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10 Best Side Hustles in India You Should Try

The culture of side hustles in India is at its peak in 2024. More than 20 million Indian youngsters are engaged in some form of side hustle. It’s like having a part-time job or doing something on the side to earn extra money.

But here, it’s not just about money. It’s about chasing your passions and being your own boss. Just what the generation Z is all about! From big cities like Mumbai to tech hubs like Bangalore, people are trying out different things to make their dreams come true.

Well, to help you with that, I’ll tell you about the 10 best side hustle ideas in India that you should try. Whether you’re into freelancing or selling stuff online, there’s something for everyone. Let’s start:

Understanding the Culture of Side Hustles in India

To understand the whole agenda of side hustles, you need to know the answer of two questions:

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is like a part-time job or gig that you do alongside your main job or studies. Side hustles can range from giving tuitions to selling products or services online. The point of side hustles is to pursue something you’re passionate about and can earn money from. Essentially, a side hustle is a way to turn your free time and skills into extra income.

Why are Side Hustles in India Popular?

Side hustles are super popular in India for a bunch of reasons. First off, they let you explore your interests and make money doing what you love. Plus, in a country where jobs can be competitive and salaries might not be enough, having a side hustle can be a game-changer.

It’s also a way to be your own boss and have more control over your time and finances. And with the rise of the internet and technology, it’s easier than ever to start something on the side and reach customers all over the world.

And this exposure allows Indians to earn in Dollars and spend in Rupees. The best possible scenario one can be in!

Top 10 Side Hustles in India (for Students)

As the majority of our audience segment is college students, I’m filtering this list of best side hustles according to them. However, anyone above or below is more than welcome to work on these side hustles. There is no age or qualification barrier. That being said, let’s start:

1. Freelancing in High-demand Fields

Everyone is a freelancer today, or at least aspire to be. Freelancing is a great side hustle for Indian college students, especially if you have skills in high-demand fields like graphic design, writing, programming, or digital marketing.

You can find countless freelance gigs on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. No, don’t even think about Fiverr and Upwork. Those are outdated.

Anyway, freelancing allows you to work on projects from the comfort of your home and earn money based on your expertise and time availability. Want to start with it? Pick a skill, learn it, and build a portfolio.

Freelancing in High-demand Fields - Side hustles in India

I started with freelancing the same way. I learned writing, built a writing portfolio, and pitched hundreds of prospects. Do the same!

2. E-commerce: Selling Products Online

Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with E-commerce, but I know people who’ve become millionaires with their E-Commerce side hustle. It is unarguably one of the best side hustles in India. But with a lot of competition and saturation.

With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Shopify, selling products online has become a lucrative side hustle, especially for Indian college students. Whether it’s handmade crafts, fashion accessories, or digital products, you can set up your own online store and reach customers all over the country.

You can start small and gradually scale your business as you gain experience and build your brand.

3. Become a Public Figure or Influencer

In the age of social media, becoming a public figure or influencer is another viable side hustle for Indian college students. Well, you don’t directly earn money by posting content and building an audience, but it opens up a hundred ways to earn.

Whether you’re passionate about fitness, beauty, travel, or gaming, you can share your interests and expertise on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. Once you build a loyal following, you can collaborate with brands, promote products, and monetize your content through sponsored posts, and a lot more.

But.. but… I also believe the influencer culture is a scourge on society. If you choose this path, I urge you to be mindful of that.

4. Digital Products or Online Courses

I started my side hustle journey in college when I wrote and published an eBook on Kindle Amazon. I had no idea what I was doing and I earned around $800 selling that eBook. It blew my mind. 6 years later, I’m writing an eBook ‘The Art of Digital Writing’ again!

Creating digital products or online courses is a profitable side hustle for Indian college students who have expertise in a specific area. Whether it’s coding tutorials, photography guides, or language courses, you can create valuable content and sell it to a targeted audience online.

Platforms like KDP Amazon, Teachable, and Gumroad make it easy to create, market, and sell digital products without any upfront costs. If you have a personal brand, you’re going to make solid money.

5. Virtual Assistant Services

As businesses increasingly rely on remote work and digital communication, virtual assistant services have become in demand. I too have a virtual assistant who helps me in lead generation for my business.

And every other creator or agency owner I know has hired a VA. Want me to tell you a cool fact? All of them (including me) prefer undergraduate students as their VAs. You too can offer your organizational, administrative, and communication skills to help entrepreneurs and small businesses manage their day-to-day tasks.

From scheduling appointments to managing emails and social media accounts, virtual assistants play a crucial role in managing operations and freeing up time for their clients. I call it easy money.

6. Fitness and Nutrition Coaching

First of all, there is no required age to become a fitness coach. I know people of age 40, 30, 20, and 18 who’re doing good with their fitness coaching business. I’ve been working with a 23 year old fitness coach for 6 months now.

With the growing awareness of health and wellness, fitness and nutrition coaching have emerged as lucrative side hustles for Indian youngsters passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle. You can get paid for designing workout plans, offering meal prep services, or providing personalized coaching sessions.

You can offer your services online through video calls, email consultations, or social media platforms. But know that you need to have proper knowledge and preferably certifications to prove that you’re a fitness expert. Undoubtedly a high income side hustle for Indians.

7. App Development and Software Services

Ever heard of the word ‘Evergreen’? Well, this is it: software and application development services.

