Cold Storage Business Plan: How to Start in India, Requirements, Cost, Subsidy, and Loans

Starting a cold storage business can be daunting, but it can be a successful venture with the right planning. This blog post will explore what is needed to start a cold storage business, including the necessary equipment, how to get subsidies and loans, and the potential market for your product. By understanding these key components, you will be on your way to starting a successful cold storage business.

Cold Storage Business Plan
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Cold storage business plan

Why start a cold storage business?

There are many reasons to start a cold storage business. Cold storage can provide a much-needed service for businesses and individuals who need to store perishable items. It can also be a great method to earn an extra or full-time income. The first reason to start a cold storage business is that it can provide a much-needed service for businesses and individuals who need to store perishable items.

Perishable items such as food, medicine, and flowers must be kept at a constant temperature to stay fresh and preserve their quality. A cold storage facility can offer this service to individuals and businesses who might not have access to it. Another reason to start a cold storage business is that it can be a great way to earn extra or even a full-time income. If you have the space and the necessary equipment, you can charge businesses and individuals for storing their perishable items in your facility.

This can be a great way to generate additional revenue streams for your business. If you are thinking about starting a cold storage business, many resources are available to help you get started. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has information on its website about starting and operating a small business, including funding options and licenses or permits that may be required. You can also find helpful information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

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Frozen Food
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what is the market potential for a cold storage business?

The market potential for a cold storage business is significant. Cold storage is an essential part of the food supply chain, and the demand for cold storage services is expected to continue to grow in line with the growth of the global food industry. Several factors are essential for the cold storage market growth, including the increasing global trade in perishable goods, the need for better food safety and quality control, and the increasing popularity of online grocery shopping.

The cold storage market is estimated to be worth around $30 billion and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2025. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 6%. There are several opportunities for businesses looking to enter the cold storage market. The most significant opportunity lies in providing services to the growing online grocery sector.

This market is expected to grow from $24 billion in 2019 to $100 billion by 2025, representing a CAGR of 29%. Other opportunities include providing services to the healthcare sector, which is increasingly reliant on temperature-controlled products and supplies and catering to the needs of the burgeoning home delivery food service sector.

Business risks associated with a cold storage business

There are several business risks associated with starting a cold storage business. The most significant risk is the cost of constructing and maintaining a cold storage facility. Cold storage facilities require specialized equipment and construction, which can be very expensive. Additionally, operating a cold storage business requires significant ongoing costs for energy and labor.

These costs can fluctuate significantly, so it is important to have a well-managed budget in place to avoid financial difficulties. Another risk to consider is product spoilage if the cold storage facility is not maintained correctly. This can lead to losses for the business and damage its reputation. Finally, competition from other businesses offering similar services can be challenging, so it is significant to research the market carefully before starting a cold storage business.

Subsidy and loan opportunities available for a cold storage business in India

The government provides various subsidies and loan opportunities for people who want to start a cold storage business. The main aim of schemes is to encourage entrepreneurship and help people set up new businesses. The Pradhan Mantri Micro Units Development Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) Yojana is the most popular scheme. This scheme provides loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to small businesses.

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Cold Storage
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This loan can be used to set up a cold storage business or any other business. Other schemes that provide financial assistance for setting up a cold storage business include the Stand-Up India Scheme and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). These schemes provide loans at subsidized interest rates, which make it easier for people to repay the loan and start their businesses.

How to write a cold storage business plan?

To set up a cold storage business, it is essential to have a detailed business plan in place. This will give you a clear idea of the investment required, the licenses and permissions needed, the infrastructure required, and the operational aspects of the business. Below is a step-by-step process to help you write a comprehensive cold storage business plan:

  1. Define your business goals and objectives: What do you want to achieve with your cold storage business? What are your long-term and short-term goals? Be as specific as possible.
  2. Do your market research: Who is your target market? What is the demand for cold storage facilities in your area? What are the competition and growth potential?
  3. Understand the regulatory requirements: Several regulations apply to cold storage businesses. Make sure you know all the compliance requirements before starting your business.
  4. Create a detailed financial projection: Estimate your business’s start-up costs, running costs, and expected revenues. This will give you the investment idea required and help you make sound financial decisions.
  5. Draw up a marketing plan: How will you promote your cold storage business? What are your marketing strategies? Include details such as budget, target audience, channels, etc.
  6. Expansion plan: As your business grows, you will need to expand your facility and staff accordingly.

