In this episode of the State of the Economy podcast, Sheetal Bahl, a partner at Merak Ventures and growX Ventures, and Yashas Karanam, CEO and co-founder of Bellatrix Aerospace talk about India’s growth and innovation in the space tech sector.
Ranking 7th globally in terms of funding, the Indian space startup sector has seen significant funding growth, from Rs 28 million in 2020 to Rs 112 million in 2022, with Rs 62 million invested in the first half of the current year. This surge can be attributed to increased demand for space-based solutions, cost-effective satellite manufacturing, reduced launch costs, and advancements in supporting technologies like AI and 3D printing.
Public-private partnerships are driving growth in the space sector. Initiatives like privatisation of launch vehicles and collaborations with private companies are expanding opportunities. Government policies, such as the exception to GST, have further incentivised private space enterprises.
The podcast also delves into the potential benefits of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the space sector, encouraging foreign companies to set up operations in India and enhancing the country’s capabilities in critical areas like satellite technology.
Despite the sector’s promise, challenges remain. Limited investor interest at later stages of development is a concern, and the talent pool for space tech startups needs to grow. Policy clarity, simplifying the foreign direct investment (FDI) process, and addressing capital-intensive requirements are other key challenges. Moreover, India needs to catch up in terms of certain space technologies that are currently lacking.