• May 17, 2024
Redefining the realm of possibility’: IZI founder on the future of drones in India

Drones are fascinating. Let alone the fun of flying a remote-controlled object, the cinematic shots that one can get out of a drone can easily make anyone feel like a film-maker. And while drones are fascinating, it is no secret that there is just one brand that has taken a major chunk of the global market. Even in India, we mostly see drones from the likes of DJI and despite India now coming up with newer laws and regulations, drones are becoming more and more popular in the country.

Apart from the regulations that limit the usage of drones, DJI isn’t available in India officially and resellers in the country (both offline and online) have driven the prices to outrageous levels. This has opened up a major gap in the increasing creator market in the country. Enter, IZI – an Indian brand trying to crack the drone market in the country.

Since drones fascinate me, I grabbed on the opportunity to talk to the founder of the company, Mr Ishan Haydn, who is trying to “take off” a homegrown drone brand in a DJI-dominated market. During our chat, we touched upon many topics including the current market in India, the supply chain and regulatory challenges, manufacturing, and a lot more. Read on to check out our exclusive conversation with Mr Haydn.

How do you perceive the current state of the drone market in India?

Currently, the drone market in India is undergoing a significant transition. While we have predominantly catered to the budget segment and further we are also bringing on strategic shifts to scale in the market. Also, the government of India has been actively promoting the use of drones through various policies and regulations, all of which are aimed at fostering innovation.

The government has also been very supportive and is implementing policies to encourage the development and usage of drones, such as the Digital Sky Platform for drone registration, the liberalization of rules and initiatives for promoting the manufacturing and innovation of drones.

What specific segments or niches within the drone market are you targeting?

Our target segments have always been comprehensive. Ranging from beginners to professionals. We believe in catering the diverse segments and niches ensuring that our products meet the varying needs and skills of our customers. We have vloggers, photographers, tech enthusiasts, etc. who like to use our drones and are both happy and satisfied with the output.

How do you plan to differentiate your brand from established players like DJI?

Setting ourselves apart from established players like DJI actually involves a multi faceted approach. While they have undoubtedly set high standards in the industry, we differentiate ourselves through a combination of factors like localized manufacturing, tailored customer service, the Make in India initiative, etc. And after DJI got banned in India there was a void in the market for high quality drones, which we are filling with our innovations providing price segmentation and quality.

Being a homegrown brand combined with years of experience has made it easy for us to understand the Indian audience and cater to the requirements of this market better.

Where are your drones manufactured, and what is your manufacturing capacity?

Our drones are proudly manufactured in India, making us the sole manufacturer of consumer drones in the country. Thanks to the Government of India, Make In India policies and liberalization of rules promoting the expansion and consumption of the drone market, we proudly say our drones are manufactured in India with an average manufacturing capacity of 5,000 units per month, which ensures a steady supply to meet the market demand.

How do you manage your supply chain to ensure cost-effectiveness?

We firmly believe that ensuring cost-effectiveness in our supply chain management is a top priority for us. We achieve this by continuously optimizing our processes and leveraging strategic partnerships and local resources, all while maintaining high standards of quality and reliability at an affordable price. As mentioned earlier, most of this is actually achieved by partnering with efficient supply chain infrastructures, both regionally and internationally, allowing us to ensure smooth and timely operations without compromising cost-effectiveness.

Apart from that we also maintain a strong eye on our inventory management techniques by implementing just-in-time inventory practices to minimise carrying costs while ensuring our products are available when needed. Additionally, we utilise forecasting techniques and data analytics to accurately predict demand and avoid overstocking or stock outs. We follow a very streamlined logistics structure, which involves consolidating shipments, utilising freight forwarding services, and employing route optimization software to minimize transportation expenses.

We also adhere to lean manufacturing principles to reduce waste and improve efficiency throughout our production process. This includes streamlining workflows, standardizing processes, and continuously improving operations to drive down costs while upholding quality standards. Last but not least is value engineering. We continuously evaluate product design and specifications which enables us to identify opportunities for cost reduction without compromising quality or performance. We explore alternative materials, manufacturing methods, and processes to ensure we deliver value to our customers while remaining cost-effective.

Are you collaborating with any local or international partners for components or technology?

Yes, we collaborate with both local and international partners. Our collaboration with them for components and technology underscores our commitment to accessing cutting-edge innovations while nurturing local industries and fostering global drone development. Through these partnerships, we continuously push the boundaries of technology, conducting trials and fostering innovation to enhance our existing offerings. These collaborations also enable us to access advanced technologies while supporting local industries and contributing to the global drone ecosystem. We constantly try to upgrade our existing technologies through trials and innovation. As said, we aim to create a blend of seamless and creative ecosystems in the drone market.

How do you navigate the regulatory landscape for drones in India?

At IZI, safety, compliance, and professionalism are the cornerstones of our drone operations in India. Navigating the intricate regulatory landscape governing drones is fundamental to our approach. We prioritize staying meticulously updated with the latest directives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), ensuring that each flight strictly adheres to the stringent regulations governing drone usage in the country.

