The third round will be significantly tougher for the hard-serving Canadian.
Raonic beat Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-2 Sunday, setting up a third-round match with world No. 3 Roger Federer, a three-time champion at Indian Wells who has won five of his last seven tournaments.
"I've been looking forward to playing him for a long time, said Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont. "It will be interesting since we will both be trying to do the same thing — dictate.
"And he's the best in the world at doing that. I need to take care of my serve and build from there. I need to get a few opportunities and take advantage of them."
Raonic, who finished the match with Berlocq by firing back-to-back aces, had not played since losing the Memphis final to Austrian Jurgen Melzer two weeks ago, spending the intervening days training and resting in Los Angeles.
Raonic began the match with a break of 38th-ranked Berlocq, who plays much of his season on his native clay.
Raonic, winner of titles this season in Chennai and San Jose in the first two months of the year, piled on the pressure with his big serve, finishing with 16 aces and four breaks of serve.
The 21-year-old Canadian controlled the opening set, charging out to a 4-1 lead then claiming it after 36 minutes with his ninth ace.
The second set also began with a break for Raonic, who recovered from 0-30 to go up 2-0 and broke again to make it 3-0.
Raonic was stretched in the final game as he saved three break points, then pounded out victory in 76 minutes with his 18th and 19th aces.
"I did most things pretty well," Raonic said. "I needed to find my serve and suffered that late letdown. I need to clean that up and really go for my shots from now on."