A company committed to manufacturing locally, Mydhili Aerospace is a good example of innovation brewing strongly in the young minds in India. While the company specialises in manufacturing drones for agricultural and delivery purposes, it aims to get a step ahead and also produce all components that go into the making of a drone locally, without relying on imported raw materials or parts.
The company’s Founder and CEO Yerramreddy Nivesh Reddy, in an interaction with Pratima Harigunani, shared how Mydhili came into existence, the distance it has covered and where it heading. He also talked about what spurs and what stops this segment’s trajectory. Excerpts from the interaction:
What triggered the idea behind Mydhili Aerospace? How difficult or easy was it to get where you are today?
My journey into this business began in my 11th class when I developed a keen interest in entrepreneurship. Initially, I envisioned selling agricultural drones, but extensive research led me to pivot towards manufacturing drone frames. This shift was driven by the high demand and a desire to reduce India’s dependence on Chinese drone components. The path was challenging, particularly due to limited capital from bootstrapping and difficulties in prototyping, especially with 3D printing. As pioneers in India’s drone frame manufacturing, we lacked high-end equipment initially. Looking ahead, our focus is on growth and innovation in the drone frame industry.
"Balancing security, safety, and surveillance concerns is a priority, and we are committed to adhering to stringent standards for responsible drone usage."
What progress areas are you most excited about?
One of our achievements includes the successful delivery of a drone with a payload capacity of 15 kg. While we encountered challenges during our initial order, we used these experiences to gain insights and effectively overcome obstacles. Our first drone model, named BARISH AD-01, has been completed, and we are currently developing the second drone frame, BARISH AD-02, which boasts enhanced specifications surpassing those currently available in the market.
What is so special about BarishAD-1?
Breaking new ground in drone manufacturing, BarishAD-1 is designed as a hexacopter, a configuration widely recognised for its exceptional flight stability, especially suited for agricultural and delivery applications. What truly sets BarishAD-1 apart is its impressive weight-to-lifting capacity ratio. Weighing in at just 16 kg, this drone boasts an impressive lifting capacity of 25 kg, a testament to its cutting-edge engineering.
The drone’s canopy has been meticulously crafted to optimise aerodynamic flow, ensuring enhanced endurance and performance. Its payload holder, designed with a sleek and streamlined airflow structure, adds to its efficiency. At the heart of our agriculture and delivery drone lies a sophisticated array of electrical components, including a navigation system, GPS, multiple sensors, high-quality cameras, programmable controllers and tools to facilitate autonomous flight. It opens doors for farmers seeking advanced agricultural practices, engineers engaged in surveillance activities and product shipping companies looking for innovative delivery solutions.
What sets your drones apart?
Our drone frames stand out due to their durability, ease of maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. We prioritise high-quality materials and design for longevity, making them rugged. Simplicity in maintenance ensures that users can easily keep them in top condition. The total cost of ownership is reduced, making our frames an economical choice for drone enthusiasts.
Can you share some details on the emphasis on indigenisation and the challenges you may have encountered there – or any boost from the Make-in-India impetus?
Indigenisation has been a central theme in our journey. We aimed to reduce reliance on foreign components and promote local manufacturing. However, this posed challenges, mainly related to capital constraints and prototyping difficulties. The Make-in-India initiative provided a catalyst by encouraging domestic production. It’s been a positive force driving us to contribute to
What role do indigenisation and 3D printing play in terms of costs, environmental impact, G2M speed, testing edge and so on?
Indigenisation and 3D printing have critical roles. They reduce costs by avoiding import expenses and also in prototyping, minimise environmental impact by promoting local manufacturing, accelerate Go-to-Market speed, and offer testing advantages. These factors combine to enhance the overall competitiveness of our products.
Do we lack the right equipment or the right applications, when it comes to drones in India?
In India, there’s a need for more advanced drone equipment and applications. While strides have been made, further development in areas like agriculture, surveillance, and disaster response can unlock the full potential of drone technology.
The Make-in-India initiative provided a catalyst by encouraging domestic production, a positive force driving Mydhili to contribute to this vision.
What kind of clarity or regulatory support can be helpful for players like you – and how can you balance security, safety, and surveillance concerns?
Regulatory clarity and support are essential for our industry. Clear guidelines and streamlined approvals can foster innovation. Balancing security, safety and surveillance concerns is a priority, and we are committed to adhering to stringent standards to ensure responsible drone usage.
We are excited about the future of our drone frame manufacturing business and the broader spacetech sector in India. We are dedicated to contributing to indigenous production, innovation and responsible use of technology.
Yerramreddy Nivesh Reddy
Founder and CEO, Mydhili Aerospace
By Pratima H