If you have coding skills and a knack for technology, app development and software services can be a profitable side hustle for you. Whether it’s building mobile apps, designing websites, or offering software customization and troubleshooting, you have plenty of fish to hook to.

You won’t believe, many low-key web3 and web2 startups are developed by freelance developers who are still in college. All you need is solid development skills. Not okayish, solid!

8. Social Media Management

As businesses seek to expand their online presence and engage with their target audience, social media management has become an essential service. If you have strong communication, marketing, and creative skills, you can offer social media management services to businesses. Get paid to create content, grow their following, and increase brand awareness across socials.

By staying updated on the latest trends and analytics tools, you can help your clients achieve their marketing goals and drive business growth. I’ve also written a guide to kickstart your social media management side hustle. Give it a read!

9. Videography and Editing Services

With the increasing demand for visual content on social media and digital platforms, videography and editing services have become a lucrative side hustle for Indian college students. If you’re passionate about storytelling, visual communication, and have solid editing skills, you can make a fortune.

Whether it’s shooting promotional videos, editing vlogs and podcasts, or creating cinematic content for weddings and events, you can showcase your work to attract clients and build your portfolio.

Investing in high-quality equipment and mastering editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro can help you stand out further in the competitive market. In my personal opinion, making money with video editing is the best side hustle in India today.

10. Stock Market Trading or Investments

First off, I won’t recommend this if you’re below 18 years of age. And I don’t want you to pursue this side hustle with your father’s hard earned money.

Now, if you have an interest in finance and a willingness to take calculated risks, stock market trading or investments can be a rewarding side hustle. Whether it’s trading stocks, commodities, or cryptocurrencies, you can capitalize on market opportunities and generate passive income through dividends, capital gains, or interest.

But let me tell you, among the list of 10 best side hustles, this one requires the most research, patience, and risk management. But if done right, it offers the potential for long-term wealth accumulation and financial independence.

You can start small with online brokerage platforms like Zerodha, Upstox, or Groww and gradually build your investment portfolio over time.

Tips for Success in Your Side Hustle Journey

You probably know all of this, but it is my job to tell you. However, I’ll respect your time and make it quick:

1. Find Your Side Hustle

Identify your strengths, interests, and areas of expertise. Research market demand and competition to pinpoint a niche that aligns with your skills and interests. Focus on a specific target audience or problem to solve, allowing you to differentiate yourself and attract potential customers.

Pro tip: If the process of finding a side hustle is complex, choose one based on your interest or skill. Easy.

2. Manage Your Time Wisely

Create a schedule that balances your side hustle with your studies, work, and personal life. Set realistic goals and prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadlines. Use productivity tools and techniques like time blocking, to-do lists, and Pomodoro Technique to stay organized and focused.

The whole point of building a side hustle is to do it in your free time. Stick to that.

3. Invest in Learning and Skill Development

Continuously improve your skills and knowledge through online courses, workshops, and self-study. Stay updated on industry trends, tools, and best practices to stay competitive and deliver high-quality work.

Invest in resources like books, tutorials, and mentorship to accelerate your learning and enhance your expertise.

4. Network and Collaborate

Build relationships with fellow students, professionals, and potential clients in your industry. Attend networking events, join online communities, and participate in forums to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your network.

Collaborate on projects, share insights, and seek feedback to grow your skills and opportunities. Your network is your net worth. Cliche advice, but 100% true.

5. Stay Consistent and Persistent

Maintain a consistent work ethic and dedication to your side hustle, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Set clear objectives and milestones to track your progress and stay motivated.

It took me more than hundred days to get my first freelance client and three months before I got my first agency client. Things take time and you will fail. But you need to stay persistent.


I don’t need to remind you that more than 20 million students are working towards their side hustle, do I? See, 5 years ago, freelancing and side hustles were an option. Today, they’re a necessity. You can’t rely on your college education and degree forever.

You need to see the world, experience the unexplored, try non-bookish paths, and earn more money. And the easiest way to do that is – build a side hustle.

This blog consists of 10 best side hustle ideas for students in India. Identify your skills and interests, pick one from the list, and start. You’ll learn more in 6 months of building a side hustle than you learned in 20 years of school education.

Want to learn more about side hustles, career, and freelancing? Subscribe our FuelEd Unfiltered Podcast on YouTube


1/ What is the best side hustle in India?

Well, it really depends on what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing. But freelancing and e-commerce tend to be popular choices because they offer flexibility and can bring in some decent cash.

2/ What is the highest paying side hustle?

If you’re looking to earn the big bucks, consider gigs that require specialized skills like software development, digital marketing, or providing consulting services.

3/ How to start a second income in India?

Starting a second income stream is all about playing to your strengths and finding something that clicks with you. Look into freelancing, online selling, or offering services that match up with what you’re good at.

4/ How can I make $3000 a month as a side hustle?

To hit that $3000 mark, you might want to aim for gigs that pay well, like software development, digital marketing consulting, or running a successful e-commerce venture. Getting clients at $1000 is easy. All you need is three clients.

5/ Which skill is best for a side hustle?

Skills like coding, video editing, writing, and digital marketing are hot tickets for side hustles. They’re in demand and can bring in some pretty sweet cash.

6/ What is a small side hustle?

A small side hustle is basically a low-key, low-risk gig that you can jump into without too much hassle. Think stuff like freelance writing, tutoring, or selling handmade goods online. It’s a way to dip your toes into the side hustle waters without diving in headfirst.

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