Making Money Online in India gets tougher

It has been only a week since PayPal India stopped processing all money transactions to personal accounts in India. They have also blocked the withdrawal of available funds. Apart from receiving the AdSense checks, most of the Indian bloggers and freelancers would have used PayPal for online money transfers and hence the future of their hard earned money remains uncertain.

A lot of people think that making money online in countries like India is a really easy to do thing. Indeed, it’s so easy to get started but with all its related risks (Read Online business risks) and a lot more related uncertainties.

Online Business Models

Most online money makers in India (and several other Asian countries) work mainly around the following business models

  • Blog on internationally accepted topics and drive US traffic and earn money via advertisements (mainly AdSense and sometimes other networks and private ads)
  • Writing services and other related freelancing opportunities
  • Specialized services – graphics, banners, themes, other web development services
  • Selling goods via eBay
  • Online forex trading etc

As far as I know, not many Indians are keen on doing affiliate marketing or any MLM stuff. However, even for the most harmless (and capital investment free) areas such as blogging to make money online there are hurdles and ongoing issues.

Main hurdles and issues

When it comes to one’s online rights, India is not as bad as China. Nobody really blocks or censors websites in India. However, there are other areas where policies – mainly from the government – prevent people from doing free mode online business from India.

The main issue here is the strictly controlled foreign exchange policy. I would assume that the recent PayPal issues are mainly around the RBI (Reserve Bank of India)’s guidelines related to the foreign exchange policy. Due to the same reason, even online currency trading is not possible from India. All that is legally permited is the futuress trading of currencies – that too only USD-INR pair on wide spreads.

The high rate of Income tax is another key issue that freelancers pay here assuming that they are paying taxes in India for their online income. The rate of income tax is 30% for the higher income groups and to make it worse due the huge difference in USD buy/sell rates, most people end up loosing a lof of money in exchange rates as well.

Ban from the major online income contributors such as Google AdSense is another big issue. Most of those people who get banned by AdSense are from this part of the world (many for valid reasons, I must add, but not all).

Lack of proper cyber crime enforcement is another big issue here. Usually, only when some high profile issue happens, the cyber squad gets into action. If somebody is hacking to your online accounts or even defame your online business’ goodwill for that matter, nobody really cares.

Way forward

In my opinion, if you are completely depending on your online income to support your financial needs, you may need to think twice now. It’s not going to be very easy for anyone to continuously innovate and sustain the online income models. Online business (especially blog income) can be thought of as an additional income but never the only thing or primary income stream that you should be banking on. It’s time to find an offline regular job, if that is not the case already.

Happy Money Making!


  1. sanjay :

    Hi, Is hindrance still continuing whereas payment via pay pal in India?


  1. […] Ajith Prasad at Dollar$hower reckons Making Money Online in India gets tougher. […]

  2. […] crap. I happen to come across some discussions on the future of internet in India both online and offline (now that I am graduating and everyone around me assumes that I am going to make money […]

  3. […] Making money online gets tougher – covers the business models and problems faced making money online in India. I have noted some of my observations based on personal experience,  since I have a pure play online business model.  Basically internet business income (not a service provider) is unstable, you can earn US$5,000+ in one month and less than $1000 the other due to factors beyond your control. […]

  4. […] | March 13, 2010 | Internet Marketing, News Analysis, Online Money Making Looks like the recent PayPal India chaos – whereby the personal account holders couldn’t withdraw money to Indian banks – has […]

  5. […] an year back I had wrote about how making money online from India is getting tougher. Things are getting even worse with PayPal and RBI further tightening the Forex inflow norms for […]

Leave a Reply to sanjay Cancel reply