Thinking of Returning to India? Here are 30 Must-Have Apps That’ll Get You Ready!

Getting things done in India needs a crash course, magic, and charm on its own.

Especially for folks who return to India after a few years of living abroad, it takes a while to settle in and get adjusted with the “Indian ways”.

Here are some apps that you might want to consider installing/using, soon after your return to India. They will help you with getting essential things done, without much fuss. At least, until you get accustomed to the ways in India.

1. Uber or Ola – For moving around


Uber and Ola are two of the most popular taxi/ride-sharing apps available in India. Both of them are equally popular, but with differences.

Ola is notorious for having unclean cabs and shoddy service, while Uber, like in the USA, is comparatively better with better, cleaner cabs and better service.

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Ola is notorious for surge pricing where they charge you ridiculuosly high charges during busy times.

Both services are available in all major cities. You can set up payment with your bank account directly or pay in cash.

2. OLX – For second hand stuff

You could say, it’s like the Craiglist app of India.


OLX is where you buy and sell old stuff. From books to cars and everything in between.

And of course, beware of scam.

A popular scam on OLX: If you list out something for sale on OLX. One person would call up and offer you a ridiculously low price that you are likely not to sell at. Another friend of that person would call and offer a reasonable better price but still low. Another friend of that person would call and offer an even lower price. So that, you are forced to sell to the second person offering a comparatively low price.

Here’s another OLX scam.

They send a QR code to the seller claiming that once you click “Proceed”, you’ll be getting the money. When in fact QR codes are only used to make payments, no recieve them.

3. Big Basket – For grocery shopping

Big basket is a popular grocery shopping service in India.

Big Basket

It’s available only in select cities but is very useful. You don’t need to go shopping at places you aren’t familiar or waste time getting stuck in traffic.

4. Swiggy, Zomato – For food delivery

Swiggy and Zomato are two great apps that you’ll find useful, especially when you’re not in the mood for cooking.


Available in most cities in India, Swiggy and Zomato are great for ordering food online.


Preferred to Swiggy by restaurants, Zomato is a strong challenge to Swiggy.

You’ll find more offers and perks with Zomato.

5. Google Pay for Mobile Wallet

Google’s own payment app for pretty much anything.

Many will argue that PayTM is better than Google Pay, but got to give it to G, that this is probably the fastest and easy to use mobile wallet in India.

Google Pay

6. PayTM

India’s own mobile payment app. Packs in a lot of value with its own perks, shopping app, etc.

It has grown a lot recently that you can even buy Gold via PayTM.

Very useful when you have to pay utilities like electricity bill, broadband, mobile, etc.

Frequent drops while making a transaction is a common complaint on PayTM though.


7. Phone Pe

Known popularly as India’s own mobile payment app, Phone Pe is a great way for cashless payments in India.

It’s probably not as popular as PayTM but their UX is easy to navigate, acceptance is at par if not more than PayTM and features are plenty.

8. IRCTC – For Train Tickets

Official Indian Railways app from where you can buy train tickets, check train timings, PNR status, etc.


9. RedBus – For Bus Tickets

RedBus is India’s own bus ticketing app from where you can book multi-city/intercity bus tickets.

Must have if you are looking for long haul intercity transport when the air tickets are not available.

Saves you time haggling with the agents.


10. Book My Show – For Movie Tickets

If you’re a movie buff, BookMyShow is where you can skip long queues and unnecessary hassle in booking movie tickets. Available in all major cities in India.

Book My Show

11. Clear Trip – For Air Tickets

ClearTrip offers pretty much the same features and services as Make My Trip but with a better UX and perks.

They’re nimble than MMT and can sometimes offer better perks and benefits than MMT.

Clear Trip

12. Make My Trip – For Hotel Bookings

If you like traveling around, MakeMyTrip allows you to check and book flight tickets, hotels, activities etc from the same app.

It’s probably the most popular ticketing app in India and therefore the reach is huge.

