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How to Establish a Local Presence in Lakshadweep?

An image showing business expansion to lakshadweep.
Collaborated with Vasudha K

Thinking of expanding your business to South Asia? Consider Lakshadweep’s scenic and promising shores. Situated near international shipping ports like Karnataka, this archipelago beckons with untapped potential. Its pristine landscapes and authentic culture attract attention. And with the Indian government’s efforts to improve port connectivity and infrastructure, business in Lakshadweep is set to get to the next level.

In this article, we delve into the strategic advantages and business scope Lakshadweep offers, exploring its transformative potential for businesses looking to broaden their horizons.

Strategic Advantages of Doing Business in Lakshadweep

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Union Territory Lakshadweep comprises 36 islands. It is located southwest of the mainland near the Indian state of Kerala. The islands, with their multiple transportation connectivity to endless natural beauty, present several strategic advantages for businesses considering operations in the region. Let’s have a look:

Investment Opportunities and Incentives

There are investment opportunities worth over $19bn across sectors and schemes. Interested businesses can also explore several government-backed schemes that promote industrial development and economic growth in these remote island regions. They offer incentives such as capital subsidies, interest subsidies, tax exemptions, insurance incentives, employment generation benefits, and transport subsidies among others. All this is designed to encourage business growth and sustainability.

Natural Beauty

Lakshadweep boasts unparalleled natural beauty. From charming coconut-palm fringed beaches to crystal-clear lagoons, the archipelago is a treasure trove of delights waiting to be discovered. Its vibrant underwater world, adorned with coral reefs and diverse marine life, attracts snorkelers and divers.

The islands’ untouched wilderness presents opportunities across tourism, marine conservation, outdoor recreation, events, and media production industries. For instance, the picturesque landscape makes Lakshadweep a perfect location for destination weddings, corporate retreats, and special events. Event planning companies can capitalize on this by organizing beachside weddings, sunset cruises, and themed events among others.

Robust Transportation Infrastructure

Lakshadweep is connected to the Indian mainland via sea and air routes. Water transport serves as the primary mode of travel within the islands and to and from the mainland. The nearest mainland seaport is in Kozhikode in the Indian state of Kerala.

Furthermore, air services have been strategically introduced to augment accessibility. Indian Airlines operates flights between Kochi and Agatti, while Pawan Hans operates a nine-seater DAUPHIN helicopter, serving as an emergency ambulance between the islands and the mainland.

The accessibility provided by air and sea routes opens up opportunities for expansion and growth, especially if you run a tourism business. A reliable transportation network can boost investor and stakeholder confidence. On top of that, India’s Ministry of Shipping is planning to develop 10 locations across Lakshadweep for tourism under its Lighthouse Tourism initiative. You can leverage these investments to attract more visitors to the region.

Cost Savings

Lakshadweep offers strategic location, economic advantages, and a skilled workforce akin to prominent global hubs, but at a lower cost. For instance, the basic wage in Lakshadweep is about $5/day compared to the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour for certain US workers. This way you can economically benefit from talented and hardworking labor.

Additionally, you can hire locally in multiple cost-effective ways. Open up a local office, bring in local agents, and have them run operations right from Lakshadweep. This will incur the local costs of operating an office on the islands.

Alternatively, hire agents in India who share the local time zone and language. Again, you can choose to have a physical office in India or simply remote agents to communicate with Lakshadweep travelers, customers, and vendors.

Another cost-effective option to virtually access Lakshadweep is via the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. If you already have an office in APAC—and don’t want to add another location in India—or plan to establish one there, you can bypass the expenses of setting up directly on the islands. This approach lets you remain synchronized with Lakshadweep’s time zone, saving on operational costs and streamlining communication.

For instance, let’s say you run a software company in Singapore and want to expand to Lakshadweep owing to its improving digital connectivity. Instead of setting up a new office on the islands, use your existing one in Singapore. Since the time difference between Singapore and Lakshadweep is less than 3 hours, communication will be smooth. So, leverage your APAC presence to efficiently tap into the Lakshadweep market while saving money and resources.

To make these approaches viable, you can work with global phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding which offer affordable global communication solutions like India virtual phone numbers. More on this below!

Rich Cultural Heritage

Lakshadweep is a major pull for culture vultures due to the islands’ unique, authentic, and rich cultural heritage. It boasts a long-lasting tradition of music and dance, with performances like ‘Lava’ and ‘Kolkali’ being integral to the island’s identity. Both dance forms serve as a means of cultural expression within the community.

