Purpose: This study aims to examine the Lumpkin and Dess (1996) conceptualization of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in an emerging economy, focusing on India. It ascertains the dimensions of EO that are valuable in securing superior firm performance in emerging economies, which might differ from a developed market setting. It further examines the difference in the significance of dimensions between the manufacturing and services industry. Design/methodology/approach: A novel primary data set consisting of responses from 228 new ventures incorporated in India was created through an online questionnaire survey following the tailored design method principles. A disaggregated approach was adopted and the data were analyzed using multiple regression in SPSS 21. Findings: Among the dimensions of EO, competitive aggressiveness positively affected new venture performance, whereas proactiveness did not show any effect. Autonomy also exhibited a positive impact, except for new venture growth in manufacturing firms. Innovativeness exhibited partial support, only for the effectiveness of service firms. Risking-taking exhibited a negative effect on performance, particularly for manufacturing firms. Practical implications: The findings guide entrepreneurs and managers operating their new ventures in emerging economies by suggesting the dimensions that are most likely to benefit firm performance and those that might be detrimental. Originality/value: This study empirically validates the multidimensional conceptualization of EO in India and extends previous studies, which have typically focused on an aggregated EO scale. This study’s findings attest that the manifestation of EO in emerging economies might be different compared to mature economies. The contrast between the manufacturing and service sectors is also shown. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.