Make My Trip

13. OYO – For Budget Hotels

OYO offers you access to budget hotels throughout India. If you want to go the budget route, there’s no other better app than OYO.


14. Saavn – For Indian Music

Spotify and iTunes may work in India but if you’re looking for hyper-local Indian content, then Saavn is the app to go for.


15. Just Dial – For Local Business

Handyman jobs, local information, etc are best available on Just Dial.

It’s the best local business listing app in India. Kind of like Craiglist but more organized.

Just Dial

16. No Broker – For Real Estate

Real Estate in India is infected with middlemen and brokers. This app saves you from the middlemen.

Real estate listings directly from owners and builders.

Not available in all cities though (yet). That’s a minus! πŸ™

No Broker

17. Cred – For Credit Card Bill Payment

Cred is an amazing app that “reward-ize” credit card payment.

Pay credit card bills through Cred and get perks and incentives.

Simple as that!


18. Angel Broking – For Stock Trading

One of the best stock trading agencies in India, Angel Broking helps with stock trading at a cheap Rs.20 per order.

Great platform with great features and customer support.

Angel Broking

Here are the best stock trading apps in India.

19. Kuvera – For Mutual Fund Investing

Soon after you return to India, it might be a good idea to invest a good amount of your saved up money into Mutual Funds.

Kuvera is an amazing app that will let you do it easily.


You can also purchase Gold onliner with Kuvera.

20. Money Control – For Share Market News

If you’re planning to invest in stocks, it is important to keep track of market news (yeah, like I had to tell you!).

Money Control

Money control is a great platform that keeps you updated with insightful market news from India.

21. Kite by Zerodha – For Stock Trading

Zerodha is an app that revolutionized stock trading in India. With its zero-fee trading USP, Kite is a must-have for stock traders.

Kite by Zerodha

22. Cure Fit – For Fitness

Fitness is as popular in India as in the US. Although, newer startups and apps are only breaking through and showing up.


One such amazing app for fitness enthusiasts are Cure Fit.

23. Urban Clap – For Home Services

Massages, Electronics Repair, Cleaning, Fitness Instructors, Handyman Services, whatever be your requirement.. you might find someone local, willing to help you out.

Urban Clap India

It’s not available in all cities but the metros.

Think of it like TaskRabbit but desi.

24. Rapido – Bike Taxi

Rapido is an online bike taxi aggregator based out of Bangalore, India.


It’s like Uber but for bikes. Pick a bike at your nearest location and drop it at another.

It operates in more than 95 cities across the country. 

25. PharmEasy – For ordering medicine online

India has gone online in all kind of ways. Now, you can even buy medicines online through your app.

Pharm Easy

No queuing up at the pharma store and having to face the guy there judging you.

Pharm Easy is an amazing app that lets you buy medicines online in India.

26. Practo – For finding Doctors

You must have heard the unfortunate stories if “quackery” going on in many cities in India.


Unless for big hospitals, it is really difficult to find a good Doctor. Transparency and standardization were missing in this sector.

Until now.

Find & book appointments with doctors, clinics and hospitals. Order Medicine & health products online with Practo.

27. FlipKart

You must already know about FlipKart, right?


It’s the online marketplace that Walmart has invested in. A strong challenge to Amazon, Flipkart is both popular and notorious for the same reasons.

Watch out for the Big Billion day sales. (Kinda like Black Friday in the U.S)


I don’t think this needs any explanation? πŸ™‚

Amazon India

29. QuickRide – For Carpooling

If you live in Bangalore, you’ll need this at some point of time. Especially, if you commute to work.

Quick Ride

In cities, where there are traffic issues (Bangalore, Hyderabad etc) this app is a God-send. It enables you to find carpooling partners along your daily commute route.

30. Tinder – For dating

You know what it does. Go for it Tiger!


I’m sure I missed a few apps.

Please share your recommendations in the comments below.

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