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What is the financial scope of vending machine business in India?

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Life has never been more convenient!

Retail has evolved from purchase and sale at physical stores, to ecommerce, then to quick and instant commerce, where the duration for delivery has shortened to hours, minutes and that instant.

With that, we can confidently say that the future of retail increasingly lies in a mix of ecommerce, quick commerce and the even quicker INSTANT COMMERCE. With instant commerce, the needs of a consumer are fulfilled right when they want it and right where they are, through automated vending machines.

Here's why investing in the business of smart vending machine solutions in India is a future-friendly and profitable idea :

Vending Machine Business Investment in India

Vending Machine Business Investment in India: A Comprehensive Guide

With the growing demand for quick and easy access to goods, investing in the vending machine business in India can be a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Another reason for this is efficient catering to the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern consumer. From snacks and drinks to personal care items and electronics, vending machines offer a quick and easy business extension for every sector and business segment.

Enwrapped in the points below are the potential benefits of investing in the business of vending machines in India:

  • Long-term profitability with vending machines

  • Higher profit margins in the vending machine business in India

  • Lower cost of setting up

Vending machine business in India

Long-term profitability with vending machines

Vending machine business in India generates long-term profitability with a stable cash flow, low overhead cost and product diversification.

This allows the business owner to predict revenue and expenses, which is essential for making informed decisions about investment, expansion, and managing cash flow.

Vending machines at rent-free and rent-income locations have the chance of providing better margins since there are no additional expenses eating into a vending machine operator’s income.

When it comes to location, there are three types of locations where vending machines can be installed: free-to-use spaces, rented spaces and spaces for which operators make money through rent.

Here is a thing to note, the margins on a small packet of chips sold from a vending machine will be lower than the margins on something more niche like a frozen food item which will likely have a higher ticket price.

Smart and cashless vending machines

Higher Profit Margins in the Vending Machine Business in India

The vending machine business is a game of margins.

A vending machine operator can earn margins between 12% to 36%. If they get their products refilled by a third-party distributor, they might stand to make a margin of up to 12%.

However, using Vendekin-powered automatic vending machines and purchasing their products directly from the manufacturers and brands using vNetra, the one-stop vending machine management software and platform, vending machine operators stand to earn margins as high as 35%.

Moreover, with vending machine business model powered by Vendekin’s vNetra, vending machine operators can connect with retail brands on a digital platform. This way the brands can directly sell to the operators, cutting out all the middlemen, and ensuring better margins for operators and fewer hassles for brands.

The same platform also provides important sales data, such as consumption patterns based on time and location, as well as, operational data, such as machine health data, inventory stock etc to operators digitally.

This helps vending machine operators analyse and improve their vending machines’ sales and operations, overall improving profitability.

All through this, Vendekin’s marketing and customer success team handholds businesses and operators in understanding the market, choosing the right locations, promoting their products with attractive offers, post-sales support and annual machine maintenance too.

vNetra, a smart vending machine solution by Vendekin

Lower cost of setting up

Some of the best vending machines in India come at varying costs depending on their size, the technology powering them and of course the products they sell.

A single smart and cashless vending machine may cost anywhere up to Rs. 1 lakh and slightly higher for customised vending machines. At the same time, setting up a brick-and-mortar store can cost upwards of Rs. 15-25 lakhs, starting from rent or acquisition of the location, registration, taxes, interior designing and architecture of the store, purchase of products, hiring of staff and a lot more.

Vending machine operators with Vendekin are advised to start with a minimum of 5 machines installed at strategic locations of their city identified with the guidance of Vendekin’s team.

This means that the lowest initial cost to get started with selling through vending comes close to Rs.8 lakhs, with a turnaround of the investment within 12 to 36 months.

Apart from a lower cost to get started, with digital vending machines, the hassle of cash payments and maintaining a physical inventory also goes away.

Smart digital vending machines have the option to accept online payments from almost every major platform, and the vNetra vending machine management software and platform maintain a record of every sale, and every product digitally.

vending machine management software

What could be some additional costs?

An operator might have to hire part-time staff to refill the machines on a regular basis. If a business has about 5 to 10 machines placed in a single cluster of a city or region, then a single person part-time is enough to manage refills. Another cost could be CCTV camera surveillance for the safety of the vending machine and its products.

FAQs about Vending Machines in India

Q1. Can you make money from vending machines in India?

A. Yes, the vending machine business in India is among the most promising and profitable investments. The key is to choose the right location, utilise the best vending technology, offer popular products, and maintain the machines well.

Q2. What types of products can be sold through vending machines in India?

A. A wide range of products can be sold through vending machines in India, including snacks, beverages, toiletries, stationery, and even electronics. The type of product depends on the machine's customisation, location and the preferences of the target customers. The best part of smart vending machines is that you can opt for a product mix best suited for your business.

Q3. What are the legal requirements for setting up a vending machine business in India?

A. The legal requirements for setting up a vending machine business in India can vary depending on the state or city where the business is located. Generally, vending machine operators must obtain necessary permits and licenses, follow local food safety regulations, and comply with tax laws.

Q4. Are smart vending machines easy to maintain?

A. Indeed! Smart vending machines are equipped with advanced technology such as remote monitoring, inventory tracking, and automated alerts for maintenance needs, which helps to streamline the maintenance process.

Operators can remotely monitor the status of their machines, track inventory levels, and receive real-time alerts when maintenance is needed, reducing the need for frequent physical inspections.

smart vending machines in India

In Conclusion

When you’re running Vendekin-powered smart vending machines, your vending machine business in India remains an edge above others.

You can sell literally ANYTHING with these digital vending machines, as they can be customised according to the product. Some of the customised vending machines created by Vendekin are today selling t-shirts, frozen seafood and even paan to thousands of end-users!

In addition to all the above, Vendekin is also working towards introducing the concept of Micro Markets in residential complexes, commercial spaces and corporate houses, to ensure that consumers do not have to step out of the premises to fulfil their needs or cravings.

Didn’t we say that the future of vending in India is bright and only getting better?

If you’re a business that is interested in exploring the vending machine business, investing or increasing sales by taking the store to the end consumer, then reach out to us at or call +91 9555712713.


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