US and Canada ought to be the top go-to-destinations for Indian startups offering spacetech solutions, said Dhruva Space’s Nekkanti
Most attendees of TMS 2023 attributed the growth of the ecosystem to the availability of more capital and government reforms
Home to more than 120 spacetech startups, the Indian commercial spacetech industry is projected to grow to $77 Bn by 2030
The homegrown spacetech brigade firmly believes that Indian startups should vie for global markets from the very day of their inception.
Speaking at Inc42’s The Makers’ Summit, the cofounder of Dhruva Space, Sanjay Nekkanti, and Pixxel’s Awais Ahmed opined that it was important for Indian spacetech startups to look for customers across the globe to pad revenues.
While noting that India was still an exciting market, Ahmed added that homegrown spacetech startups had a technological moat that could be leveraged globally.
Chiming in, Nekkanti said that India offered many lucrative benefits for startups taking baby steps in the spacetech domain. Pointing out that it was important for founders to keep a lookout for global clients from the outset, Nekkanti said that Indian spacetech companies could benefit highly from a global presence.
The Dhruva Space CEO noted that North American markets of the US and Canada ought to be the top go-to-destinations for startups offering spacetech solutions. He added that there was plenty of scope from emerging markets such as the Middle East and Australia which were also emerging as top consumers of space-related products.
Along the same lines, Skyroot cofounder Naga Bharath Daka also said that the startups should focus on how to scale tier products to other markets, adding that Skyroot was focussed on sprucing up and scaling its presence outside India in the next five years.
He expects more unique spacetech products to be built for the world from India.
The Indian Spacetech Take Off
On what was driving the ecosystem, most of the attendees attributed the growth of the ecosystem to the availability of more capital and government reforms.
Ahmed said that previously startups depended only on government contracts and grants and that a slew of changes undertaken in the past few years helped streamline the burgeoning arena.
“Customers are key to any business. Previously, it was only limited to domestic players and government agencies but with the opening up of the space, we are now witnessing military and private enterprises entering the game as well. This is a huge arena now,” Awais added.
Noting that the traditional satellite manufacturing ecosystem was lagged by longer waiting times and unreasonable pricing, Bharath said that the new breed of startups was building vertical solutions with quicker turnaround times and that too at economies of scale.
With the spacetech ecosystem for more advancements and use cases, the founders said that they expected more investment to flow in as startups continue to build groundbreaking products.
The Way Forward
Meanwhile, all startup cofounders had their take on what could be the future of India’s spacetech industry. While Bharath set his bets on the 2030s being the decade of solving novel problems such as spacetech tourism, Ahmed said that massive opportunities lay in manufacturing space hardware such as solar panels for satellites.
Most agreed that the space was headed in the right direction but also called on budding spacetech entrepreneurs to find their niche and products before venturing into the domain.
Despite 2022 being a gloomy year for the Indian startup ecosystem, it turned out to be a breakout year for the homegrown spacetech domain. Many startups raised large amounts of funding as local startups began launching satellites and rockets into space.
Home to more than 120 spacetech startups, the Indian commercial spacetech industry is projected to grow to $77 Bn by 2030.