Delhivery Gets Govt Approval For Drone Deliveries, Manufacturing Drones


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Jul 08, 2024


Gurugram-based logistics giant Delhivery has received approval from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to establish a drone subsidiary. This move follows Delhivery’s May 2024 announcement of its plans to enter the drones and freight air transport services sector. The newly formed entity is named “Delhivery Robotics India Private Limited.”

Delhivery Gets Govt Approval For Drone Deliveries, Manufacturing Drones

Objective of the New Subsidiary

Delhivery Robotics India Private Limited is set to focus on several key initiatives:

  1. Advanced R&D in UAV Technology
    The subsidiary will conduct cutting-edge research and development in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. The goal is to achieve type certification and move towards the commercialization of drone technology.
  2. Drone as a Service (DaaS)
    The company will offer Drone as a Service (DaaS) to facilitate shipment movement and remote sensing operations. This service aims to enhance logistics efficiency and expand the use of drones in various operational contexts.
  3. UAV Pilot Training
    Delhivery Robotics will provide comprehensive UAV pilot training. This includes certifying internal pilots and obtaining licenses from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for ground operations deployment.
  4. Drone Manufacturing
    The subsidiary will engage in drone manufacturing, including the production and global sales of UAVs. This involves third-party manufacturing of composite airframe components, procurement, integration, quality testing, and flight trials.

Challenges in Drone Delivery in India

Despite advancements in drone technology, Delhivery’s CEO, Sahil Barua, has expressed skepticism about the commercial viability of drone delivery in India. He highlighted during a shareholders meeting that while drones can support various use cases such as surveillance and deliveries up to certain payloads, the commercial application for low-value items like T-shirts and pizzas remains impractical.

Subsidiary Financial and Operational Details

Delhivery Robotics India Private Limited will have an authorized share capital of Rs 5 crore. The subsidiary plans to outsource manufacturing and procurement of composite airframe components, along with quality testing and flight trials. The initiative into the drone segment is spearheaded by Delhivery’s portfolio company, Transition Robotics. Transition Robotics has developed a fixed-wing drone capable of carrying about a 4 kg payload over a distance of 40 km, a key feature in Delhivery’s strategy to enhance its logistics capabilities.

Conclusion

Delhivery’s establishment of Delhivery Robotics India Private Limited marks a significant step towards integrating advanced drone technology into its logistics operations. This move is expected to drive innovation in UAV technology and expand the company’s service offerings in the logistics sector.

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Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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