Two years after India's PM Narendra Modi welcomed private players into the space sector under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Skyroot became the first private sector company to launch its rocket in space last week. Host Kiran Somvanshi talks to Pawan Chandana and Bharath Daka, Co- Founders at Skyroot Aerospace and Chethan Kumar, Assistant Editor at TOI to know the implications of this launch for India and India Inc.

This is an audio transcript of The Morning Brief podcast episode: Business of Space

Pawan Chandana 0:00
I

Pawan Chandana 0:09
I was a very bad student for the first few years.

Bharat Dhaka 0:12
My dad is from my academic background.

Pawan Chandana 0:14
In our college, there was a lot of entrepreneurial vibe, everybody wanted to build companies, maybe we might have lost the race in building electronic chips, or in several other deep technologies. But when it comes to space, India has always been a pioneer.

Bharat Dhaka 0:28
government reforms have also played a huge role. We have a good amount of aerospace, great vendor ecosystem already developed by the government agencies like ISRO. Over the past decades, there's a huge potential for multiple players in all domains.

Pawan Chandana 0:42
It's very, very rare that the flight from a private company succeeds. The first couple of missions will be like to promote the technology per se.

Bharat Dhaka 0:51
It's an eventuality anyway, that the commercial space sector has to come up in India.

Pawan Chandana 0:56
I think this is a major milestone both for Sky route and for the country. And we're glad that we're able to achieve this major milestone by launching India's first privately built rocket to space a few days ago.

Kiran Somwanshi 1:06
These are India Inc's rocket boys, literally, Pawan Chandana and Bharat Daka are the founders of Skyroot aerospace, the Hyderabad based startup that became the first private sector firm to launch its own rocket

BG 1:21
g minus seventeen seconds.

BG 1:35
Start two one loose magnesium and lift off of the Space Shuttle Discovery, returning to the space station.

Kiran Somwanshi 1:47
But why is this a milestone because event marks the entry of India's private sector into the business of outer space. It will provide the much needed funds, the risk capital and the opportunities for India's tech entrepreneurs to make their mark in a field that is globally active and very

Kiran Somwanshi 2:09
It's a big step for Skyroot and a giant leap for India's private sector to break into one of the last bastions that the government had a monopoly on the space sector. Of course the feat would not have been possible without the government space agency ISRO but the who's who of India Inc. also played the due part right from Mukesh Bansal of Flipkart fame to the founders of Greenco to Lakshmi and Aditya Mittal family office to industry veteran Pavan Goenka , who is at the helm of in space, the government space regulator, all came together for this public private collaboration. But is this enough for Indian Space tech firms to catch up in the global space race?

Kiran Somwanshi 2:53
Coming up to answer this are the men of the moment themselves, Pawan and Bharat founders of India's largest funded space startup Skyroot aerospace. I speak to them to know how significant the launch was and what's next. But before that, my colleague, Chetan Kumar, Assistant Editor space and science from The Times of India, and I decode for you the economics of the Indian Space ecosystem.

Kiran Somwanshi 3:19
It's Thursday, November 24. I'm your host Kiran Somwanshi from the economic times. Today's episode is literally rocket science. We trace the launch and trajectory of India in rocket boys that catapulted the country's private sector into outer space only on the morning brief.

Kiran Somwanshi 3:47
India is among the top spacefaring nations in the world. But its share in the 440 billion $ global space economy is just 2%. Quite less for a country which was the first to reach Mars and it's maiden attempt has had a moon project and has put an observatory in space. In fact, in the past few years, the government realized that this had to change. As my colleague Chetan Kumar from Times of India explains,

Chetan Kumar 4:12
once India figured out that it has to expand its global footprint, realize that ISRO cannot go solo on this and you need to have, you know, the private sector as CO passengers. If these objectives were to be met, the private sector responded positively. But the work was slow and happening incrementally and from just showing potential. Now, I think Indian companies are also showing a lot of promise. And in that sense, Skyroots launch is a significant milestone, because Skyroot was testing nearly about 70 to 80% of all the systems and subsystems it wants to use in its first rocket that is Vikram 1.

Kiran Somwanshi 4:49
But it's taken long for India to bring the private sector into the space. It was in 2020 that the government finally opened the space sector for private players and to enable This also set up a new agency.

