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India’s space programme is one of the most well-developed in the world and has achieved numerous successes through its state-owned agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In India, ISRO is responsible for driving the space activities. Although several private sector companies have engaged with ISRO as suppliers and component manufacturers, they have never been vested with the responsibility of end-to-end manufacturing of space.
Given the above background, this paper provides an overview of India’s private space sector.
There has not been much emphasis on enhancing commercial activities in the Indian space sector, and as a result, the participation of the private sector in the Indian space industry has been minimal in space activities. However, there is huge scope for the commercialisation of the ground operations like mission support, satellite broadband gateways and 5G backhauling.
The current global space economy is pegged at USD 360 billion. The Indian space economy is valued at USD 7 billion, which is around 2% of the global space economy. The Indian space sector needs to grow at ~approximately 48% CAGR over the next five years to reach its target of USD 50 billion.
With significant market advantages like high demand for services, strong domestic manufacturing base, cost advantage, a large human resource pool, and ability to leverage IT skills, the time is ripe for policymakers to encourage a greater role for the private space industry in India.
Several venture capitalists (VCs) are ready to invest in space start-ups; however, they do not have clear visibility into potentially successful business cases. The government should explore the possibility of joint space initiatives involving ISRO and these start-ups in equal capacity.
A business-friendly and encouraging space act will encourage VCs invest more actively in the Indian space sector.
ISRO has been encouraging PPP in the Indian space sector in multiple areas like component manufacturing and satellite AIT. These activities are rightly positioned to help private players mature technologically and adopt the technical and process requirements of space systems.
Leader, Government and Public Sector, PwC India
Tel: +91 124 462 0540
Partner, Advisory, Consulting, Government and Public Sector, PwC India