Home Business Top Indian drone companies to watch in 2023

Top Indian drone companies to watch in 2023

Drones can be used in industries such as agriculture, healthcare, tourism and media.

As you may be aware, the use of drones has increased rapidly in the last few years. Referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), these types of aerial vehicles are used in many different applications, ranging from industrial surveillance to delivering packages.

The technology has caught the attention of Indian companies as well. This is what many companies have done after the Government of India liberalized its drone policy in July 2021 Drones entered space.

As per the policy, the use of drones is no longer confined to the defense sector. It can be used in other industries such as agriculture, healthcare, tourism and media.

Then in September 2021, the government announced the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme for drones. It also encouraged companies to invest in this sector.

Earlier this year, we wrote to you about Top Indian Drone Companies To see in 2022. While this list is still correct, we have amended the list to add companies that may be ones to watch in 2023.

Here are the companies you should keep an eye on.

#1 Bharat Forge

First on our list is Bharat Forge, the largest forging company in India.

The company manufactures forged and machined parts for the automotive, aerospace, mining, oil and gas, marine and power industries.

It is the second largest forging company globally in terms of volume and revenue.

To reduce its exposure to the cyclical automotive industry, it has acquired several businesses to diversify into the defense, locomotive, power and aerospace industries.

One of the companies it has fully acquired is Kalyani Strategic Systems (KSSL). KSSL is engaged in the field of development and deployment of defense electronics, and systems integration for defense products and components.

KSSL recently unveiled its Drone Bharat 150, a multi-payload, variable mission drone indigenously developed by the group.

The water and dustproof Bharat 150 can be used in temperatures ranging from -30°C to 65°C with an average speed of 50 kmph. It can operate up to 1,000 meters above the ground.

The X-8 configuration drone is already being tested by the Indian Army in high altitude areas in Ladakh. The management of the company is optimistic about its performance and expects early penetration.

Apart from this, the financial condition of Bharat Forge is sound. The debt to equity ratio of the company is 1x. The return ratio has also remained stable with return on equity (ROE) at 15.4% and return on capital employed at 11.5%.

#2 L&T

Second on our list is L&T.

The company is a multinational conglomerate primarily engaged in providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) solutions in key sectors such as infrastructure, power, information technology and defence.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has entered into an agreement with IdeaForge, a drone manufacturer, to offer drones and associated systems for defense use.

Both companies will combine their strengths to offer high-tech, integrated drone solutions to enhance security and surveillance. They will also introduce anti-drone solutions to combat the threat of malicious or unintended use of drones.

In addition, the company has signed an MoU with NewSpace Research & Technologies (NRT) to develop a new range of submarine launched drones to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy.

Submarine launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a relatively new concept, with few countries around the world having the capability to operate such systems. They are also a complex design and development project, given the drone needs to navigate through water before it can take off.

Having worked extensively on Indian submarines, L&T brings its significant competence in underwater systems to the project.

L&T has guided for 12-15% growth in order inflow over the coming decade. With a favorable government tender conversion ratio, the company is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.

The financial figures of the company also put it in good stead. Despite operating in a capex heavy industry, the debt equity ratio of the company stands at 1.6x. Its return ratio is also stable with RoE at 10.2% and RoCE at 11%.

#3 Bharat Electronics

On the third place in our list is Bharat Electronics.

The company is an Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company that caters to the specialized electronic equipment requirements of the Indian Defense Services.

Bharat Electronics is also eyeing the drone space. In November 2021, the company signed a deal with US drone delivery firm DroneDeck to build smart drone delivery mailboxes for the latter.

The company recently announced that it is developing a tethered drone that is suited for applications that require high endurance.

This can prevent attacks like the attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station in 2016. The UAV system can also be used for aerial survey and intelligence gathering.

It is also developing a frontline drone named Hexacopter-20. The Hexacopter-20 is a twenty kg UAV with a two-stroke internal combustion engine. It can fly for 3.5 hours with a 2 kg payload.

Bharat Electronics has grown at a steady pace without taking any debt. The return ratio of the company is more than 20 per cent.

#4 Paras Defense

Paras Defense is at the fourth position in the list.

The company is primarily engaged in the design and development of defense and aerospace engineering products and solutions.

Through its subsidiary Paras Aerospace, Paras Defense has tied up with some unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturers in Israel, Latvia and Italy. This is expected to help the company access state-of-the-art solutions.

The company currently has a large number of drones in several different varieties on offer for the next financial year.

Apart from drones, the defense and space engineering company is also offering drone cameras. Recently, the company has received an order for 65 drone parachutes from New Space, a Bengaluru-based company.

Paras Defense is a beneficiary of the PLI scheme and has been shortlisted by MoCA in the category of drone component manufacturers among others.

The debt to equity ratio of the company is low at 0.07 times. While ROE and ROCE stand at 9.2% and 12.4%, respectively, the company has a healthy operating profit margin of over 25%.

#5 Zen Technologies

Last on our list is Zen Technologies.

The company designs, develops and manufactures combat training solutions for training of defense and security forces.

The group is the sole manufacturer in India for simulation training equipment and anti-drone systems.

The company has bagged an order worth Rs 1.6 billion from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the supply of Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CUAS).

This is the company’s first major order in the anti-drone space. The management of the company is confident of securing additional orders in future.

Along with other orders, the total order book stands strong at around INR 4.5 billion as on date.

Although the company has had some fluctuating years in profits and sales, its debt has been reduced to almost zero.

conclusion

According to a report by EY-FICCI, the drone industry is expected to increase India’s manufacturing capacity to around US$ 23 billion (1.87 tn) by 2030.

Although at a nascent stage, the industry has a wide scope and looks quite promising. Imagine the use cases of drones for transportation, agriculture, law enforcement, surveillance and defense.

However, before you dive into the world of drone investmentMake sure you know what you are doing.

All investments come with their own risks and rewards, so pay attention to the markets, read the fine print, and know exactly what you’re getting into before pulling the trigger.

(Disclaimer:This article is for information purposes only. This is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such,

This article is syndicated equitymaster.com

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