Chetan Kumar 5:02
When India decided to allow private sector companies to participate in the whole spectrum of activities in the space sector, the immediate necessity was to create an agency that would regulate these companies, because space is an international matter. And every time a launch happens, or every small thing you have to put in place, you're dealing with multiple international laws. So all of these things needed somebody with expertise and also a formal agency to look into. And that is how In space was initially conceived, they decided that In space should also play the role of a promoter or enabler. And that has been the language the government has been talking and In space also has been behaving in that manner. department of space has always benefited just as the Atomic Energy Department by not having too much bureaucracy in the sense that the Secretary department of space, who's by default, the chairman of ISRO, has always had the Prime Minister's ears directly. And In space also enjoys a similar setup where there are not many layers between the In space chairman and the top decision making authority in the government,

Kiran Somwanshi 6:05
in the last six months In space, has authorized about five projects and has seen increased number of registrations from companies.

Chetan Kumar 6:12
So when you look at the number of companies registering, if you look at In space, there are about 294 entities, including around 89-90 startups that have registered and they have between them, you know, about more than 150 applications that are pending approval within space, broadly, majority of them are for satellites, about 70 applications out of the 158 of the satellites, thirty one are in the launch segment activities area. And then you have about 17 from the application side, and another 17 for promotions on me. So is there space for all these guys, there certainly is space, but it depends on what kind of technology they bring, see, if they're not going to offer something unique. A lot of them might not survive, especially in the satellite and launch vehicle segment.

Kiran Somwanshi 6:55
It is a tough market. India still doesn't have a space law, but it's in the works. The government has released the draft Space Policy earlier this year, which is a revised version of an earlier draft released in 2017. The space activities act supposed to be an umbrella act on all things space is also a work in progress. But opening up of the sector and anticipation of a regulatory framework has nevertheless brought entrepreneurs and money into the space. Though the money is still quite less compared to what larger spacefaring nations attract.

Chetan Kumar 7:30
While there's no you know, one report that sort of consolidates funding that's gone into startups or space companies in India, or New York based report says that from 2014, to now I think there has been about 265 billion that has been put into space companies across the world. And not surprisingly, nearly half of it about 46% has gone to companies from the US and another nearly 30% has gone to companies from China, and about roughly between two and 3% is what Indian companies have attracted there is in terms of investment. But this will of course, change because if you look at those two countries, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Indian space sector is very, very young, while you've had active companies in the US for decades, but they're also some projections that Ernst and Young when Indian Space Association put together where they anticipate that, you know, overall, there'll be about a 6% CAGR growth in terms of Indian Space economy. So that I think is forward looking but like all estimations are, it could be slightly exaggerated, but I think if they meet about 80% of that, it would be good in the next five to six years.

Kiran Somwanshi 8:36
The government agency ISRO has been hand holding the startups in the initiatives, this is likely to continue for a few more years. But as the private sector grows in space, the role of ISROis bound to change in the next decade or two. For example, let's look at ISRO's small satellites launch vehicles, SSL V's

Chetan Kumar 8:54
so why SSLV will compete with the likes of Vikram what ISRO is also trying to do is once the technology has been demonstrated, and it becomes operational ISRO's plan is to transfer the complete technology of SSLV to privatize. ISRO will stop building. So right now ISRO has already given out contracts of five PSLV's, which has been backed by the HAL and L&T Consortium. It's an 860 crore deal over the years, the next few years, I think ISRO will get into more R&D, you know, developing cutting edge technologies that the private industry cannot simply given the kind of money that goes into space programs, and eventually transferring those also to the private industry, ISRO's role will change significantly. And because you also need some of these technologies for national projects, there are still going to be some really sensitive projects for which the government might want ISRO to launch a rocket. So it's going to you know be an interesting decade or two. I think if we have this chat after say, another 15 years, we might both be in a different place.

Kiran Somwanshi 9:54
And finally, what about entrepreneurs making it big in the sector? I asked Chetan so Do you think we will soon have our own local desi, Elon Musk?

Chetan Kumar 10:05
No.

Kiran Somwanshi 10:06
Why

Chetan Kumar 10:07
For multiple reasons, one Mavericks like that don't come along. Very often, I don't think if America will have another Elon Musk in two decades, but that's one part of it. But the other thing is see in cutting, it fields like space. And you know, or if you look at pure science research, you need what is called as patient funding, you need to be willing to throw in money and forget about it, because a lot of things are going to fail. Everybody's speaking about SpaceX in the last three years, but people forget that there was a lot of work that happened before that they didn't immediately succeed, there was a lot of money that was spent. So if then companies, I find the big ones are extremely risk averse. But that attitude may not work with in the space sector. Because if you're unwilling to fail, you're not going to achieve anything, you know, spectacular in this field. You have to be willing to lose a lot before you become an Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos. And I don't see that happening anytime soon or ever. The good thing is you probably don't need that India has all the right ingredients right now to build a space enterprise that has many small Skyroots and other people's as opposed to one SpaceX or Blue Origin.

