solar plant or tailor made solution for an apartment, office building, village or industry.

There definitely many more business opportunities.  But these are my choice.  Hope you would take-up a profitable venture.

Wishing you all a Prosperous, Delightful and Peaceful New Year 2012.