DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations - a new age business

There is a lot of talk about drones currently. Drone applications span diverse sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, logistics, surveillance, and entertainment. Recognizing the immense potential of drones, the Indian government has been actively promoting adoption of Drones in various departments and industries. It has in recent times liberalised and set up a formal framework for development of the drone sector with schemes such as The New Drone Rules 2021, a PLI scheme, announcement of Drone Shakti in the Union Budget 2022 to boost or promote ‘Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS)’, promotion of the use of ‘Kisan Drones’ for crop assessment etc. Flying of drones has now been regulated and brought under DGCA, with DGCA issuing drone pilot licenses with a validity of 10 years. Certified license holders are eligible for employment in various sectors such as defence, mining, agriculture, entertainment etc. where applications of drones are increasing day by day.

With the current growth rate of the Drone Pilot Training Sector in India, the requirement has been estimated at 1,00,000 drone pilots until the year 2025. The country has been boosted by the recently opened DGCA Authorized Remote Pilot Training Organizations (RPTO) within the last financial year. As of 31st March 2023, there are 50 RPTOs that have been set up across multiple states to certify individuals for flying drones legally throughout the country. There are more than 4000 DGCA Certified Drone Pilots in India currently.

DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations Limited

DAIL claims to be a leading player in the Indian drone industry. The hype around the sector can be seen from the fact that the company came up with an IPO in December 22 at Rs.54 per share planning to raise Rs.33 crores and received applications worth Rs.6000 crores. The stock is now listed on the SME segment of the BSE.

I had a brief look at the company. Given below is an introduction to DAIL and some of my thoughts:

Brief Intro – business, location, promoter

The company is into drone pilot training, drone-based services such as surveys, processing of drone data and GIS training. The company is based out of Pune and promoted by Prateek Srivastava, a first-generation entrepreneur. DroneAcharya has collaborated with various educational institutions from India and abroad such as Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) in Pune, IIT Ropar, Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, Rashtriya Raksha University, Gandhinagar Gujarat, Whistling Woods International in Mumbai etc.

The company has completed training more than 350 DGCA drone pilots and 600 other drone and GIS related training. Company claims to have a 8.4 % share in DGCA Drone Pilot Certification and aims to achieve 20 % market share by the end of FY24.

Prateek Srivastava and his wife Nikita Srivastava are the promoters of the company. Prateek Srivastava is a first-generation entrepreneur who started as a GIS developer and later turned entrepreneur. He holds B. E. Degree in IT from Saurashtra University, Gujarat and M. E. Degree in Remote Sensing and GIS from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. the promoters hold 28 % in the company after the IPO. Ms. Nikita is an HR professional and is the CFO of the company. Amit Tatke, the Chief Trainer appears to be another key person in the company.

Business Segments

The business of the company can be divided into following segments:

Training: The company conducts a DGCA certified Drone Pilot course, as well as various other related courses such as Drone Building, Drones for Racing, Aerial Cinematography & Aerial Making, Implement python for GIS, industrial applications of UAV, Drone data processing etc. At the moment, their flagship 5-day DGCA Drone Pilot training course is costing Rs.64,900 (incl. 18% GST). You will get DGCA Remote Pilot Certificate which has a validity of 10 years.

Services: Services vertical provides consultancy services to Govt. & private organizations, reality capture data processing software, anti-drone solution for rogue UAV, UTM air traffic management solution with help of software i.e., UGCS Mapper, UGCS Pro, Reality Capture and Aerial Cinematography & Aerial Making. The company having boasts of dedicated Surveyors, UAV pilots, GIS analysts and LiDAR experts. Solutions from DroneAcharya also include multi-sensor drone surveys with high-quality service and outputs, seamless processing of drone and satellite data using robust, high configuration workstations, and customised web and mobile applications for specific Geospatial requirements.

Surveillance: Offers all sorts of land surveying and underwater services, data driven solutions for Power Lines and Utilities, Urban and Rural Planning, Oil and Gas Infrastructure, Roads and Highways, Mines and Quarries, Energy & Renewables, Roads & Highways, Urban & Rural Planning, Agriculture & Irrigation, Underwater Inspection and Underwater Bathymetry.

