Reliance Industries has put together an aggressive plan to build its drone business which includes expanding manufacturing capacity five-fold, participating in the new drone production linked incentive scheme, and experimenting with limited logistics payloads to deliver goods.
The target is to become a key player in the expected $5 billion market in India by the end of the decade.
The drone business is being carried out through a Bangalore-based start up, Asteria Aerospace, in which Reliance has taken a majority stake.
Asteria is a subsidiary of Jio Platforms Ltd.
Neel Mehta, co-founder of Asteria, has an upbeat assessment of the global and Indian drone market.
“In the next two years, we expect the Indian market will be around $1 billion, up from the current $200 million, which will be about 4-5 per cent of the global pie.
Mehta says that with the government opening up the commercial drone sector in 2018 by lifting the earlier ban, the ratio between military and commercial drones will flip from 70:30 to 30:70 within the next two years.
Asteria estimates that there will be over 50,000-60,000 commercial drones in the skies in two years in India.