Adani’s drone business

Adani Group’s Adani Defense and Aerospace division has acquired a 50% stake in General Aeronautics, a Bangalore-based drone startup. The startup specializes in developing robotic drones for agricultural applications such as technology-enabled crop protection services, precision agriculture, crop health monitoring, and AI-based yield monitoring.

In April of this year, Adani’s joint venture (JV) with Israeli company Elbit became one of the 14 beneficiaries under the Government of India’s PLI scheme for drone manufacturing.

Adani Group and its drone business

Ashish Rajvanshi, CEO of Adani Defense Aerospace, said the partnership would combine military and civilian purposes, while announcing a 50% stake in Adani’s general aviation. He added that the Adani Group’s military UAV capabilities will be integrated with the capabilities of Bangalore-based startups.

General Aeronautics was founded in 2016 by Abhishek Burman, Kota Harinarayana, and Anutosh Moitra. In a conversation with Analytics India Magazine, Burman said the partnership will help Adani Group expand production of General Aeronautics. “We have already developed a solution. It’s like having completed verification and market evaluation. We are ready for scale. And this market is very huge and the scope of expansion is very large. That’s why partners like them can help us grow quickly because they are so wide. The Adani Group already has a good infrastructure already available for UAV manufacturing. We hope to benefit from their large network and ground presence and make progress with the B2B or B2C model. “

It is interesting that the Adani Group’s defense forces have acquired a stake in General Aviation, demonstrating the potential for military production against it. However, Berman says they will continue to focus on the agricultural sector, but may diverge to civilian and military applications in the future.

The Adani Defense System was established in 2015. We provide drone-based solutions for military purposes. Its purpose is to help India emerge as the number one destination for defense manufacturing. In this regard, the company has also invested in MSME, an Indian startup incubator, to help absorb and build technology.

The Adani Group is exploring two revenue models: dealer-based and service-based. In the dealer-based model, the equipment is sold directly to the customer, in the latter case the equipment is paid and offered for a variety of services in collaboration with local entrepreneurs and institutions. According to the company, Rangarajan Vijayraghavan said in his statement that the dealer-based model will be used in the commercial drone sector and the service-based model will serve the farmers community.

Beneficiaries of government schemes

Interestingly, Adani-owned Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) has partnered with Elbit-ISTAR, an Israeli company that is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, which provides end-to-end monitoring, target acquisition and reconnaissance solutions, and is a joint venture called Vignan Technologies. Established a company. The joint venture will also include new facilities for research and development for the Indian and global markets.

JV is one of the 14 recipients of the PLI scheme launched by the Government of India. Under this scheme, the incentive for manufacturers of drones and drone components will be 20% of the added value the company brings over the next three years. According to the Ministry of Aviation, the eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme are that the drone company’s annual sales are 200 million rupees and the drone parts manufacturer’s annual sales are 50 rupees. In addition, it has an added value of 40% or more of sales.

Last year, the government introduced the liberalized drone rule 2021. This has eliminated some important approval requirements. One of the main updates is that the number of forms has been reduced from 25 to 5 and the price type has been reduced from 72 to 4.

Many companies, including the Adani Group and Reliance Industries Limited, are rushing to take advantage of these incentives. In 2019, Reliance Industries acquired a majority stake in Asteria Aerospace Pvt Ltd, a drone maker that develops drones for the military, mining, construction and agricultural sectors.

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