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The Tech Pod, IncubateInd, E-4, Sector 3, Third floor, Noida, 201301

Ankit Kumar is a serial Tech entrepreneur. Ankit is just 30 years old and he has set up many successful start-ups and Eco Ventures. At present, Ankit is working with world’s leading Drone Companies to felicitate their entry to India Market. In fact, he was also a member of DGCA constituted committee to frame the guidelines of Drone operations in India. He is an expert in clean energy and drones. He has played a crucial role in getting approval for conducting a 100 hours trial for BVLOSS Drone delivery in India (the pilot less large deliveries from point A to point B using drone).

In an interaction with The Tech Pod, Ankit speaks about the future of drones in India. Read more!    

Tell us something about yourself and what does your company do?

I am a seriel entrepreneur and tech investor. I founded Alternative Global in 2016 with the aim to focus on EVs and Drones as a futuristic industry to help companies grow and adapt new technology/solution. Alternative Global is a management consulting firm with base of operations in Birmingham, New Delhi and Chicago. The firm focuses on helping businesses and Governments in the area of Drones and EVs and is presumably India’s largest drone consulting firm. The firm has a network of more than 50 companies globally in the drone space and has been actively investing in Drone and EV startups.

How can drones come to service during a crisis?

Drones find multiple usage during a crisis, take an example of the current ongoing pandemic. Drones are being widely used for thermal scanning of any wide area, real-time video feed survey, spraying of sanitiser, delivery of PPE/Essentials. From where I see, the healthcare logistics is India is a big challenge because of which essentials like blood packets, vaccines and long-tail medics do not reach the primary/community health care centres in time. With the advent of drone delivery, if done at scale with systems and checks in place, this could emerge as a technology which can impact millions of lives.

How do you think can drones be utilized for powerful utilization of examination and looking over?

Drones are already providing immense intel/information to the law enforcement agencies across the world to enact better systems by providing real-time feed of sensitive locations, thermal & lidar inspection of a given area which shows heat signatures (in case of any human population) etc. It also proves to be a vital resource for disaster & relief agencies to use drones for assessment of damage, finding survivors through lidar/thermal scanning a wide area. They also utilise drones to deliver food packets to survivors. This all would soon be happening in India at scale.

Discuss with us the future of AI in India?

The future of AI in India is bright and shining. The core concept of autonomous systems/equipments (may it be vehicles, drones etc.) revolves around AI & ML. Autonomy of any system whether its mobility, logistics, manufacturing is very crucial for the scaling up of any business. Given the recent rise in AI and Blockchain adoption in past two years, the day is not far when systems and equipments would work without human intervention. Many people believe the adoption of AI, RPA, ML would kill jobs but I rather contradict such theories and have a firm belief that with wide adoption of AI in India, we would also be creating large number of skilled jobs. There would be a gradual shift of requirements from a less-skilled jobs to high-skilled jobs but the position would be there. Its a good opportunity for people to start learning and adapting to new technologies from now on only, as they would be ready for such high-skilled jobs when it comes. AI in Drones would happen much sooner than any other sector, owing to the fact that Drones are scalable only with autonomy. Semi/Fully automated end-to-end flights shall be enabled with the ML and AI in place. Technology wise its ready, regulations however do not permit today.

Would you say that drone innovation has been a help amid such crucial occasions? How?

Yes, it has been of help in many ways. Largely, it has helped the law enforcement agencies to keep regular inspection of containment zones, sensitive areas of red zones in order to identify cluster gathering. They have acted on such information within minutes to remove cluster gathering. They have also used drones for public announcement which has helped to spread the guidelines/message of social distancing and lockdown across various less accessible areas in very limited time. Drones have proved to be cost & time efficient in all context for the law enforcement agencies.

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