The most profitable industries in India

If you were to guess which are the most profitable industries in India on a PBITDA basis, what would your top 3 guesses be? How about the least profitable industries?

Chances are you didn’t guess Marine Port & Services, Roads & Highways and Mining for the former and Commercial vehicles, Storage Media & Peripherals for the latter.

Chart shows the top 10 most PBITDA profitable industries in India as of the last financial year.

The Calm Investor | Top 10 Most Profitable Industries

It also shows the PBITDA for the period 2012 to 2016 for comparison as well as the most profitable industry in each sector. Note that sectors with aggregate sales of under $1B (INR 6,500 Crores) were not included in this comparison.

Table below shows the complete list of sectors with their operating profitability for FY2017.

The sectors in green have seen an improvement of over 20% in recent profitability over average profitability in the five years before that. The red shaded sectors mean the converse i.e. significant decline in profitability in the last year compared to the past.

The Calm Investor | Most profitable industries in India


  • The most PBITDA-basis positive industries are predictably CAPEX-intensive industries like mining and roads and highways
  • 17 of the 74 sectors with aggregate sales over $1Bn saw significant improvement in economics while 18 sectors faced the opposite
  • Sectors like Exploration & Production, Travel Support Services, Transport Related Services and Mining saw a sharp drop in profitability
  • Breweries & Distilleries, Airlines, Sugar saw sharp rise in profitability over historical trends

Other posts in the IndiaMarketNumbers series:

India Market Cap Growth: 2008 to 2018 link

Top sectors by Market Cap link

Top sectors by market cap over the years link

India Sector Sales Growth link

What do you think?