Capital Intensive - Meaning & Definition

Published in Operations and Supply Chain Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Capital Intensive?

Capital Intensive means the industries that require heavy investment in purchasing, maintaining, and amortizing capital in course of its operations. Capital intensive industries require high volume of production and a high profit margin to provide good return on investment.

There are a number of examples of industries like steel, cement, automotive, petroleum. These industries require large sum of money and capital to support their operations. Some businesses like IT, software design, banking, consulting etc. do not require much capital and money or resources to deliver output, hence are not capital intensive industries.

There is no exact mathematical definition of the calling an industry capital intensive or not, as a ballpark estimate analysts usually calculate the ratio between the labor cost and the capital expenses. The higher the ratio between capital expense and labor expense, the more capital intensive is the industry.

If a company is spending 3000 on equipment expenses and 1000 on labor expenses. Then probably the company is capital intensive. These industries have high barriers to entry.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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