by Staff Correspondent
Lately we had a candid discussion with the Co-founder and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace on the significance of private players in revolutionizing the Indian space program, being one of our lines of discussion with the man. Excerpts encapsulated below from the interview.
Hyderabad’s aerospace startup, Skyroot Aerospace is on a run to capitalize the aerospace industry by raising a massive amount of investment worth $11 million in their first round of funding. In an exclusive telephonic interview with IADB, Pawan Kumar Chandana said that such investment will be a major boost towards the preparation and successfully bringing our ambitious project Vikram 1, into reality.
“In 2018, we raised $1.8 million, and within three year of span we are able to raise close to 500% of investments. This clearly indicates that we are able to gain trust in the market and within investors due to which we have investors like, Mukesh Bansal, Founder of Myntra & CureFit; Worldquant Ventures, Graph Ventures, Sutton Capital, Vedanshu Investments etc.” states, the Co-founder and CEO of the company.
“The amount of investment we have received is not just a mere coincidence but it’s rigorous hard work and the potential our team possesses. We were successful in conveying our vision to our “now investors,” shared Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-founder and CEO, Skyroot Aerospace with Indian Aerospace and Defence Bulletin.
Last year in December, we became the first Indian private company to test fire solid fueled rocket engine indigenously designed and developed. “It was built with advanced carbon composite structure in a completely automated process. A carbon composite case was challenging to design and manufacture and is five times lighter than steel,” added Chandana.
Skyroot’s founder is willing to scale up future projects and introduce some new and revolutionary ideas. “We are creating Vikram 1 as the most reliable and effective satellite carrier. The highlights of Vikram 1 are that it requires minimal range infrastructure, takes only a month to reassemble and ramp up the production, soon it will be done within a week. For the clients, it will be a great option if they will opt for Vikram 1 as it’s cost effective and really easy to use, and also needs less expense in reusing.”
While emphasizing on the prospect of private players in Indian aerospace market, Pawan applauded the Government’s move to allow private stakeholders to enter India’s space programs. “It took an hour. India’s space industry has huge possibilities and soon it will mark its impression in global theatre. Our goal is to create technology which can be cost effective and environment friendly. Government is keen to create a unique market which should be eco-friendly and must be cost effective.”
In 2020, the cabinet approved the newly formed Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), which acts as an arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Through policies and good regulatory practices, IN-SPACe, in consultation with ISRO, guides and promotes the private companies in their endeavor in space activities after assessing their needs and demands.
India’s space market is about $350 billion, and India’s holds less than 3 percent pie in it. “To acquire more shares in the global market it was necessary to have private players working all along ISRO. We have always given priority to cost effective projects which makes us different from others. Private stakeholders bring a lot of innovation and creativity to the industry,” added Chandana.
Skyroot’s co-founder informed that they are not going public in the next five years but they are looking forward to drawing more investment for their future projects. “We are targeting a $40 million investment in the coming years, and we are very optimistic towards achieving it. We are gradually building our man power at units to which we need capital. Also, our projects are impressive due to which so far we are able to draw investments,” added Chandana.
Delighted with the way India’s aerospace is unfolding, Mr. Pawan stated that he is really excited for the future the industry beholds. “Right now there are not many private companies in the aerospace business but the ones we have are really credible and they have huge future prospects. Even though Agnikul raised a similar amount of funding, then Pixel Space is doing really good. But currently we don’t acquire much stake in the global market, however Indian start ups have really nice goodwill which is a motivating and positive aspect,” concluded Skyroot’s co-founder.