India's emerging Drone Industries: Companies those are leading in setting up Drone Manufacturing plants in India

Today’s Head lines reads “Reliance, Adani-backed drone manufacturers among recipients of Type Certification from DGCA.
Type Certification is necessary for regulatory compliance as per Drone Rules 2021. It is also essential to comply with international ISO/IEC17065 standards and also for taking part in the government procurement process”.
(Copy of this article is attached at the end of this post).

This prompted me to do a little bit of deep dive in to the prospects of Drone industry in India.

In its push to the Make-in-India drive, the government is going all out to support domestic enterprises by tweaking its policies and regulations so that more and more products are manufactured within the country.

One such sector which is getting a lot of support and thrust from the government is the manufacturing of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

From its applications in agriculture, defence, law enforcement, surveillance, delivery services, worksite efficiency, private occasions and so on, the possibilities for the use of drones are endless. With the government showing its clear intent to make India a global hub for manufacturing of drones by 2030, the prospects for the growth of this sector are immensely strong.

According to a civil aviation ministry estimate, India’s drone sector will achieve a turnover of Rs 12,000-15,000 crore by 2026, from about Rs 80 crore now.

Drone Rules

Compared to the previous rules, Drone Rules 2021 have abolished several forms and permissions to encourage the growth of India’s drone industry. Earlier, the process involved drone operators and manufacturers to fill 25 forms, which have now been reduced to only five, and the total number of documents have also been reduced considerably.
With the new rules in place, the security clearance and lengthy approvals comprising unique authorisation number, operator permits, drone port authorisation etc are no longer required and this will facilitate the growth and encourage more players to come.

Also, the airspace over which one can fly a drone has now been increased to almost 85 percent of India’s total air space, a six-fold increase from before.
Although the airspace has increased, there is a slight catch as the new rules state that every drone operator, even if it’s for hobby purposes, must register with the DGCA.

Given the huge demand and market growth, the number of drone start-ups in the country has jumped 34.4 percent between August 2021 and February 2022. India now boasts of 220 drone startups

The civil aviation ministry has recently made a lot of amendments to the drone laws/rules applicable in the country. The government has done away with the requirement of obtaining a remote pilot certificate for flying small to medium sized drones of up to 2 kg for non-commercial purpose.

PLI Scheme

The PLI (performance linked incentive scheme) launched by the government in August 2021 will not only help encourage domestic players to play a pivotal role in the development of this sector but will also reduce country’s dependence on imports.

The PLI scheme, which has an outlay of Rs 120 crore spread over three years for drone manufacturers, has also put a ban on the imports of drones.
A few months back , the Govt had released the list of 23 beneficiaries under Drone PLI schemes ( list attached at the end of the post )

China plus

Due to the supply chain disruptions witnessed across the world following the pandemic, all major global organisations are moving to a “China plus” strategy and India stands to gain immensely due to this shift. China is one of the biggest suppliers of drones worldwide but as seen in many industries, the Chinese drone poses risk of data security as the data goes to the Chinese servers in China. Indian companies are gaining preference now because of this security concern.

Given the huge demand and market growth, the number of drone start-ups in the country has jumped 34.4 percent between August 2021 and February 2022. India now boasts of 220 drone startups.

Heightened deal activity

The sector is generating immense interest from businesses, both big and small, and some of the top businesses houses in India have bought stakes in some of the companies engaged in the manufacturing of drones.

Reliance Industries had bought significant stakes in SankhyaSutra Labs (in 2019) and Asteria Aerospace (in 2021). DCM Shriram had acquired 30 percent stake in Zyrone Dynamics, a drone maker based in Turkey. RattanIndia and Infosys are the other companies which have stakes in drone manufacturing entities respectively named as Urban Drone logistics (USA) and IdeaForge-A Mumbai based start up promoted by Ankit Mehta, M.Tech in CAD from IIT- Mumbai. Gautam Adani led, Adani Enterprises bought 50 percent of General Aeronautics in May 2022.

Drone stocks in listed space

The new regulatory changes will expand the industry and bring in more players. There are few stand alone listed players in the manufacturing space like the state owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Paras Defense & Space Technologies, Zen Technologies, Rattan India enterprise etc. Apart from this many others listed companies which have already acquired stake in different start-ups… these are Reliance, Adani, DCM Shriram , Dhanuka Agritech, Coromandel international, Info edge , Zomato and the list is getting expanded day by day.

BEL could be a major beneficiary because of its strong technological and research set up. Similarly,Zen Technologies which is a defence equipment and drone manufacturer. “Zen Technologies may be able to capture market share quickly given they already have the supply chain set up and so also Paras defence. Solar Industries has created a 100% subsidiary named EEL to manufacture Defence Drones equipped with ammunition- it is purely a defence play. EEL’s amunitions & explosive war heads can even be fitted to other Defence Drones manufactured by other companies ! And EEL’s Drones - both offensive and defensive- anti drones system have already been tested at Ladakh .

However some of these stocks like Paras and Zen stock prices have sky rocketed and so also the stock price of Solar Industries.

However, there are Some contrarian views about the sector for now “Contrary to popular opinion, pure-play drone companies are bad businesses as they are not technology companies but B2B service companies which have some limits to growth"

With so many start-ups and so many players intending in to Drone business , it would be highly competitive and there could be consolidation in the industry and we need to see which are those companies would finally survive. If one can analyse & predict the winners in space , it may make sense for investment in this space.

Invested in some of the companies named above…please do your own assessment before investing.
The information compiled from various sources such as Money control, Equity master, KPMG and various other articles.