The coconut crop is a special part of Lakshadweep’s culture and deeply ingrained in daily life, economy, and traditions. From cuisine to craftsmanship, coconut is ubiquitous. Its parts are used in handicrafts, coir-making, copra production, and more. These products are important commodities traded both locally and internationally. This offers businesses strategic advantages in branding, product innovation, tourism, sustainability, and export opportunities.

Businesses that can Benefit from Expanding to Lakshadweep


Now that we know about its strategic advantages, let’s discuss the opportunities this island destination presents. Traditionally reliant on fisheries and coir production, the island’s economy is diversifying into tourism, renewable energy, and sustainable ventures. Installation of a submarine optical fiber across 11 islands of Lakshadweep also strengthens its digital connectivity. This is especially important to businesses that are looking to establish a virtual presence in the archipelago.

So, what types of businesses and what industries can thrive in Lakshadweep? From travel companies, tourism agencies, hospitality companies and hotels, to water sports startups, there’s a little something for everyone in these islands.

Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and hospitality industries thrive in Lakshadweep by offering tailored experiences to visitors. In fact, yearly visitor arrivals increased dramatically in 2022, demonstrating an increase in tourism and travel demands for this region.

Tourism agencies specialize in crafting bespoke itineraries, from thrilling water sports to serene beach retreats. Adventure seekers can enjoy jet skiing and parasailing, while those seeking relaxation can unwind on its white sand beaches. You will also find resorts or eco-lodges that blend seamlessly with the natural environment while providing luxurious accommodations.

lakshadweep chart

Sustainability and Renewable Energy Solutions

The islands have been recognized as India’s first union territory to achieve 100% organic status, highlighting their commitment to sustainable practices and preserving their pristine ecosystem.
Sustainable tourism not only attracts environmentally-conscious travelers but also generates revenue that benefits local communities.

Lakshadweep also experiences consistent wind patterns and high solar irradiation levels, making it conducive for wind and solar energy generation. Therefore it is also a promising destination for renewable energy projects that can drive economic growth while mitigating environmental impact.

Fishing and Aquaculture

The country’s only coral island chain can be found here. And the sea surrounding the islands teems with abundant fishery resources, notably tuna and shark. You can explore business and startup opportunities while contributing to environmental conservation efforts. Consider teaming up with local fishing communities and investing in aquaculture infrastructure.

Coconut-Based Industries

Coconut cultivation and coconut-based industries play a crucial role in Lakshadweep’s economy.
And with coconut palms abundant across the islands, there are ample investment opportunities in coconut-based industries. The diverse range of products produced include coconut oil, copra (dried coconut flesh), dairy alternatives like coconut cream, handicrafts, and coir and brush, among others. You can leverage the supportive policies and initiatives of the government to promote coconut cultivation and related industries.

Water Sports

Many tourism companies boast water sports and adventure activities in the region. Plus, there’s a need for equipment rental, guided tours, and instruction for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. So, your adventure sports business can open a local branch or you can team up with local tourism companies.

Providing equipment rental, guided tours, and instruction for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking.

How to Establish a Presence in Lakshadweep?

If you plan to expand to Lakshadweep, you will need a local mode of communication. For instance, travelers and clients might need to call their travel provider when traveling to the islands. Alternatively, your agents may need to communicate with customers to ensure they make their reservations, etc.

Thankfully, to tap into the growing market of Lakshadweep, you don’t need to establish the business physically. As a tourism business, goods and services company, or global travel agency, you could get a virtual India toll-free number or local number from global telephony providers like Global Call Forwarding.

With this number, customers can easily reach out for inquiries, bookings, sales, and support services. And your business can forward these calls wherever your headquarters or teams are located. This fosters a seamless and responsive communication experience.

Hire remote, local employees to manage the ground for you. This way, you maintain the main office in one country while hiring a couple of agents in Lakshadweep. As mentioned above, you can benefit from the country’s lower labor and overhead costs while providing localized support with regional knowledge and languages.

Expand in Lakshadweep Virtually

As you explore the opportunities this archipelago presents, consider leveraging communication solutions like virtual phone numbers. You can also benefit greatly from the VoIP features like call forwarding, voicemail translation, and call recording that usually come with these numbers.

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual phone numbers — including India ITFS numbers starting at $38.95 per month — and a plethora of communication solutions that have aided businesses worldwide in scaling up. Whether it’s setting up an India local phone number or tapping into VoIP features, GCF can help you upgrade your business communication system.

Talk to our experts today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business!

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