In Conversation with Agnishwar Jayaprakash: The Man behind Garuda Aerospace

I have always been interested in understanding and investing in technologies that can help achieve the SDGs 2030 and drones, I figured, was one crucial factor in this direction!

Agnishwar Jayaprakash

Chennai-based Drone Startup Garuda Aerospace founded by Agnishwar Jayaprakash has taken the limelight with its role in the drone-based COVID19 sanitization project. The company which came into being with Agnishwar’s vision of making life easier and better with drones has played a crucial role in the disinfection of cities all over India. Garuda Aerospace rules the drone industry and has helped with so many issues including the deadly locust attacks in India. The drone company is also working towards helping the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. In conversation with Agnishwar, we get to know more about Garuda Aerospace and the potential drones have to save the world!

Chennai Insider: Give us a brief on Garuda Aerospace

Agnishwar: Garuda Aerospace is an ISO 9001 company and has executed several government orders over the past 4 years.

Garuda was selected as one of the top 10 socio economic innovations on Oct 24th 2016 by the CEO of NITI AAYOG Mr. Amitabh Kant who presided over the UN day celebrations.

Garuda Aerospace has been deemed the Uber & trivago of the drone industry with its capability to scale, provide quality service & execute orders under severe emergencies such as Chennai Floods 2015, Cyclone Vardha 2016, Kerala Floods & the Corona Virus pandemic. It is solely because of our ability to serve our clients even during emergencies that we have established sustainable business over the years with B2G & B2B segments. Garuda Aerospace is one of the very few aerospace companies which is ISO 9001 Certified. Our Technology has been validated by the CBRE Group, Inc. which is an American commercial real estate services and investment firm. More recently we have become the market leaders in not just providing sanitization services to combat surface based transmission of COVID19 by both governments and corporates but also to combat the deadly locust attacks in India.

Chennai Insider: What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?

Agnishwar: As a lover of technology and innovations, I felt that drones were the way to go! Drones are the present and the future! I have always been interested in understanding and investing in technologies that can help achieve the SDGs 2030 and drones, I figured, was one crucial factor in this direction! It’s a technologically and financially intensive industry but I also wanted to focus on the Make-In-India concept and give more opportunities to those in India. Our drones can be used for aerial mapping and monitoring of different terrains that cannot be accessed by humans, to collect data, to protect wildlife by installing loudspeakers on our drone to create noises that will save wildlife from dying on railway tracks and such, monitoring and surveillance for law and order purposes, coaling and mining purposes, carrying loads to be transported, agricultural purposes like spraying pesticides, string drones for electrical wiring purposes, monitoring wind turbines, now more recently COVID related sanitization and to combat locust attacks.

Chennai Insider: Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this?

Agnishwar: I was mainly focusing on education and philanthropy before starting Garuda, through Agni College of Technology, Ignite India and Agni Foundation. Agni College of Technology is one of the most unique engineering colleges in Chennai that has over 20 industry powered labs to train students and I have created the 300 STARTUPS ecosystem to bring out women CEOs from among the students of the college. Ignite India is an initiative that has benefited high school students from across 7200 schools all over India, it is a national level science and innovation platform for students to come share their new latest technological innovations and ideas and if the projects are selected, I even help incubate them! Agni Foundation does charity work to help uplift and support the under privileged communities in Tamil Nadu. Our most notable initiative is Project Freedom where we fund students to pursue their higher education and provide scholarships worth upto 5 lakhs and 500 students have benefited from the same over the years!

Chennai Insider: Where is Garuda Aerospace based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?

Agnishwar: Garuda is based out of Chennai but we have built a pan India presence with our pilots and managers trained from all over India, so that we can quickly deploy our drones wherever needed as quickly as possible! Chennai is where the assembly facility is and Tamil Nadu government has been incredibly supportive of our ideas and Tamil Nadu in fact became the first state in India to use drones for COVID sanitization related purposes and such quick adaptation to changes is what makes Chennai the ideal start up environment for Garuda!

Chennai Insider: Garuda’s drones have helped in the sanitation process in Chennai. Tell us more about the Corona Killer?

Agnishwar: CK 100 consists of patented autopilot technology, advanced flight controller system & equipped with fuel efficient motors that enables the drone to be deployed for 12 hours a day (6am-6pm). The features include: Payload capacity of 15-20 liters, flight duration of 40-45 minutes & maximum ceiling height of 450 feet which is sufficient to disinfect 99% of tall buildings across India. Each drone can cover 20km a day. Our existing fleet of 300 CK-100 drones can conduct sanitization operations covering 6000 km every single day. Garuda Aerospace being market leaders in the drone industry, has also designed an Unique UBER like DAAS tech platform which will aggregate over 16,000 drones from our associate companies ready to be deployed across India if a massive SWACH BHARAT CAMPAIGN using drones is orchestrated by Mr.Kant & has approvals of Honorable PM Narendra Modiji.

Chennai Insider: Who are your major customers? Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on?

Agnishwar: Smart Cities like Varanasi, Rourkela, Bhopal, etc are our major customers from the government side and Godrej, Britannia, TATA, etc are our major private clientale. We have worked with them all for covid purposes and more recently with governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for combatting locust attacks. We are in dialogue with ZOMATO for delivery purposes. Hopefully that should take shape in the next couple of months.

Chennai Insider: What gets you excited about Garuda Aerospace?

Agnishwar: The potential innovations possible, we spend quality time and money on research and development and just the sheer potential of using drones to pretty much save the world in the future, excites me! I have a team of equally enthusiastic and passionate people on board and team synergy, will make Garuda a drone super power in the future!

Chennai Insider: Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

Agnishwar: We all come from different backgrounds and have different stories and are united by our love for change making and innovation! Some of our pilots come from my own start up ecosystems like Ignite India and Agni College who have fallen in love with drones and building and flying them thanks to their engineering experiences! I personally have hand picked my team members and I am so glad our paths have merged along the years and cant wait to see the heights our combined efforts will reach!

Chennai Insider: What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Agnishwar: SDGS 2030 is right around the corner and I want to help ensure that Garuda Drones help with that. The motto for SDGs 2030 is leave no one behind and drones can ensure inclusivity in terms of resource distribution across the world in an effective manner, in war zones, disaster affected areas and such and I want Garuda drones to fly all over the world and doing quality good deeds! Drones can also act as great data collectors to fight climate change and can act like the BEES and help with pollination and afforestation and these are areas we are researching and working towards developing in the next 5-8 years!

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