Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Medicines and Biryani from the sky: Made-In-India drones witness growth post import ban

Declaring the Indian drone industry as a ‘sunrise sector’, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce, banned the import of drones in February. This has given a fillip to homegrown drone companies that are finding innovative uses for these unmanned aerial vehicles.

One of India’s leading drone companies Throttle Aerospace Systems (TAS) witnessed a 150% growth since the announcement. Even e-commerce companies like Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato have ventured into the drone delivery space.

Last year, Zomato acquired a drone startup TechEagle to build models that can help deliver essentials and possibly food in the near future.

RattanIndia’s drone company Neosky in association with TAS, is now planning to also supply drones for e-commerce and consumer-led initiatives besides defence. The companies have partnered with Dunzo, leading hospitals in India and even grocery delivery for Instamart, by Swiggy. At present, they are manufacturing 30 drones per month, aiming to go upto 45-50 units in the near future.

Consumer brands like Swiggy recently partnered with Garuda Aerospace and Throttle to launch doorstep deliveries for groceries through Instamart. Its trials have already begun across Delhi-NCR and Bangalore. Another startup Biryani by Kilo delivered Biryani to eight influencers post the launch of eight stores in Hyderabad.

As of now, the drone space in India is extensively being used in the defense sector and helping with delivery of average payload commodities.

“We can see consumer led drones picking up but before that we would need designated drone corridors by the government. As of now, drones would be extensively used in the defense sector or for average load deliveries. Though it is exciting to witness food being delivered by a drone, it is further down the future,” said Sarath Chandra Gudlavalleti, CEO of Neosky.

The government too had founded extended uses for drones. During the pandemic, a box weighing 12 kilos of medicines and 20 vials of vaccines was delivered to rural parts of Telangana through drones in an initiative called ‘Medicines from the Sky’.

The government is taking active steps to boost domestic manufacturing of drones. On July 6, 2022, India’s aviation ministry released the second provisional list of 23 beneficiaries of the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme for the drone industry.

14/09/22 Business Insider

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