Start Ups Are Here to Stay
These Are Essential For Moving Ahead
Do you remember ‘Interstellar’ and ‘3 Idiots’ and how both the movies featured drones? Now drones are entering real life through popular commercial applications. The Indian armed forces have been using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) for intelligence gathering and vigilance at international borders. But drones can be used for civil purposes like filming of aerial shots and agriculture management
In the recent past, startups have recognized the business opportunity in the commercial use of UAVs in India. Some players in the field are: Drona Aviation, a SINE IIT Bombay incubated company had played an important role in an unmanned aerial vehicle that was used during the Uttarakhand floods rescue operations.
Drona Aviation builds nano drone platforms for industrial applications. “We do this through our robust DIY nano drone Pluto. It has open source firmware which is used to customise the Pluto for very specific applications”. Founder of Drona Aviation Apoorva Godbole told Employment News about his journey of entrepreneurship, here are the excerpts of interview:
Question- How did you get idea for the business?
Answer- Our co-founder Prasanna Shevare has been working with drones for over 6 years now and Dinesh has been working with drones for over 5 years now. It was their idea to start a drones company. We realised that drones are not an end in themselves but a means to solving a problem. So, we decided to build a platform to help people use it to build problem solving drones.
Question- What was your mission at the outset?
Answer-To build a nano drones platform for industrial / civic / military applications.
Question- How many employees work in the enterprises?
Answer-There are three co-founders, three full time employees and same number of interns.
Question- What kind of services do you provide?
Answer- We provide a nano drone technology platform on top of which entrepreneurs can build their own problem solving applications.
Question- How do you advertise your business?
Answer- Entirely through word of mouth. Our product has advertised for itself all this time.
Question- To what do you attribute your success?
Answer- A very strong focus on building an amazing product with consumer's point of view was always in mind.
Question- what made you choose your current location?
Answer- IIT Bombay provides the perfect incubation - location at lower rent is a hub of intellectual property and a developing eco system for startups.
Question- what is the unique about your business?
Answer- We are the only nano drone manufacturers in India. We provide not only ready to fly drones but platforms on which researchers can conduct their experiments and entrepreneurs can build their applications and potentially their companies.
Question- What are the responsibilities as the boss of a firm?
Answer- I have responsibility to build the business channels for marketing the product, take care of HR requirements of Drona Aviation and drive the fund raising process for the company.
Question- What made you choose this type of business?
Answer- It is a technology product that solves real human problems. It is scalable and is helping build not only the company but an ecosystem of technical entrepreneurs.
Question- Does your company help the community where it is located?
Answer- We are working closely with a government agency for providing them with tech solutions that will reduce the risk to their lives and shows up as occupational hazard.
Question- If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Answer- Focus on the problem you are trying to solve. Funding and talent will follow.
Question- What are the two challenges you have faced in your business?
Answer- The lack of clarity in government regulations while operating with drones. It scared away the investors and customers in the beginning.
Question- What do you feel about the sustainability of start ups in India?
Answer-Start ups are here to stay. They are essential if India is to move out of being a developing economy to a developed economy. All the start ups need to do is to focus on India specific problems and provide solutions for the same.