Others: Integrated drone solutions for Bathymetry, drone hows, Hydrography, industrial and archaeological surveys, along with Environmental Monitoring. It is also a reseller of underwater drone products from the Norwegian company Blueye Robotics. Furthermore, DroneAcharya has also partnered with Capturing Reality, a subsidiary of gaming giants Epic Games, as a premium reseller of Reality Capture, their flagship 3D photogrammetry software.

Currently most of the revenues are coming from India but company has planned a global expansion.


For financials of the company, click here: https://www.screener.in/company/543713/

Future Plans:

In order to grow fast, the company is expanding its presence through the franchise model. Presently it has opened 3 franchises at Jabalpur, Jaipur and Noida with a target of opening 25 more in the coming months. These franchises will use DroneAcharya’s curriculum, expertise, and support system, ensuring standardized training programs across the country. The franchise model will accelerate the growth of drone training centres, enabling a larger number of aspiring drone pilots to receive quality education. Besides the company planning to open more offices in the months to come as mentioned above.

Also, the company is planning to enter manufacturing of agricultural drones and drones for surveying and surveillance by setting up a manufacturing unit in Maharashtra.

Company has recently signed a MoU with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) which is one of the top universities based out of Bangkok, Thailand for setting up a drone school.

Management is guiding for revenues of Rs.45 to Rs.50 crore for FY24 with EBIDTA and PAT margins in line with FY23.

Overall impression (based on a first cut research):

  1. Main attraction here is that this is sunrise sector with a bright future. Very large opportunity size. Profit making company.

  2. You need a license to set up a drone training institute. To get a license, you need qualified drone trainers. This is an entry barrier into the training segment. The regulations for who can be a drone trainer are currently not clear, they are being framed.

  3. Promoter holding is just 28 % and may come down further is the company has to grow fast.

  4. Company is getting into manufacturing, but is manufacturing a profitable business? At a basic level drone making is simple and anyone can do it, so I am not sure if anyone can make money in it, unless one has some USP such as patented technology or a government license to be exclusive supplier etc. Here the CEO says in the services and consultancy segment, some element of customizations of the drone software and hardware is required. That is why getting into drone manufacturing will be beneficial for the company. This point needs to be probed deeper.

  5. Presently financials have a lot of holes. Like CCC is very high. Revenue has been booked but cash has not been received. Out of Receivables of Rs.11 crore, 25 % are o/s for more than 6 months. CFO is negative. No dividends paid so far.

  6. Not the best on governance parameters, if one is a stickler for the same. For example, CFO is promoter’s wife, same person becoming Chairman and MD, several financial and secretarial audit qualifications etc. But to be fair, being a small startup I would give them a benefit of doubt here but would look for improvement going ahead since they are now listed.

Overall, my impression of the promoters and the Chief Trainer (based on the media interviews) is positive. But I would be more keen on training providing a moat than the manufacturing business.

Sources of information: DRHP, Annual Report, Media interviews etc.

Important Links:
Company DRHP
Company website
Annual Report FY23

(Disclosure: No positions)


Nice Briefing.
I have a few questions -

  1. The proceeds oif IPO - 34 cr approx
    The company had mentioned the utilization of the proceeds towards purchase of Drones and accessories but till 31,March 2023 they have only utilized only 2 cr.
    Infact, they made an FD of 25 cr as mentioned in the Annual Report 2023

  2. They also have invested 10 cr in mutual fund.

Same here.
But why are they not utilizing the money received?Are they not clear of future expansions or plans?


Red flags -

  1. why is the recievables so high ? Company claims to be in the buisness of training.

  2. salary of the promoter couple looks to be too high for such a small company.

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Good to see a thread on this company .
We have seen the achievements of the company which is been reflecting in financials.
I believe on the growth in this sector.

As per the management commentary they will be in niche manufacturing segment under drone sector.

I will be looking forward for official communication regarding manufacturing of drones.

Invested small quantities and holding for long term.

One cent from my recent read on IdeaForge
DroneAcharya is getting into manufacturing – you need very skilled resources to work in the overall stack. Hardware gets assembled but the software part which go with the drone or the service part of the software engineering requires highly skilled engineers. If I look at 2023 Annual report they have mentioned Gridbots Technologies for manufacturing partners even if I look at the company’s capability they have worked mostly on the use case development not on the core manufacturing of drones. Based on my understanding company would not be doing more than assembling or use case development.

