The last 10 days have been very exciting for India’s space-tech story. On November 18, Skyroot Aerospace made the 'Prarambh' for India’s new-age rocketry and launched India’s first privately-built rocket. A week later, Pixxel and Dhruva hitched a ride on an ISRO PSLV marking another first. The many firsts for Indian space-tech startups in 2022 don't end there.
Excited to take off soon, a few days ago, Agnikul set up India’s first private rocket launch pad and mission control in the backyard of ISRO — the mother of India’s space programme. And, that speaks volumes — Indian space-tech startups have truly come of age.
Over 100 space-tech startups are looking to take off with half of them added in last year alone. Investors have started lining up at the launchpad too. Funding for Indian space-tech startups has gone up by five times from $22 million in 2020 to over $100 million in 2022.
But, founders will tell you, it hasn't been easy until the liberalisation of India’s space economy in 2020. Now a host of agencies — NSIL, In-Space, ISPA — are creating an enabling environment for private sector participation. A new space policy is also in the works.
The opportunity is big. Satellites are getting smaller and sharper and want a cheaper and faster ride-sharing option — an Uber or an Ola to space. More than 20,000 smaller and sharper satellites are estimated to be launched in the coming decade. At least 100 countries don't have a satellite of their own.
To tap the space, pun intended, Indian space-tech startups took the giant leap in 2022, and 2023 is going to be equally monumental as many look to start commercial operations.
CNBC-TV18 spoke to Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-Founder of Skyroot Aerospace; Moin SPM, Co-Founder of AgniKul Cosmos; Awais Ahmed, Founder & CEO of Pixxel and Chaitanya Dora, Co-Founder & CFO of Dhruva Space to discuss the road ahead for Indian space tech sector.
Watch video for more.