Medicines and Biryani from the sky: Made-In-India drones witness growth post import ban

Medicines and Biryani from the sky: Made-In-India drones witness growth post import ban
  • Made-in-India drone companies are seeing a boost in sales post ban of drone imports by the government.
  • Consumer brands like Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo and Biryani by Kilo have started launching trials for delivery by drones.
  • Drones are being used for defense, consumer and delivery purposes.
  • Throttle, a drone manufacturing company based out of Bangalore, witnessed a 150% growth.
Declaring the Indian drone industry as a ‘sunrise sector’, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce, banned the import of drones in February. This has given a fillip to homegrown drone companies that are finding innovative uses for these unmanned aerial vehicles.

One of India’s leading drone companies Throttle Aerospace Systems (TAS) witnessed a 150% growth since the announcement. Even e-commerce companies like Dunzo, Swiggy and Zomato have ventured into the drone delivery space.

Last year, Zomato acquired a drone startup TechEagle to build models that can help deliver essentials and possibly food in the near future.

Medicines and Biryani from the sky

RattanIndia’s drone company Neosky in association with TAS, is now planning to also supply drones for e-commerce and consumer-led initiatives besides defence. The companies have partnered with Dunzo, leading hospitals in India and even grocery delivery for Instamart, by Swiggy. At present, they are manufacturing 30 drones per month, aiming to go upto 45-50 units in the near future.


Consumer brands like Swiggy recently partnered with Garuda Aerospace and Throttle to launch doorstep deliveries for groceries through Instamart. Its trials have already begun across Delhi-NCR and Bangalore. Another startup Biryani by Kilo delivered Biryani to eight influencers post the launch of eight stores in Hyderabad.

As of now, the drone space in India is extensively being used in the defense sector and helping with delivery of average payload commodities.

“We can see consumer led drones picking up but before that we would need designated drone corridors by the government. As of now, drones would be extensively used in the defense sector or for average load deliveries. Though it is exciting to witness food being delivered by a drone, it is further down the future,” said Sarath Chandra Gudlavalleti, CEO of Neosky.

The government too had founded extended uses for drones. During the pandemic, a box weighing 12 kilos of medicines and 20 vials of vaccines was delivered to rural parts of Telangana through drones in an initiative called ‘Medicines from the Sky’.

‘Laws for this sector are still being made’

The government is taking active steps to boost domestic manufacturing of drones. On July 6, 2022, India’s aviation ministry released the second provisional list of 23 beneficiaries of the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme for the drone industry.

Combined annual sales turnover of PLI beneficiaries in the drone industry reached ₹3.19 billion in 2021-22 from ₹880 million the previous year.

“A welcome change by the government was to stop drone imports which has boosted Make In India drone companies. Dividing India’s airspace into Red, Green and Amber zones has also helped. But laws for this sector are still being made as it is very new,” said Gudlavalleti.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has divided the Indian airspace into three zones- Green (no permission required), Amber (controlled airspace) and Red (no drones allowed).

The government also launched a DigitalSky platform in January 2022 for verification of Made in India drones.

The drone defender

Through small steps, the Indian government is also opening the door for commercial use of drones during disaster management and even economic mapping.

Beginning April 2022, all drone operators have been allowed to promote secure operations without needing multiple approvals by possessing a valid UIN. Throttle is one such beneficiary.

On Thursday, RattanIndia through their drone company Neosky assisted with manufacturing company Throttle launched a ‘drone defender.’ It was unveiled by Minister General V K Singh, MOS Aviation Ministry at Air Force Auditorium during the ‘Unmanned Aerial Systems India 2022’ event on September 13.

“This drone is 70% indegenious and launches a soft-kill against approaching rogue drones without any human intervention. Instead of using direct attack, this drone will pull down the attacker by shooting a net,” said Nagander Ramaswamy, CEO of drone manufacturing company TAS.

“We have acquired a 60% stake in Throttle and hope to build our capacity further,” said Gudlavalleti.

SEE ALSO: Can’t be locking horns with Zomato and Swiggy, says restaurant body
India to assume G20 Presidency for one year from December 2022; host over 200 meetings and MEA lists priorities
Harsha Engineers IPO opens today; grey market premium is at ₹210