23 DGCA-authorised Remote Pilot Training Organisations certified in India, Drone-Acharya is one among them. If look at some big names Garuda Aerospace Private Limited too part of the 23 list. Any thoughts on why you think it is a moat?


@ca.ankitarathi I think it is too early to expect full utilization of IPO proceeds before March end which came in December. Wait for some time.

@Girish_Kolari I didn’t say it is a moat, but can become a moat, i.e., if they can build a good brand name by delivering quality training and manage good placements for their students using their industry connections. But I am not very optimistic on manufacturing.


What I see as Drone business is moving towards the DaaS(Drone as a Service) with this drone to give service for a use case it needs

  • Hardware(payloads, batteries, chargers, and communication system), software, service. On the pure hardware side India mostly imports and assembles components.
  • Software and embedded sub-systems, which includes the GCS software, which enables the controlling and management for our UAVs and autopilot sub-system, which enables remote control and autonomous completion of flights., in this space some of Indian players like IdeaForge have their own tech stack but every one don’t do this.
  • Solutions, which enable industry/application-specific software that enhances the value of our UAVs to the end customer.

With DaaS which is predominantly for enterprise services, the service provider has to provide specific use case specific customization to work. Let’s say you need agriculture drone service which needs to inspect crops which will change with crop type, like rice or wheat, now you want to inspect for pesticide need that get changed as type of crop and disease. This is why most of the services end work is getting predominantly now which is not too specialized etc it is more of IT service kind of work.

There are two subsegments internally in this ecosystem

  • Training - Pilots, software operators
  • Operation and maintenance

Why I am bit negative on the Droneacharya

  • DaaS gets mainstream and the pilot needs to come under the corporate team, most of the time end up having internal team or drone providers to provide training with the purchase.
  • If I look at companies like IdeaForge they are constantly improving the software which goes in the drone to help autopilot and fail safe mechanisms to return to its base as tech in its drones. This kind of tech will bring down pilot need for per Drone to more of an array of drones get operated in the control room.
  • As of now a lot of drones are getting imported which bring business for Droneacharya but as Indian drone companies get major share they will have service of training internally. This can be seen in IdeaForge.

With this thought in mind I don’t see how Droneacharya will grow exponentially high and become attractive.

It is just my thought.


They are guiding for 300% growth in revenues and profits in FY24. They are entering into drone manufacturing also.

What I am unable to understand is that their FY23 operating cashflow is hugely negative at 25cr. Not sure if they are over reporting P&L numbers.

Also promoter holding of just 28% doesn’t provide any comfort!!!

Any views?

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drone manufacturing - 2023 Annual report they have mentioned Gridbots Technologies for manufacturing partners. It would take another 2 years to have meaning full contribution even if they could come up with useful use case for the work they are doing.

revenue and cash flow @Chandragupta has explain on his post. I don’t have any more detail I could add to that.

promoter holding of just 28% – size of company I don’t like low holding.

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Their partnership with Tata’s is a key in their future growth.

If one has to understand their future plans it is better to watch their management interview available on YouTube.

Disc: invested small portion

We should be able to churn out around 5000-6000 pilots per year: Prateek Srivastava, DroneAcharya DroneAcharya: We should be able to churn out around 5000-6000 pilots per year: Prateek Srivastava, DroneAcharya - The Economic Times

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Superb interview and information by the management.

Key takeaways is

  1. They will be starting manufacturing

  2. Getting international niche Technology in drones to India

  3. 300% YOY growth in revenue and profit.

  4. Training 6000 yearly

Can you share the link of latest management interview?

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One good article in Business today

Arora: Whilst we have been investing a lot in the sector over the past few years, we have invested EFC (I) Ltd, Annapurna Swadisht, Droneacharya Aerial Innovations, Anlon Technology, EFC (I) Ltd, Remus Pharma and Crayon Advertising to name a few. Since these companies have got serious capital for the first time, one needs to be patient for returns as it takes time to deploy the capital and results to show up.

When are the results for this company any idea

SME segment company, only half yearly results.

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thank you for your quick response

Has anyone checked on Drone Destination Ltd vis a vis DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations?