Please give five real life examples in India for the terms monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly. Detailed examples which are still existing in India would be much appreciated. 

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The primary monopolies in India are government monopolies of utilities and transportation. One specific example is the government monopoly of rail transportation through Indian Railway: Lifeline to the Nation (IR). Interestingly, IR has recently proposed to change its method of purchasing electrical power from energy suppliers to a "bidding process at economical tariff." A monopoly has no competitor, there is no substitute, and there is restricted entry to the market. In the case of IR, entry is restricted by the government.

A monopolistic competition is represented by the synthetic fiber production market in India. While there are many firms that manufacture synthetic fiber, such as Sky Industries and Sumeet Ind, Zenith Fibres Ltd is the only one to produce "Polypropylene Staple Fibre (PPSF) used as raw material in 100% PP Yarn. ... and they are the only manufacturer of this product in India with 100% market share" (Rajesh Bihani). This exclusivity of product positions Zenith in a monopolistic competition.

An oligopoly is a market in which a few powerful firms dominate over minor entrants. In India, the airways represent an oligopoly, with a few competitors having the greatest market shares. Two of the top airlines are IndiGo and Air India and, while there are other airlines that provide specialized services, the major competitors rule the industry relevant to domestic air transportation market share in India ("AIRLINE COMPETITION" 2014):

  • IndiGo airline: 29.5% market share
  • Jet Airways (India): 22.5% market share
  • Spike Jet: 19.8% market share
  • Air India (Domestic): 19.1% market share
  • Go Air: 9.0% market share
krishna-agrawala | Student

Given below are some examples of monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly in India.


  • Indian Railways has monopoly in Railroad transportation
  • State Electricity board have monopoly over generation and distribution of electricity in many of the states.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has monopoly over production of aircraft.
  • There is Government monopoly over production of nuclear power.
  • Operation of bus transportation within many cities.
  • Land line telephone service in most of the country is provided only by the government run BSNL.

Monopolistic Competition

  • Some restaurants enjoy monopolistic competition because of their popularity and reputation.
  • Demand for some specific models of automobiles outstrips the production capacity. This creates situation of monopolistic competition. Similar monopolistic situation develops for some given periods for different capital goods product from time to time.
  • Some newspaper in some places enjoy almost monopolistic position in spite of existence of other competitors.
  • Manufacture of some high precision products, such as multi-cylinder diesel engine fuel injection pumps, enjoy monopolistic competition because their competitors are not able to match their quality


  • Airlines industry
  • Petroleum refining
  • Power generation and supply in most of the parts of the country
  • Automobile industry
  • Long distance road transportation by bus. Many of there routes have buses operated by limited numbers of operators.
  • Mobile telephony.
  • Internet service providers
ninecows | Student

These examples are given considering India as a unit, hence state specific monopoly is not considered as pure monopoly. 

Monopoly : No existing competition in a designated market.

1. Coal India - State-controlled CIL being the largest coal producer in the world has the major market share for mining and production, but exclusive rights to sell coal in India. A few other power companies can mine coal, though strictly for their own consumption for power generation.

2. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited - Enjoys complete monopoly in production of commercial air crafts in India.

3. Indian Railways - The only railway operator in India. The whole unit is divided in zones that are further divided into divisions, that is owned and operated by Ministry of Railways under the Government of India.

4. Nuclear Power - With 7 operating nuclear power plants and being the 4th largest source of electricity (as of 2013),  the Government of India has exclusive rights to nuclear power production.

Monopolistic Competition - A type of imperfect competition where similar products exist but are not the perfect substitutes due to slight differences.

1.FMCG - Fast Moving Consumer Goods - An industry with stiff and Varied competition with old and established and new and establishing companies constantly striving for dominance. This can be further divided in sections under FMCG. 

a.Food and Beverages - Similar product offerings make the competition stiff, however the major market share is enjoyed by a few Brittania, Nestle and Dabur, Coca-Cola India, Pepsi Co. to list a few established names .

b. Dairy - Mother Dairy, Parag and Amul to name a few with smaller brands existing with minuscule market shares.

c. Other consumer products - From beauty products to daily essentials like toothpaste and soaps companies like Hindustan Unilever limited, Godrej, ITC enjoy their dominance depending on their popularity in parts of India.

2. Tobacco and tobacco products - ITC being the largest player in India, can't claim monopoly due to Godfrey Philips India that distributes Marlboro.

3. Automotive - Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto have all got their stronghold in different segments of this market. 

4. Banks - Public and private sector banks have their dominance in various regions of India. 

5. Pharmaceuticals & Biotech - Cipla, Dr.Reddy's, Sun Pharma and many others enjoy major market shares for certain specialty and patented drugs however the general medicines market share is fairly divided.

6. Telecommunications - Airtel, Idea, Reliance, Tata being the major service providers from the private sector, however state owned BSNL & MTNL enjoy a massive market share too.

7. Others - Other examples are Restuarants and coffee shops, fashion and clothing brands, eShops.

Oligopoly - Specialist competition - limited suppliers, limited competition. 

1. Oil & Gas - ONGC, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum.

2. Airlines - Jet Airway, Indian Airlines, Indigo.

3. ISPs - Tata, Airtel, Reliance, Hathway. 

4. Inter and Intrastate Transportation - DMRC, BEST, DTC, State Bus Transport Corporations etc.

5. Electricity - Private and state owned providers depending from state to state. 

6. Specialist Automotive - Tractors, cranes, harvester manufacturers like Caterpillar, JCB, Eicher etc. 

7. Others - Cable TV providers, Mass Media (print and TV).