The Indian Navy will soon have ‘Varuna’, India’s own first human-carrying drone

The drone has been developed by Pune-based Indian startup – Sagar Defence Engineering. Explaining the features of the drone, Sagar Defence Engineering founder, Nikunj Parashar said ‘Varuna’ can fly for 30 mins with a range of 25-30 km.

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Very detailed analysis sir!! Indeed its a sunrise sector & we need to keep an eye on this sector!
I was too looking for a good investment opportunities in this space but as you said many of the listed entity already had a huge run but there is one microcap co.named “Ucal fuel system” which grabbed my attention. Its aerospace division is into Drone sector (or thats what their website said) I havent done any detailed research yet but have you studied this co.? please share your views!!


Very intersting question !:slightly_smiling_face:
Being a mechanical engineer and Experience in working with Auto Industry, I am very much familiar with this small cap company named Ucal Fuel systems.
Ucal fuel systems was originally known as Carburettors limited based out of Mount Road Chennai and decades back I had visited their plant. The company is 60 years old and is a leader in Carburettors and fuel injection systems for 2 wheelers and some parts to 4 wheelers OEM. Even today 60% of their revenue is from 2 wheelers.
Seeing that Carburettor and conventional Petrol and Diesel technology are gradually becoming redundant , they have diversified in to Drone / aerospace.
They seem to have created a new division called " Ucal technology" for designing Drones from concept stage to manufacturing and with all the three types - micro, small, medium. This is a recent creation and I find they have recruited a team consisting of well qualified and experienced Aeronautical engineers from IIT’s M.Tech , PH.D. etc - I don’t have doubt on the capability of the team.
In fact they have displayed all three types of Drones in their website. This looks quite promising. But I could not find the list of clients / customers in the website. And whether they are involved in any one of the 200 drone starts ups registered with Govt as of today and whether Ucal technology is one of the beneficiaries of the PLI. Or they may not have applied for PLI…
I did not find its mention in any of the articles / digital media about its Drone venture except that you took the name

I would like to keep an watch on this interesting and promising company with respect to its Drone venture


One more Company which I found interesting in this space - Magellanic Cloud Ltd

This latest Presentation is in detail

Please share your view!!


New discovery ! :slightly_smiling_face:
Worth keeping it in watch list !

Army to float tender (RFP) for precision strike Drones !

Though i am not a defence expert, but my guess is that perhaps only HAL/ BEL from PSU can supply these kind of drones. From Pvt sector , Solar Industries drones have already been test fired at Ladakh.
Paras defence could be another candidate !

Army to get drones for precision strikes | India News - Times of India

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Indian Army floats Tender to buy 363 Drones in order to boost Border Security-Drones should have minimum indigenous components @ 50-60%

generally IT companies have employees reviews on glassdoor. But this company does not have any reviews!! Leadership team have only one person name!

IdeaForge - A tale about a prominent Drone Startup in India.

There are not many listed companies in the exploding Drone market. The interesting part of the Drone start-up’s is that there is no dearth of Financiers and all listed bluechip companies are picking up stake in these promising start-ups.

One such prominent startup in the unlisted space is ideaForge, promoted by Ankit Mehta CEO and co-founder of ideaForge. Ankit completed his B.Tech and M.Tech (Dual Degree, Specialization: Computer-Aided Design and Automation) in 2005, from IIT-Bombay

Founded in 2007, ideaForge has over 15 years of research and development (R&D) history and it owns more than 20 global patents.

It dominates the segment of Security and Surveillance with a 90% market share in India. It’s products are also being exported.

The Indian military, Adani group, L&T, IOC, Survey of India, Indian Railways, among others are its notable customers.

Back in 2016, Infosys had first invested in ideaForge to focus on unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV solutions (drones).

Five years later in 2021, Infosys made another investment of US$ 1 million or Rs 72 m in ideaForge.

This year in April, ideaForge raised another US$ 20 m in a Series B funding round in which Infosys also participated.

The drone startup continues to ride high on growth prospects as it has a strong order book.

Recently, it overtook competition Tata and Israeli defence contractors Aerospace Industries and Elbit to receive a big order from the Indian army.

According to the company, one of ideaForge’s drones takes off every six minutes, in the service of either the defence and security establishment or commercial users like oil companies, Indian Railways, or conglomerates like Adani and L&T.

If the company does get listed in the future, Infosys can make a killing as it has a stake of over 20% in ideaForge.

Discl: For general Information only , compiled from
I had invested in Infosys as an IT company which has given me good returns over last 3 years. But I now discover that IT companies like Infosys are sitting on Surplus cash which they keep deploying as investments in dozens of such futuristic start up’s which could result in to value unlocking in future.
it is not an investment advice. please do your own assessment before investing.


With India’s drone sector set to reach a turnover of Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore by 2026, from about Rs 80 crore now- How Drone startups are gearing up to meet the Talent Demand !

Read more at:

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from the financial statements, i see that Ucal Fuel systems has below subsidiaries, but Ucal Technologies is not a subsidiary. So how does one invest in Ucal Technologies? is there a separate listed company?


I recently invested in a startup PDRL through Tyke

Kindly write about the TYKE platform.

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Tyke is a platform for startups to raise money through crowdfunding … this was my first one … you can go through all the business plans and you have a Q&A with the founders, and then you can invest if you choose …


I have so many questions.
Do you get the shares in demat account? What do you buy CCP, CCD or CSOP? What is the transfer mechanism? What is the minimum amount you can invest?


Do you get the shares in demat account?
Aveek : No these are startup in pre-IPO stage … these are “Stock Appreciation Rights (SAR)” they are legally tenable documents had my CA friend check it

What do you buy CCP, CCD or CSOP?

What is the transfer mechanism?
These are non-transferable …

What is the minimum amount you can invest?