Since 1991, after the economic liberalisation, India has witnessed a sudden upsurge of both import-export business ideas for a wide variety of goods and services.
India is a leading exporter of goods like - jewellery, precious stones and metals, organic chemicals, vehicles, iron and steel, clothing, accessories, and many others. Another industry showing a good upsurge in exports from India is the fruits, vegetables, and agricultural edibles industry. The fruits and vegetable export business have a good scope for further expansion given the high demand abroad.
So, if you are looking to start an export business, exporting fruits can be a profitable option for you given the high demand for good quality fruits from India such as apples, banana, Mangoes, Pomegranate, & Kiwi in countries like the USA, European countries, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and many others.
So, let’s dive right into a brief explanation of how to start a fruit export business in India.
1. Decide which fruits you will start exporting
Well, in our perspective, deciding your product for export is the first and foremost step to start a fruit import-export business. You might need to consider few points while deciding, like:
- The fruit(s) you choose must be available to you in large quantities at a reasonable price. This also depends upon the region you want to set up your firm in. Also, we will recommend you to go with fruit(s) that can stay fresh for a long time as exporting to other countries will take a significant amount of time.
- Analyse the demand. Find out which fruit(s) are in high demand in different countries and choose where you want to deal.
- As your business aims to export fruit(s) to other countries, make sure it is of high quality, otherwise, your whole lot will get rejected by the other countries' food policy authority. Check that out on the DGFT website and look for the policies section and ITC(HS) code.
2 Set up your export firm
Now that you have decided to go ahead with the fruit export business out of all other export business ideas, you need to have a firm registered with the Indian government to get authorisation for export.
To set up any export firm, try to look for a location near a harbour or airport, depending on the way you prefer to export, as this will substantially decrease companies' transport costs. Otherwise, transporting your whole lot from your warehouse to the port or airport will be a costly affair.
Now, to answer how to start an export business, there are other aspects that you would need to take care of while setting up your export firm:
- Give your firm a good name and logo. As a name would impact the mindset of your customers overseas.
- Get your firm’s GST no., VAT, ST, or any other tax-related work done.
- Apply for an IEC number (Importer-Exporter Code). This is mandatory for import-export business. For this, visit the DGFT website and apply for an IEC number online, which would require the company’s managing director and other post holding employees’ E-signature.
3. Register with RCMC (Registration-cum-Membership Certificate)
The RCMC is issued by the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) or other Export Promotion Councils (EPC) or commodity boards.
These organisations work toward the promotion and growth of export business and have the authority of the Indian government. This RCMC certificate is issued for five years and signifies that the holder is registered with FIEO/the concerned EPC or commodity Board.
This registration will also include some benefits one can avail of under the Foreign Trade Policy.
To apply for the RCMC, you have to submit a filled-in application form ANF 2C to the EPC that pertains to your export product. There are different EPC’s for various products; you need to apply EPC that pertain to your export product.
4. Select your region to export
There are various parts of the world you can export your product to from India. But, for better management and to deliver customer (country) specific service/product, you should decide which countries you would deliver to.
It is essential to study that country’s import policy as well and work accordingly. Being specific in the region you would deliver helps you serve your customers and their requirements satisfactorily.
5. Decide on the Pricing Policy
While making a price decision, you must consider all the expenses, tax, VAT, transportation costs, or any excise duty charges, which might apply to your product to be allowed to sell in other countries. Your final pricing would include such expenses. You need to put a reasonable price so that it is still attractive to local customers of the country you are selling your product in. This will further grow your customer base and the requirements of your product.
6. Find out customers
There are many ways to reach out to your customers through the internet or your contacts. You can sell your product on the local market of any country abroad through a dealer or directly or you can put up your product on any e-commerce site of that country.
Decide the mode by which you would export your product to the overseas market. You can choose the sea route that is cheap but slow, an airline that is fast but expensive, or land to land transportation if you want to export to any neighbouring country.
This depends on the product as well. If the product needs to be consumed fast, it must be delivered fast. If your product can sustain for a long time, then you might be comfortable with time-consuming delivery. Whichever way you choose, you must agree with all the terms and conditions of the cargo transporting company. Make sure you have insurance or protection against damage policy from a reliable company in case your product gets damaged during transportation.
In the export business, you will have to make overseas transactions in different currencies. Open your account with a trustworthy bank with the provision of hassle-free overseas transactions at minimum transfer charges.
You can also look for any digital payment gateway for such a purpose, which allows the transfer of money in different currencies.
These simple steps must have answered your queries on how to start an export business in India. No business is easy or hundred per cent profitable under all circumstances, but if you plan it well, you can minimise the risk and ensure the smooth sailing of your business.
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Q. How can I transport fruits to different countries?
Ans. There are 3 ways to transport: through ship, aircraft or land transportation. Whichever way you choose to deliver your fruits to other countries, you need to take the service of a cargo transport service company. Make sure you choose a trustworthy partner with experience in handling and transporting goods overseas.
Q. How will I receive payments from other countries’ customers?
Ans. There are few ways you can receive payments:-
- Open an account in a bank that allows overseas transactions. In this way, the person will send you money from his bank account (which should also allow overseas transactions). Doing so will incur some charges from both banks to respective account holders. These charges are charged as the bank will first convert money from the senders’ to the receivers’ currency before making the payment.
- Open an account with a digital payment gateway website or app. For this, both sender and receiver should have an account on the same e-payment platform.
Q. Is it necessary to register my firm with the government and other council boards, even for fruit export business?
Ans. Yes, you must register your firm with the government and other export council bodies. No matter how small or big your export product is, it must be authorised and approved by both countries' governments. It is illegal to export anything without the government’s approval, and legal action can be taken against anyone who is exporting without license/ authorisation.