Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Competitor Analysis: Skylark Drones

Every business plan needs to have insights of its competitor. It is one of the most important points in a business plan. It gives a chance to look closely at your market and the competitors, to learn what other are doing and why. This takes me back to Skylark Drones Pvt. Ltd., a startup company I was working with for 6 months before perusing my graduate studies. It is a drone solutions company. I started there at very early stages of the company. We were a team of 6 members, very enthusiastic and wanted to grow far beyond. Our aim was to become the one stop solution provider in all the fields using drones.

We had the aim, we had the resources but unaware of the market needs. For the first two months we focused on market research and analyzed potential competitors. We found that there are two other companies one of them was Pixeldo providing similar services but we had different offerings from those firms. But those companies could possibly enter the service industry easily. So we started analyzing the market and strategy implemented by them. We came to know that the target customers are similar in some services. They were established and had good number of projects. The advantage was that they were operating in different region and they were unknown in our region.

We started working on sample projects and started marketing our services to industries. We offered a first free trail project to make them understand what is the difference and what are the benefits for them. We prepared an excel sheet with columns as companies and rows were services, market needs, strength and weakness so that we can know where we stand and overcome our weaknesses.  We had services in more than one area i.e., aerial photography, 3d modelling, area surveillance and GIS. We built our own UAVs for specific services. Our competitors were only involved in aerial photography and were outsourcing UAVs. So we had an upper hand. Our other set of competitors were Remote sensing companies. There are many remote sensing companies in market that are well established. We had to study and understand the limitation of them. One major limitation that we found was the image quality and data set accuracy. The target customers needed accurate data in less time period. The Remote sensing companies gave data fast but it was of less accuracy. The data could not be used for any development projects as it varied a lot. We had that covered. We did some research and knew what accuracy the customers required and after that we tested our data sets we were also falling short but a small margin. We spent over a month on improving the accuracy and tried out different method of data acquisition. We were successful in attaining the accuracy. We create a portfolio showcasing advantage of time, cost, non labor intensive and required accuracy. The clients were happy and we had our first infrastructure development project for 200 km highway.

Now when I look back after started studying the strategy classes I feel we have done most of the things without having knowledge of it. But we could have achieved more efficiency if we had idea on market and competitor analysis.

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