“Can You Say What Your Strategy is?” – well many companies need to ask this question to themselves. Most of the startups have an idea but don’t know how to capitalize on the innovation, generate revenue, acquiring the market share, how are your competitors doing. It was the same with our startup too, startup called “Skylark Drones Pvt. Ltd.” At first we had only an idea – sell serviceable UAVs, by serviceable we meant which can be used to serve a purpose that generates revenue.
We started to analyze the market for our product, luckily we had only a handful companies using UAV and plus was most of them were very small. The UAV’s were not considered as a serviceable product till then. Most of the other companies were focused on aerial photography. Aerial photography was easy money, everyone in the market wanted their products to be shoot from birds’ eye view. But we knew that this can be easily acquired by anyone or any new company with UAV, we wanted to be different. So we started searching for new opportunities. We found out that there were few flaws in the field of infrastructure survey and data acquisition. We knew there was no one in the market who served it. It required lot of investment. Then we came up with a plan to use the aerial photography as a cash generator and invest on other products such as survey UAV’s and data acquisition UAV’s. We started investing on R&D of the products, we spoke with professors who have worked in remote sensing and started discussing the requirements. We were successful in designing a proto type. Then started experimenting and correcting the bugs. Once we were in markets’ acceptable range we started approaching the companies, showed our sample projects and presented how we will be able to overcome the flaws in the traditional methods. They were impressed and asked us do to a small project to start. The company was in fields of petroleum, renewable energy and infra-structure. We achieved success in infrastructure and renewable energy fields, petroleum storage was difficult and nearly impossible because of absence of light (Light was important requirement for analysis). We got our first project from the company. We started approaching many other companies, but since the technology was new they were not ready to invest on service. By the end of our first project we listed all our target companies and tried to convince them to use our service. We faced lot of rejection. During this time we did not stop using aerial photography as a cash generator. Once we were successful on completing our first project, few companies expressed the interest. We capitalized the opportunity in gaining market.
Few months later we were all over the infra-structure market. Today the company is handling projects for most of the Project Management Companies in the region. Started from 6 members, now we are 60 people in span of one and half year.
In conclusion, will sticking to the same strategy from the beginning will help you grow? Our first strategy sticky to aerial photography would have not helped us grow as fast as we are now. Our second strategy was focusing on Data acquisition and Survey. Although we had success in data acquisition we did not take it up, because the fields Data acquisition and aerial photography are easily done. We wanted to acquire the market share where it’s difficult for our competitors to reach. Gain the market while your competitors are still figuring out was the plan. So our third strategy was Focus on infrastructure. We worked on it and gained market in our region. Next move is “EXPAND”. Although we shifted focus for one to another, we did not forget our core idea “Sell Serviceable UAVs”.