Our commitment to compliance is evident through our collaboration with regulatory bodies. We actively engage with them to maintain a comprehensive understanding of evolving policies and procedures, facilitating seamless integration of our drone services across various industries while upholding the highest standards of safety and legality. To enhance understanding and adherence to regulations, we leverage platforms such as Digital Sky.

Additionally, we provide comprehensive tutorials and user guides. These resources empower our clients and operators with the necessary knowledge to effectively navigate the dos and don’ts of drone safety and regulations. By entrusting your drone operations to IZI, you can have peace of mind knowing that every flight is conducted responsibly and in full compliance with DGCA regulations. Our dedication to regulatory compliance ensures not only the legality of our operations but also the safety and satisfaction of all stakeholders involved.

What measures do you take to ensure compliance with safety and privacy regulations?

Ensuring adherence to safety and privacy regulations is our top priority. We integrate strong safety measures into our drones, conduct frequent quality assessments, and educate users on responsible drone practices. By doing so, we uphold privacy standards and prioritise public safety, demonstrating our commitment to responsible drone usage.

At IZI, we take pride in offering comprehensive support and guidance to our valued customers regarding legal and regulatory requirements for drone operations. Our dedicated customer service team is well-versed in the intricate details of drone regulations and stands ready to assist the customers every step of the way.

Here’s how we ensure a smooth and compliant experience for our clients:

Expert Guidance: Our team comprises experts who possess in-depth knowledge of drone regulations, including those mandated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India and other relevant authorities worldwide.

Responsive Assistance: Whether you’re a seasoned drone operator or new to the field, our customer service team is here to address any questions or concerns you may have. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness, ensuring that you receive timely and accurate assistance whenever you need it.

Regulatory Updates: Drone regulations are constantly evolving, and staying informed is crucial. We keep our clients up-to-date with the latest regulatory changes, ensuring that they remain compliant with current standards and guidelines.

Customized Solutions: Every client’s needs are unique, which is why we offer tailored solutions to address specific regulatory challenges. Whether you’re operating in a highly regulated industry or navigating complex airspace restrictions, we’ll work with you to find the best approach for compliance.

Training and Resources: In addition to direct support, we provide training materials, resources, and educational content to help our clients understand and adhere to drone regulations effectively. From online tutorials to printed guides, we equip you with the knowledge needed to navigate the regulatory landscape with confidence.

Social Media Awareness: We also work to keep our clients informed through social media platforms, sharing product tutorials and other relevant content to raise awareness and promote compliance.

By choosing IZI, our clients gain more than just a drone provider – they gain a trusted partner committed to your success and compliance.

What kind of after-sales support do you offer to customers?

Our commitment to customer satisfaction extends beyond the point of purchase with our comprehensive after-sales support services. We provide a range of assistance including technical support, repairs, firmware updates, and troubleshooting resources to ensure a seamless experience with our products.

With our global online support system and an-India pickup service, customers have easy access to assistance wherever they are located.

Additionally, all our products come with a warranty, providing peace of mind and assurance of quality. This warranty covers any manufacturing defects or issues that may arise during the 1 year period.

Our dedicated team is committed to delivering prompt and friendly service, ensuring that the drone remains in optimal condition for years to come. With our after-sales support, the customers can count on reliable maintenance services and assistance whenever they need it.

Do you provide training or educational resources for users to operate your drones effectively?

We give users thorough instruction and training so they can use our drones effectively and safely. We provide information on critical subjects like flight procedures, maintenance guidelines, and regulatory compliance that are appropriate for users of all skill levels. With our support, customers can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to maximize the utility of our drones while adhering to legal requirements

Are there any plans for international expansion beyond the Indian market?

As we continue to make significant strides in established markets such as the UAE and the US, our ambitions extend far beyond borders. We’re actively pursuing international expansion as a key component of our growth strategy, targeting untapped markets globally. Leveraging our expertise and innovative solutions, we aim to address diverse needs while making a meaningful impact wherever we go.

“At IZI, expansion isn’t just about growth; it’s about creating a positive difference in every community we serve.” Our focus on innovation and adaptability allows us to tailor our offerings to meet the unique requirements of each new market we enter. Through strategic initiatives, we’re introducing cutting-edge solutions to a wider audience, fostering sustainable growth on a global scale.

Are there any upcoming innovations or advancements in drone technology that your company is working on?

At IZI, innovation pulses through the core of our operations. We’re dedicated to pushing the boundaries of drone technology, crafting solutions that cater to the ever-evolving needs of our global clientele. While we’re not ready to divulge all the specifics just yet, be assured that our team is hard at work on pioneering advancements poised to transform the industry.

Our primary focus lies in enhancing autonomy, reliability, and adaptability, ensuring our drones thrive in diverse environments and applications. From cutting-edge imaging systems to advanced sensors and the integration of artificial intelligence, our forthcoming innovations are set to redefine the realm of possibility within drone technology.

We’re particularly thrilled to introduce our upcoming professional series of consumer drones, which will set a new benchmark for performance and functionality in the market. These drones will boast enhanced heavy-duty flight capabilities, unrivalled imaging quality, and seamless integration of AI technologies, solidifying our foothold not just in India but on a global scale.

With IZI, rest assured that you’re investing in the future of drone technology. Stay tuned as we unveil groundbreaking innovations that will shape the industry for years to come.