Abstract The problem of hydromagnetic nanofluid flow in the presence of radiation and non-uniform heat generation/absorption past an exponentially stretching sheet is modeled in this study. By using similarity transformation, the equations of the flow are transformed to nonlinear coupled differential equations. The equations are then solved by the method of asymptotic series and the various flow profiles for the parameters governing the flow were obtained using the software “Mathematica Version 10”. It is observed that increase in the magnetic field and radiation parameters lead to decrease in the velocity, while increase in the stretching sheet parameter and thermal Grashfof number results in increase in the velocity and decrease temperature and concentration respectively. An increase in thermopheresis, thermal conductivity leads to increase in temperature and concentration distributions in the system.