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Drone Technology and Job Creation: A Catalyst for Economic Growth

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By Arjun Naik, CEO, Scandron

The Indian economy continues to show exemplary resilience amid global headwinds and has become competent over the years to negate financial turbulence. It is further anticipated to witness 6 to 6.8 percent of GDP growth in 2023–2024, according to FinMin. With its potential to grow at a swift pace, India is poised to seize the opportunity that can act as a catalyst for economic growth—the drone revolution. According to a joint report by EY and FICCI, the drone and its component industry can further strengthen its indigenous manufacturing capability to US$ 23 billion by 2030.

This manufacturing power enhancement will not only support the & Make in India initiative but also create several jobs in various sectors, which will collectively support the nation’s mission to become a US$5 trillion economy.

India emerging as a hub of drone technology

In a bid to generate a significant amount of international demand, draw in investments, and foster job creation, the government of India has already launched a number of initiatives, including Drone Shakti, PLI, and more. This bold and methodical approach to promoting unmanned aviation, or drones, has been praised by a broad range of stakeholders and industries.

As a result, it is anticipated that this move will help India become a hub of drone technology while creating a myriad of job opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, surveillance, and logistics, among others. According to a new World Economic Forum report, putting drones at the centre of a technology-driven transformation of a nation has the potential to increase GDP by 1% to 1.5% and generate at least 5,00,000 jobs in India over the next few years in different sectors.

Agri-sector to require drone pilots

India’s agriculture sector has always been critical for the Indian economy as it caters to the livelihood of farmers and also ensures the food security of the whole nation. While the sector comes with its fair share of challenges, drones not only have the potential to transform the agriculture sector but also reduce the disparity in the employment-to-output ratio. According to the Ministry of Information Broadcasting, the drone sector is projected to add $3 billion to the agriculture sector while benefiting 10 crore farmers. It further projects that India will require 1 lakh drone pilots who will help farmers with a wide range of tasks such as crop mapping, soil analysis, irrigation monitoring, and more.

The manufacturing industry needs a skilled workforce
The government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ idea is reflected in its efforts to promote domestic drone production, which will lead to the establishment of factories producing drones and related components. These factories will deploy production lines that will have multiple tasks requiring explicit expertise. Furthermore, for designing, assembling, and commissioning activities, a workforce with a specialised skillset will be required in addition to specialised production line staff, including shop floor managers, engineers, and supervisors. On the manufacturing front, the nation has already planned to invest Rs 500 crore, which will result in the creation of 10,000 jobs and further strengthen the sector and the economy.

Rise in drone service technician jobs
In India, the drone market is predicted to expand between 2023 and 2028 at a CAGR of 10.23%, according to a study by IMARC Group. As the usage of drones in various industries is expected to surge, there will be a huge need for drone service technicians to address drone-related malfunctions and faults. In particular, these specialists will be needed to remove and reassemble parts in order to repair, test, and replace malfunctioning parts like sensors, motors, control boards, etc. With more innovations in drone technology, the level of technicalities will get significantly more complex, and the industry will be in dire need of specialists who not only know the intricacies of the technologies but are also experts in implementing different applications of drones.

All things considered
Drones today are increasingly being used across industries and in a wide range of fields, and the possibilities are almost endless. It gives India the chance to progress in its infrastructure, healthcare, logistics, agriculture, and military while also dismantling a number of procedural obstacles. By leaps and bounds, the nation is taking the lead in establishing a progressive ecosystem for the drone industry with a myriad of policies, incentives, and financial aid. As a result, the drone industry is on its way to boosting the economy of the country, with drones being a part of several domains contributing to a growing market size and employment creation.

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