“Big money in space”
The Indian space agency’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation is waiting for India Inc to enter the multi-billion dollar space business in a big way and invest in making and launching rockets and satellites for customers worldwide.
“There is big money to make in the space business for Indian corporates. We do not mind whether it is Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis or someone else, as there is no dearth of big corporates in India to invest in the space industry,” Antrix Chairman and Managing Director S. Rakesh told IANS in an interview here on the margins of a space trade event. Admitting that the Indian space business, driven solely by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), had been frugal, Rakesh said India Inc was not looking at space as a business, as it had not been generating much money hitherto. Not anymore.
As the global space business is a whopping USD 330 billion (Rs 23 lakh crore) and growing 2-3 per cent annually, there is huge money for Indian corporates to make in the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) market and sending satellite constellations for various activities spanning civilian and military use. “As ISRO’s programmes (launches and satellites) are primarily meant for societal and the country’s needs in the civilian and defence sectors, the spare capacity is small for commercial needs. We hope the private industry will come forward to drive the commercial space and grow the business,” Rakesh said.