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PM wants drones to deliver postal packages to remote areas
Agnishwar Jayaprakash, the 31-year-old Managing Director of the Chennai-based Garuda Aerospace, a Drones-As-A-Service (DaaS) startup, is on cloud nine after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Well-informed about drone usage, Modi wants drones to connect the remote areas of the country. Apart from delivery of medicines and others to people living in remote places, he also said drones could also deliver postal packages to them,” Jayaprakash told IANS.
“I was astonished over how hands-on he was on drones. He was keen on knowing the industry’s reaction to the recent policy initiatives. I said India will become the drone capital of the world soon. The Prime Minister also said the services offered by drones should be affordable,” he added.
Like e-commerce, fintech, online food delivery sectors, the revised policies will drive the Indian drone industry, he said.
Jayaprakash, who had created quite a splash in the international swimming pools to win medals for India, also told Modi about Garuda Aerospace’s drone activities in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency from which the Prime Minister was elected.
Jayaprakash met Modi on October 22 after clearing the Covid-19 test the previous day.
“I shared a brief on Garuda’s ongoing projects in NHAI, NTPC, Survey of India, SAIL & Drone Delivery of medicines, vegetables in Varanasi Smart City and ISRO to which the Prime Minister had insisted that Urban Air Mobility in geographically isolated areas and food delivery using drones are areas we need to work on to benefit the citizens,” said Jayaprakash.
Garuda Aerospace was incidentally in the news recently for getting SpaceX Founder and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to notice their New Solar Panel Cleaning Surya Drone and subsequently raised $1 million in Pre-Series A Funding from a UK-based fund.
According to Jayaprakash, Garuda Aerospace has about 300 drones and about 500 pilots and has a valuation of about Rs.400 crore.
The company that offers drone-based services like spraying of pesticides/disinfectants, industrial mapping and others has an order book position of about Rs 23 crore.
“We plan to expand our manufacturing capacity with the fresh funds. Presently, we can make about 25 drones per day. Apart from offering drone-based services, we also sell drones. Farmers in South India, Haryana and Punjab are buying our agriculture drones,” Jayaprakash said. IANS
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