15 Best Businesses to Start In Jammu and Kashmir in 2024

Have you ever wondered about the economic potential of Jammu and Kashmir, a region known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage? This northernmost region of India, renowned for its production of apples, walnuts, cherries, and the world's most expensive spice, saffron, has a lot more to offer.

J&K is not just a global tourist destination known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, but also a region with immense economic potential. Its economy, primarily service-based and agri-oriented, has been growing steadily, with the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) estimated at US$ 27.95 billion in 2023-24.

But that's not all. J&K is also a hub for entrepreneurship development, with initiatives like Start Up India, Make in India, and Digital India playing a significant role in fostering a conducive environment for startups.

This article explores the 15 most promising and viable businesses to start in Jammu and Kashmir.

Business Landscape in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a global tourist destination with a vast scope for adventure, pilgrimage, spiritual, and health tourism. The economy is primarily services-based and agri-oriented, with a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) estimated at Rs. 2.31 trillion (US$ 27.95 billion) in 2023-24.

However, the region has seen a decline in investments by 55% over the past four years. Despite this, the government has taken initiatives to promote J&K as an investment destination. For instance, in 2021, the government of Jammu & Kashmir signed 456 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with various firms for a potential investment worth Rs. 23,152 crore (US$ 3.17 billion).

Despite the challenges, J&K's business landscape presents opportunities for growth and investment, particularly in the sectors of tourism, agriculture, and handicrafts.

Top 15 Business Ideas in Jammu and Kashmir

Let's explore the top 15 business opportunities that hold great potential in Jammu and Kashmir.

1. Tourism Business

Tourism is a significant industry in Jammu and Kashmir, contributing about 7% to its economy. The region is known for its snow-topped Himalayan mountains, fast-flowing rivers, Mughal-era gardens, Alpine meadows, and houseboats around a beautiful lake. In 2022, Jammu and Kashmir received 16.2 million tourists, the highest number since British colonial rule ended in 1947.

Starting a tourism business in this region can be a lucrative venture. However, it requires careful planning and understanding of the local culture, attractions, and regulations.


  • High potential for income due to the region's popularity among tourists
  • Contributes to the local economy and creates job opportunities


  • Seasonal nature of the business can lead to periods of low income
  • Political instability and security concerns can affect tourist inflow

2. Horticulture Business

Horticulture plays a vital role in the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir. The region's diverse climatic conditions, fertile soil, and various climate zones offer a wide scope for the cultivation and production of a large variety of exotic fruits, vegetables, aromatic plants, spices, and flowers. In 2019-20, the total production of horticulture crops in Jammu and Kashmir was 3.91 million metric tonnes.

Starting a horticulture business in Jammu and Kashmir requires knowledge of the local climate and soil conditions, as well as the market demand for various crops.


  • High demand for horticultural products both locally and internationally
  • Contributes to the local economy and creates job opportunities


  • Requires significant initial investment in land and equipment
  • Vulnerable to weather conditions and pests

3. Handicraft Business

The handicraft industry is a key part of the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy. Kashmiri handicrafts include textiles, carpets and rugs, crewel embroidery, silverware, woodwork, and papier-mâché.

Starting a handicraft business in Jammu and Kashmir requires knowledge of the local crafts, as well as the ability to market and sell these products to a wider audience.


  • High demand for unique and high-quality handicrafts both locally and internationally
  • Provides employment opportunities and contributes to the local economy


  • Requires skilled artisans and high-quality materials
  • Competition from mass-produced items can affect sales

4. Dairy and Cattle Business

The dairy industry in Jammu and Kashmir has enormous potential for the economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the welfare of the local population. The value of the milk economy in J&K is Rs 9080 crore, playing a significant role in the agricultural economy of the region. The region has been able to produce 2513.72 metric tonnes of milk by the end of January 2023, which is more than the previous years, bringing it closer to self-sufficiency in milk production.

To start a dairy business, one needs to ensure the availability of land, build sheds for the cows, and purchase high-yielding cows. The government provides financial assistance for setting up dairy units.


  • Continuous surge in domestic demand due to ever-increasing consumption of milk and milk products
  • Profit margin is significant


  • It is a capital-intensive activity
  • Procurement of quality cross-bred cows can be challenging
  • High costs for feed and fodder

5. Sericulture

Sericulture is an agro-cottage, forest-based, and labour-intensive industry in J&K that contributes significantly to economic development and sustainable livelihood. The mulberry crop is the foundation of sericulture resource as a food plant for silkworms. In 2020-21, Jammu and Kashmir produced 798 metric tonnes of silk cocoons, showing a positive growth rate.