Cost to build cold storage in India

The cost of building cold storage in India can change depending on the size and type of facility. A small, basic facility may cost around Rs. 10 lakhs to construct, whereas a larger, more sophisticated facility could cost above Rs. 1 crore or more. A number of factors will contribute to the project’s final cost, including the location, type of construction, and equipment needed.

What is the cost of a 5000 MT cold storage in India?

The cost of about 5000 MT of cold storage in India varies depending on the type of storage, the location, and other factors. However, on average, the cost of a 5000 MT cold storage in India is around 3 to 5 crores.

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Inside Cold Storage Plant
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Is the cold storage business profitable in India?

Yes, the cold storage business is one of India’s most essential and profitable businesses. It is a process of storing perishable food items at a controlled temperature below the ambient temperature. This process helps to preserve the quality and shelf life of food items. There are numerous benefits to starting a cold storage business in India. Some benefits are;

  1. The demand for cold storage facilities is constantly increasing in India due to the growing population and changing lifestyles. 
  2. The government of India is providing various incentives and subsidies to encourage the growth of this sector. 
  3. Cold storage business is not affected by seasonal fluctuations, unlike other businesses. 
  4. It is a recession-proof business as people will always need to store food items. 
  5. The initial investment required for starting a cold storage business is relatively low compared to other businesses. 
  6. Cold storage business has a very high potential for growth and profitability in India.

Is GST applicable on cold storage in India?

Yes, GST applies to cold storage in India. The GST rate for cold storage services is 18%.

Electricity required running cold storage in India

Electricity is the lifeblood of any cold storage facility. Perishable goods will spoil and become unusable without a reliable and consistent power supply. In India, where power outages are not uncommon, this can pose a severe challenge for businesses that rely on cold storage to keep their products fresh. There are a few different options for powering a cold storage facility in India. One is to use a diesel generator, which can provide a reliable backup power source in case of an outage.

However, generators are expensive to operate and maintain, producing harmful emissions that can impact the environment. Another option is to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Solar PV systems can provide a clean and renewable source of power for cold storage facilities, and they are becoming increasingly affordable as technology improves. However, solar PV systems require a large upfront investment, and they may not be able to meet the full power needs of a large facility.

The most common option for powering cold storage in India is to connect to the grid. This provides a reliable power source but can be expensive, especially if outages are frequent in your area. In addition, grid-connected systems are not immune to power disruptions – if the grid goes down, so does your facility. Considering cold storage for your business in India, carefully consider your power needs and options. Diesel generators can provide a reliable backup power.

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Milk Products Cold Storage
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Land required for small cold storage in India

The amount of land required for small cold storage in India depends on many factors like the size of the facility, the type of crops to be stored, and the climate. Small cold storage in India typically requires between 1 and 2 acres. The type of crops to be stored will dictate the size of the facility, with larger facilities needed for storing more perishable items. The climate will also affect the size of the facility, as a colder climate will require a larger facility to maintain proper temperature control.

Does cold storage need ventilation?

In short, the answer is yes. Cold storage needs ventilation to prevent the build-up of condensation and to help regulate the temperature. The amount of ventilation will depend on the space size and the type of goods being stored. Condensation can occur when warm air meets cold surfaces, such as the walls and ceiling of a cold storage unit. This can cause mould and mildew to grow, damaging goods and making them unsafe to eat.

Ventilation helps to circulate air and prevent condensation from occurring. Good ventilation also helps to regulate the temperature in a cold storage unit. If the space is too hot, goods can spoil; if it’s too cold, they can freeze. By circulating air, ventilation helps to maintain a consistent temperature, which is essential for keeping goods fresh and safe.

Management of cold storage unit

The most important aspect of managing a cold storage facility is ensuring the temperature is controlled correctly. This can be challenging, as the temperature needs to be low enough to prevent spoilage but not so low that frozen items become brittle and difficult to handle. Another key consideration is humidity control. Too much humidity can cause condensation, leading to mold and mildew growth.

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Cold Storage Plant
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Conversely, not enough humidity can cause items to become dry and cracked. An effective cold storage management plan also includes regular cleaning and maintenance of the facility. This helps prevent pests from taking up residence and ensures that the facility runs as efficiently as possible.


We hope this article has provided useful tips and information if you want to start your own cold storage business. Remember to do your research, create a detailed business plan, and secure the necessary financing before getting started. With careful planning and execution, your cold storage business can be successful and profitable.


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