Japanese drone service provider Terra taps Indian market

NEW DELHI, NNA - Japanese drone service and solution provider Terra Drone Corp. will start operations in India this year to explore opportunities in industrial applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Asia's third-largest economy.

Terra Drone India Pvt. Ltd., a local unit of the Tokyo-based firm, was incorporated last month to focus on "data acquisition service," Terra Drone India Managing Director Kota Kandori said in an email interview with NNA.

Terra Drone India will develop drones, supply materials and related software and provide analysis of survey data with an initial investment of $1 million, putting greater focus on "industry areas like construction, mining, railway, power lines, etc.," he said.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry said in a 2017 report that India has steadily utilized UAV for aerial surveys and other purposes over the past few years, citing such advantages as low mobilization costs and time as well as feasibility surveys for urban areas, forestry, mining and disaster-affected areas.

The Ministry of Mines has separately circulated a note on drone applications in mining to all state governments and public-sector undertakings such as National Aluminum Co. and Hindustan Copper Ltd.

Terra Drone opened branches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne last year as part of its overseas expansion strategy, counting on demand for drone-related services from Australia's construction industry.

In the Japanese market, the company has forged partnerships with major mining and construction firms like Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. to provide fully automated UAV surveying and data analysis of construction sites. (NNA/Kyodo)