To start a sericulture business, one needs to plant mulberry trees and rear silk cocoons. The government provides assistance for sericulture growth in the region.


  • Sericulture is a unique end-to-end sustainable sector with minimal environmental impact
  • Silk products have a ready market in Kashmir, both domestically and globally


  • Farmers have been discouraged from participating in sericulture due to shrinking mulberry area, inadequate extension and support, and marketing challenges

6. Jewelry Design and Sales

Jewelry design and sales is a thriving business in Jammu and Kashmir. Designers usually work for various jewelry houses which take care of the sales.

To start a jewelry design and sales business, one needs to have a good understanding of jewelry design, access to quality materials, and a platform for sales.


  • High demand for unique and quality jewelry designs
  • Opportunity for creativity and innovation in design


  • Requires a significant initial investment
  • The market is highly competitive

7. Dried Fruit Business

Jammu and Kashmir is renowned for its horticulture, particularly the production of dry fruits such as walnuts and almonds. In fact, the region produced 275,629 metric tons of dry fruits in 2016-17, covering about 96,908 hectares of land area. The Kashmir valley is the most productive region for fruit cultivation due to its fertile soils and ideal highland ecosystem for temperate fruits.

Starting a dried fruit business in this region can be a lucrative venture due to the high demand for these products both domestically and internationally. However, it's important to consider the climatic variability and untimely precipitation that has affected the horticulture sector in recent years.


  • High demand for dry fruits both domestically and internationally
  • Favorable agro-climatic conditions for fruit cultivation


  • Climatic variability and untimely precipitation can affect production
  • Geographic conditions limit the expansion of cultivation to other parts of the state

8. Knitting and Embroidery

Jammu & Kashmir is known for its traditional crafts-based textile products, particularly its unique embroidery known as Kashida. This craft, mostly done by men, is said to have descended from royal patronage and is characterized by its vibrant patterns inspired by the scenic beauty of the land.

Starting a knitting and embroidery business in this region can tap into the rich cultural heritage and skilled craftsmen. However, it's important to note that the industry faces competition from cheaper versions produced elsewhere.


  • Rich cultural heritage and skilled craftsmen
  • Unique and vibrant patterns inspired by the scenic beauty of the land


  • Faces competition from cheaper versions produced elsewhere
  • The craft requires a high level of skill and training.

9. Waste Management

Jammu city generates 350-400 tons of solid waste daily, with contributions from domestic, commercial, and other sources. Starting a waste management business in this region can help address this issue and contribute to a cleaner environment. However, it's important to consider the challenges associated with waste collection, segregation, and disposal.


  • High demand for waste management services
  • Potential to contribute to a cleaner environment


  • Challenges associated with waste collection, segregation, and disposal
  • Requires significant investment in infrastructure and equipment

10. Local Cuisine

Jammu and Kashmir, a region known for its rich and diverse culinary heritage, offers a unique opportunity for a business centered around its local cuisine. The cuisine of this region is a blend of Indian, Persian, and Central Asian influences, with rice being the staple food. Some of the popular dishes include Rogan Josh, Gushtaba, and Tabak Maaz.

Starting a business around local cuisine could involve setting up a restaurant or a food delivery service that offers these traditional dishes. This would not only cater to the local population but also attract tourists who are eager to try the authentic flavors of the region.


  • High demand due to the unique and rich flavors of the cuisine
  • Potential to attract tourists and locals alike


  • Requires knowledge and expertise in preparing traditional dishes
  • High competition from existing restaurants and food services

11. Kahwa (Tea) Business

Kahwa, a traditional green tea preparation that originated in the Kashmir region, is another excellent business idea. This tea is infused with a blend of Kashmiri spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, and cloves, and is often served with roasted almonds or walnuts.

A Kahwa business could involve setting up a tea shop or cafe, or even selling packaged Kahwa tea leaves or tea bags. Given its health benefits and cultural significance, Kahwa tea has the potential to attract a wide range of customers, from locals to tourists to health-conscious individuals.


  • Unique product with cultural significance
  • Health benefits could attract health-conscious consumers


  • Requires knowledge of traditional Kahwa preparation
  • Potential competition from existing tea businesses

12. Agriculture

Agriculture is a major part of the economy in Jammu and Kashmir, with a majority of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture. The region is known for its diverse agricultural products, including rice, corn, millet, pulses, cotton, tobacco, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Starting an agricultural business could involve setting up a farm, a produce market, or even an export business for agricultural products. Given the region's fertile land and diverse agricultural products, there is significant potential for a successful agricultural business.


