Drone Technology By Indian Startups is Revolutionising Industries

Among the various industries using drone technology, construction, real estate, e-commerce, agriculture, energy, and cargo services have shown the highest adoption and compound annual growth rates.

In this context, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing commercial drone markets globally, according to the Global Drone Market Report 2022-2030. The drone industry in India is projected to reach INR 120-150 billion (USD 1.63-2.04 billion) by 2026.

Drones can be applied in diverse fields in the innovation ecosystem. These fields include defence, space, healthcare, public safety, transportation, logistics, citizen engagement, and agriculture. Indian drone startups offer comprehensive Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions and consultancy across diverse sectors and industries. AI is crucial in enabling autonomous flights for drones, eliminating the need for human intervention, and covering large areas to perform tasks with enhanced efficiency.

For example, the Hyderabad-based startup 10infinite provides a wide range of products, services, and solutions, including drone survey and mapping services for precision agriculture.

However, the tech solution is being applied across sectors like urban planning and planning infrastructure, telecommunications, railway lines, renewable energy projects, natural resources exploration, and oil & gas operations. Drone technology also caters to delivery services, defence technology solutions, manufacturing support, training, and educational programs. Indian startups have established themselves as versatile players, serving multiple sectors and areas with their expertise.

Enhancing Farming with Drone Technology











Using drone technology in agriculture significantly benefits farmers, and it’s a key focus area for governments globally. Autonomous drones can monitor crops and identify potential issues like pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. The real-time data empowers farmers to address these challenges, promptly improving yields and reducing costs. These drone tech solutions come from the 200-plus robust Indian drone startup ecosystem. Implementing drones decreases the wastage of pesticides and fertilisers, owing to their precision capabilities using AI.

Using drones leads to lower spending on manual labour for spraying and fertiliser application. The benefits extend beyond economic advantages. The Indian government has introduced initiatives like the Kisan Drone Yatra to minimise human exposure to hazardous chemicals.

The drones can also help farmers monitor crop health, analyse nutrient levels, and assess soil moisture content. Startups like Daybest provide services through assistance with scientific research and emergency response.

The Union government’s promotion of drone use in the agricultural sector is set to create significant employment opportunities for drone pilots to drive economic growth. The government hopes to develop lucrative employment by training drone pilots for India’s emerging drone market.

Indian startups have a significant role to play in driving this growth in the economy. Earlier this year, Garuda Aerospace, a drone startup based in Chennai, became the first company to receive the government’s agricultural drone subsidy. The subsidy aims to support the adoption of agri-drones in the farming sector. The startup offers valuable assistance to farmers in crop management and monitoring.

Most startups in the DaaS space provide crop monitoring as a service and produce drones for farmers. Crop monitoring enables farmers to effectively assess the health of their crops and identify specific areas that require water or fertilisers. By using these drones, farmers can streamline the process of applying pesticides and fertilisers to their crops, reducing the need for manual labour and significantly enhancing operational efficiency. Another startup, Senseacre, provides weed and pest detection, crop monitoring and other services.

Drone Technology Reshaping Logistics











Drones are pivotal in logistics as global e-commerce grows and warehouses scale up proportionally. Today, tech solutions, such as drones, aid inventory management processes.

From managing inventory at a warehouse or a factory to delivering groceries and cargo, the Indian logistics sector leverages the potential of drones. The use of drones in warehousing operations is driven by technological advancements in visual-based navigation and sensors, which have enabled the indoor applications of drones.

Drones are pivotal in automated inventory checks and intralogistics within warehouses and factories. The Indian drone startups provide innovative solutions across various aspects of the logistics sector. Redwing Labs is a startup specialising in developing and operating autonomous drone logistics systems.

IoTechWorld, another startup, has successfully engineered a drone with a payload capacity of 10kg. Meanwhile, TechEagle, a drone logistics airline startup, has obtained government approvals from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights for package deliveries across different regions in India. TSAW Drones, on the other hand, focuses on enabling point-to-point drone delivery supply chains in both urban and remote areas, including rural locations.

The application of drone technology is also making a notable impact on healthcare logistics. Drones provide a reliable and efficient solution for delivering medical supplies to remote and inaccessible areas. By overcoming terrain obstacles and enabling rapid delivery, drones play a crucial role in ensuring timely access to healthcare. Integrating drone technology in healthcare logistics represents a significant opportunity for digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

Boosting Efficiency and Productivity in Construction

A McKinsey report suggests that the construction industry and related spending account for 13 per cent of the global economy’s GDP. In India, the construction sector is a massive employer, accounting for 7.60 per cent of the country’s GDP.

While other sectors have steadily improved productivity at significant levels even as technology improved, the construction industry’s annual productivity growth increased by only one per cent annually over the past 20 years, suggests the McKinsey report. The scenario is similar in India.











Infusing drone tech solutions into the construction industry can help significantly improve construction project timelines while reducing the need for capital investment and skills requirements. The ability to capture high-resolution videos makes them ideal for land surveying for construction companies. Drones can help increase efficiency, reduce expenses and improve safety standards in the time-consuming and labour-intensive land surveying process. Drones can leverage the power of data analytics to provide construction firms with improved data accuracy for better decision-making.

Hyderabad-based startups like Drogo, indrones¸ vyomikdrones provide site survey and site monitoring as a service aimed at the construction and other infrastructure-heavy sectors like mining, Oil and gas. But these startups have also come with Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions using drone data to help manage construction activity efficiently.

The drone industry in India is a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector, with numerous disruptive innovations currently being explored and tested at innovation hubs like T-Hub. Such hubs are ecosystem enablers, providing a nurturing startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs to develop and refine drone products and solutions. While the journey towards the widespread adoption of drone technology is still in its early stages, drones are already making a significant impact across various industries and sectors globally and in India.