Background: No estimates of influenza-associated mortality exist for India. Objective: To evaluate national mortality and viral surveillance data from India for assessing their appropriateness in estimating influenza-associated mortality using varied analytic approaches. Methods: We reviewed influenza virus surveillance data from a national influenza surveillance network. We also reviewed national mortality data from Civil Registration System (CRS), Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD) and the Sample Registration System (SRS). We compared and scored the different sources of mortality data using specific criteria, including the process of cause of death assignment, sample size, proportion of ill-defined deaths, representativeness and availability of time series data. Each of these 5 parameters was scored on a scale from 1 to 5. To evaluate how to generate an influenza-associated mortality estimate for India, we also reviewed 4 methodologic approaches to assess the appropriateness of their assumptions and requirements for these data sets. Results: The influenza virus surveillance data included year-round sample testing for influenza virus and was found to be suitable for influenza mortality estimation modelling. Based on scoring for the 5 mortality data criteria, the SRS data had the highest score with 20 of 25 possible score, whereas MCCD and CRS scored 16 and 12, respectively. The SRS which used verbal autopsy survey methods was determined to be nationally representative and thus adequate for estimating influenza-associated mortality. Evaluation of the modelling methods demonstrated that Poisson regression, risk difference and mortality multiplier methods could be applied to the Indian setting. Conclusion: Despite significant challenges, it is possible to estimate influenza-associated mortality in India. © 2017 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.