  • Diverse range of potential products
  • High demand for agricultural products both locally and for export


  • Requires significant investment in land and equipment
  • Dependent on weather and environmental conditions

13. Livestock

Livestock rearing is a significant contributor to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir, with a large portion of the rural population dependent on it for their livelihood. The region boasts a substantial livestock population, with a notable presence of cattle and poultry.

To start a livestock business, one needs to ensure the availability of land, build sheds for the animals, and purchase high-yielding animals. The government provides financial assistance for setting up livestock units.


  • High demand for livestock products
  • Government support and initiatives
  • Employment opportunities


  • Dependence on climatic conditions
  • Potential for disease outbreaks in livestock

14. Fisheries

Jammu and Kashmir produced 25 thousand metric tons of fish in the fiscal year 2023. The region's diverse aquatic ecosystems offer a conducive environment for various species of fish, making fisheries a viable business option.

To start a fisheries business, one needs to have knowledge of the local aquatic ecosystems, as well as the market demand for various fish species.


  • High demand for fish products
  • Diverse aquatic ecosystems


  • Dependence on climatic and environmental conditions
  • Need for technical knowledge and equipment

15. Healthcare Projects

Healthcare projects in Jammu and Kashmir have the potential to improve the health and well-being of the local population. The region has seen significant investment in healthcare infrastructure, with over 400 health infrastructure projects and works at a cost of over ₹7,100 crore being initiated in the union territory. The government has also approved the establishment of two medi-cities, one each in Sempora, Pampore, and Miransahib, Jammu. These medi-cities will house medical colleges, hospitals, super-specialty centers, nursing colleges, and other healthcare facilities.

To start a healthcare project in Jammu and Kashmir, one needs to have a clear understanding of the local healthcare needs and the necessary infrastructure and resources. It's essential to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to ensure the project's success.


  • High demand for improved healthcare services
  • Potential for public-private partnerships


  • Requires significant investment
  • Regulatory challenges and compliance with healthcare laws and standards.

Business Environment and Opportunities

Jammu and Kashmir offers a number of investment opportunities due to its rich resources of Water, Agro, Forests, Herbal, and Minerals, in addition to its unparalleled natural beauty. The region mostly has manufacturing industries, small-scale industries, and cottage industries.

There are several business ideas that can be profitable in Kashmir. These include horticulture, local handicrafts, dairy and cattle, tourism, waste management, and sericulture. For instance, horticulture is a major contributor to the GDP of Kashmir, and the region's soil and climate make it ideal for growing a variety of crops. The local handicraft industry, particularly the carpet industry, is also a significant business sector.


Despite the opportunities, there are several challenges to starting a business in Jammu and Kashmir. One of the main challenges is related to funding, as investors often have concerns related to the scalability of the venture and overall stability in the region. The geography or terrain of the region can also pose challenges.

Another challenge is the high cost of doing business in Jammu and Kashmir, which can affect the profitability of a venture. Infrastructural facilities like communication, transport, power, and economic information also affect the growth of entrepreneurs in the state.

Furthermore, policy changes with changes in the government can create uncertainty and pose challenges for businesses.

Top FAQs on Best Businesses to Start In Jammu and Kashmir

What are some profitable manufacturing businesses in Jammu and Kashmir?

Profitable manufacturing businesses include Pashmina shawls manufacturing, saffron cultivation and processing, dry fruit processing, and handicrafts manufacturing.

Is Jammu and Kashmir emerging as a start-up hub?

Yes, Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as a start-up hub, but entrepreneurs in the region face challenges related to funding and geography.

What are the major crops in Jammu and Kashmir?

Major crops in Jammu and Kashmir include wheat, paddy, maize, bajra, barley, and jowar.

What are some of the challenges of starting a business in Jammu and Kashmir?

Challenges include investor concerns, geographical challenges, political volatility, high unemployment rates, and high cost of doing business.

What are some of the resources available for start-ups in Jammu and Kashmir?

Resources for start-ups include the Startup India Scheme, which provides benefits such as self-certification compliance under certain laws, reduced fees on patents, and eligibility for funds from the Alternative Investment Funds.

What are some of the sectors that provide employment in Jammu and Kashmir?

Sectors that provide employment include the handloom sector, horticulture, and the manufacturing sector.


Starting a business in Jammu and Kashmir can be a rewarding venture, given the region's rich resources and unique business opportunities. However, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements and be prepared to navigate potential challenges, including funding issues, geographical constraints, and political volatility.

As the region continues to develop, what new opportunities will emerge? How can entrepreneurs leverage the unique strengths of Jammu and Kashmir to build successful businesses? These are questions that prospective business owners should consider as they explore the potential of this dynamic region.

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