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Shooting for the Stars: India’s Space Tech Ambitions

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On May 29th, 2024, India’s space program took a historic step forward. Agnikul Cosmos, an Indian spacetech startup successfully launched the world’s first rocket with a single-piece 3D printed engine, from its own launchpad Dhanush at Sriharikota at 7:15 am on Wednesday. This marks a significant milestone not just for the company, but for India’s burgeoning private space sector.

With this historic launch, India’s space program has come full circle. From ISRO’s pioneering efforts in the 1960s to the thriving private sector of the 2000s, India is now a force to be reckoned with in global space exploration.

In this edition of “The People Weekly” we’re deep-diving into India’s booming space tech industry, a sector that’s reaching for the stars. As always, it is the constant endeavour of PeopleLogic to keep our readers informed with the latest trends, technologies, and news to fuel your knowledge of this exciting field.

Indian Spacetech, The Journey So Far

For decades, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been the driving force behind India’s impressive space endeavours. From Aryabhatta’s launch in 1975 to the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2014 and the recent success of Chandrayaan-3 in 2023, ISRO’s string of successful missions has placed India firmly on the global space stage.. In fact ISRO has to its credit  124 spacecraft missions, 432 foreign satellite launches, 98 launch missions, and much more.

As per the report published by Mckinsey, the global space economy is expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2035 (accounting for inflation), up from $630 billion in 2023.  The space economy is growing at a rate of 9%per annum, faster than the global GDP.

Presently India accounts for only 2% of the global space economy and so it was a prudent decision taken by GoI to open up its space industry to private players so that India’s share in the space economy can be further boosted.  Already many global players like  SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and Arianespace have revolutionised the space sector by reducing costs and turnaround time, with innovation and advanced technology.

Indian Space Odyssey

In the year 2023, the government of India launched the Indian Space Policy 2023 with an aim to encourage private entities in the space industry. There are 189 DPIIT-recognised space tech startups in India and have garnered an investment of around $124.7 Mn during March-December 2023. The current value of the Indian space economy is around $8.4 billion (around 2-3% of the global space economy) and it is expected to reach $44 billion by 2033. 

Sensing the tremendous opportunities in the Indian space market Google made its first investment of $36 mn in Pixxel, a Bengaluru-based startup.  As per news reports, Pixxel is going to launch six hyperspectral imagery satellites in 2024 using ISRO and SpaceX rockets. These satellites will be supporting a variety of industries like agriculture, energy, forestry and environmental monitoring. In the month of April, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) successfully launched the country’s first-ever military-grade geospatial satellite built entirely by the private sector.  

Major reasons for the growth of the Space tech industry in India are 

    1. Advancements in technology: Developments in areas like miniaturisation, robotics, and materials science are making space missions cheaper and more feasible. This allows for more ambitious projects and a wider range of players to enter the field.
    2. Cost optimisation: Indian space tech companies are known for their resourcefulness. They focus on using existing technologies in innovative ways and developing simpler, more efficient solutions.
    3. Government Support: The Indian government has taken proactive measures to liberalise the space sector. The Space Sector Reforms (2020) and the introduction of IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) to facilitate private participation are testaments to this commitment.
    4. Rising Demand for Space-Based Applications: The demand for earth observation data, navigation services, and satellite communication is growing exponentially, creating lucrative opportunities for downstream companies.
    5. FDI (Foreign Direct Investment): The union cabinet’s decision to liberalise the space sector allowing 100% FDI in the manufacturing of components and systems or subsystems for satellites, ground segments, and user segments is a major growth opportunity and driver for the Indian space sector. This move will also open doors for international private players in the space industry.

Major segments in Space Tech that is poised for significant growth

Upstream Segment: Focuses on the development and manufacturing of technologies used for space exploration and access to space. This segment includes, 

  • Launch vehicles
  • Spacecraft & Satellites
  • Space Propulsion Systems

Downstream Segment: This segment focuses on utilising space technology for various applications and services on Earth.  This segment includes,

  • Space-based communication
  • Earth Observation
  • Navigation and Positioning
  • Remote Sensing

Space Applications & Services: This segment focuses on developing and integrating space technologies for various applications across sectors like agriculture, healthcare, transportation, disaster management, etc

As per Nasscom report the downstream segment will witness significant growth to reach $610 Bn by 2030.

Some of the major private players in the Indian space sector are 

  • Skyroot Aerospace Pvt Ltd
  • Dhruva Space
  • Agnikul Cosmos
  • Pixxel Space India Pvt Ltd
  • Bellatrix Aerospace
  • Digantara
  • Satellize
  • New Space India Ltd
  • GalaxEye Space

Road Ahead Challenges

The bright prospects of the Indian space tech industry are not without its share of challenges.

Regulatory Framework:  A streamlined regulatory framework can help foster a healthy environment for the NGE in the space tech industry to grow. 

Funding: While investments are increasing, securing funding remains a challenge for many startups. Developing a robust venture capital ecosystem specifically catered towards space tech can provide much-needed impetus.

Skilled Talent: The industry requires a specialised workforce with expertise in areas like aerospace engineering, rocket science, and space physics. Developing robust educational programs and fostering industry-academia collaboration can help bridge this skill gap. Presently, around  30% to 40% of talent in spacetech comprises ex-employees of ISRO mostly in consultant and senior full time roles owing to their skills and experience. 


The future of India’s space tech industry is brimming with possibilities. India’s successful Moon missions have ignited ambitions for deeper space exploration. We can expect ventures focusing on lunar landers, rovers, and even human spaceflight endeavours. The concept of “Space-as-a-Service” is gaining traction, offering on-demand access to space-based infrastructure and services. This could revolutionise various industries, making space technology more accessible and cost-effective. Companies will continue to invest in research and development, pushing the boundaries of space technology and exploring new applications.The possibility of Indian companies venturing into commercial space tourism could be on the horizon, further propelling the industry’s visibility.

PeopleLogic Opinion

India’s space tech industry is poised for a stellar future. With a supportive government framework, a vibrant private sector, and a growing demand for space-based solutions, India is well on its way to becoming a major player in the global space race. As the nation strives to reach new heights, the sky’s truly the limit for its space tech ambitions.

As India’s space tech industry continues its remarkable ascent, the need for skilled professionals across various segments will be paramount. With our  extensive experience and expertise in recruiting top talent across diverse sectors, both IT Hiring and non-IT hiring, we are well-positioned to be a valuable partner in this exciting journey. We understand the unique talent requirements of the space industry and can connect companies with the highly qualified engineers, scientists, and space enthusiasts who will fuel India’s ambitions to become a leading spacefaring nation. By bridging the talent gap, PeopleLogic can play a vital role in shaping the future of India’s space tech success story.

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