The drone industry in India is experiencing rapid growth, with the potential to become a significant global player in this sector, currently dominated by China. Agnishwar Jayaprakash, founder and CEO of Garuda Aerospace, sees a promising future for drone technology in India.
The Indian government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to promote the manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has provided a boost to the drone industry. As a result, companies like Garuda Aerospace have seized the opportunity to expand their offerings and market presence.
Garuda Aerospace presently provides a diverse range of drones, catering to applications in agriculture, videography, project monitoring, surveillance, and more. With more than 30 different types of drones and over 50 types of services, the company is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for UAV technology.
Garuda Aerospace has set ambitious targets for the near future. The company aims to sell at least 100,000 drones in the agriculture and consumer segments over the next two years. Notably, it already boasts a significant 55% market share in the agriculture drone sector.
One of the company’s innovative initiatives is “Drone Yatra,” a service that allows hourly drone rentals. This approach has contributed to Garuda Aerospace’s growth and diversification.
The company reported revenues of ?47 crore in the previous fiscal year and projects substantial growth, with revenue expected to more than double to ?120 crore in the current fiscal year. This substantial expansion is a testament to the growing demand for drone services and solutions.
Garuda Aerospace holds a dual certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for drone manufacture and pilot training. As a result, the company is well-prepared to serve the rapidly expanding community of drone pilots in India. India currently has approximately 50,000 to 60,000 registered drone pilots, and the recent Drone (Amendment) Rules 2023 are expected to further increase this number.
In addition to certification, Garuda Aerospace has forged partnerships with renowned organizations, including Lockheed Martin, Cognizant, and Amazon Web Services. Collaborations with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and BEML Ltd for joint drone manufacturing have allowed the company to adopt an asset-light model for improved profitability.
Furthermore, a subsidy received under the Tamil Nadu Government’s Agricultural Mechanization Scheme positions Garuda Aerospace to play a pivotal role in revolutionizing India’s agriculture ecosystem. The use of drones for crop productivity enhancement holds great promise.
With the support of government initiatives, innovative offerings, ambitious goals, and strong partnerships, India’s drone industry is poised for substantial growth, and companies like Garuda Aerospace are leading the way in this transformative technology sector.