Kiran Somwanshi 11:17
On that note, let's listen to the story of Skyroot aerospace straight from its founders. Welcome, Pawan and Bharat to the morning brief. Thank you for joining in.

Bharat Dhaka 11:25
Thank you so much.

Pawan Chandana 11:26
hhaThank you. Thank you, Kiran,

Kiran Somwanshi 11:28
from being the IIT boys to being the ISRO scientists, to being startup founders. And now the poster boys of India Inc's private space program. Your journey has been a sought after dream for any middle class family in India. How do you look back?

Pawan Chandana 11:44
I hail from a very middle class family where my dad was a government employee. And he worked at Vizag port. And then my mother is a homemaker. In my school days, in fact, particularly like was a very bad student for the first few years, then especially in my ninth and 10th standard, my teachers used to encourage me a lot. And that had a very big U turn in my academic life were from the last of the class, I turned luckily to one of the first in my later part of ninth and 10th standards. And then fortunate enough to get into IIT's in 2012, where I studied mechanical engineering, which was my biggest passion because I loved machines. Basically, it's been a wonderful journey from the college day's being engineered. So it's a dream of every engineer to work on something extremely challenging, like the space program, some building rockets, that fascination, you know, brought us to ISRO and then and then like working at ISRO has been a real real experience of a lifetime working on several rocket programs there, which is of a high national importance, both me and Bharat. We joined together, we were very close friends. And we were staying in the same house for a few years. And after that Skyroot happened in 2018 I thought like, you know, Bharat coming from an electrical engineering background and me coming from mechanical engineering background would be like a perfect match for building a rocket company from India. And we're glad that you know we were able to achieve this major milestone by launching India's first privately built rocket to space a few days ago. And I think this is a major milestone both for Skyroot and for the country that you know the journey from IITto ISRO to Skyroot has altered in such a historic milestone for all of us.

Bharat Dhaka 13:27
We both me and Pawan used to work in ISRO before like right out of IIT. Graduation we have joined ISRO in the rocket center of Israel called Vikram Sarabhai Space Center where all the launch vehicle development happens. And we're fortunate enough, like when we joined GSLV Mk 3, which is one of the biggest rockets and even called the Bahubali rocket of India is under development phase. And we are fortunate enough to be part of the launch vehicles development during our early carrier, which was a very great learning experience, not just about the rocket building info not just about the engineering aspects of it, but also the rigor and processes that go into the development of aerospace systems in general, are also a key learning experience while we were at ISRO, and a post ISRO and even during our time at ISRO, we were keenly monitoring the International Space Arena in general and how the commercial space industry is booming up around the world where private players are coming up not just in the satellite application sector but also launch sector over the past decade and India being one of the top five spacefaring nations in the world. And this is an eventuality in India also is a strong conviction with which we started Skyroot, because if it's an eventual, it's an eventuality anyway, that the commercial space sector has to come up in India and taking one of the first steps in that aspect is what motivated us to start it up in mid 2018.

Kiran Somwanshi 14:43
But in 2018, how are you so sure that the government will eventually open up the sector to private players?

Pawan Chandana 14:49
I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur from the college days, because especially in our college, there was a lot of entrepreneurial vibe. Everybody wanted to build companies but then at that point of time I didn't have the guts to start a company straight out of college, you know, but joined ISRO because that was my very big passion to work on rockets and space. But in 2018, that's when it happened when I've been observing several companies internationally, which have doing really big in the space sector, especially SpaceX, Blue Origin, and several other companies, which are just coming up on the international domain with great successes. So that was really inspiring, and they just gave seed to a thought whether such a thing can be done from India. But of course, there was no policy in 2018. But that thought that whether something like what is happening internationally, can be done from India just came and then when we analyzed it, we realized that, you know, it's an even much bigger opportunity than we imagined. And also, that was the right time because the conversation started in the government to open up the sector to private players. And then I thought, so the moment it all was clear that we're going to start a rocket company from India. And then within just a few months, we took the leap of faith and started Skyroot.

Bharat Dhaka 16:03
To be frank even before this specific idea, Pawan used to always brainstorm a few other ideas, it took us close to a year where once we initially started discussing this and like talking to veterans and exploring the industrial feasibility of being able to do it in the private sector, to convince ourselves also It took some time, and we decided to convince the world for it and we're fortunate enough to be able to raise the initial seed fund also within two months after our step into this

Kiran Somwanshi 16:32
So Pawan, tell me about Vikram S and what did you achieve through this launch, whatever you had planned did you kind of could you achieve that and much more.

Pawan Chandana 16:40
So, Vikram S is India's first privately built rocket, which went to space. And this was for us, it was a vehicle which can test 80% of the technology in the Vikram series of vehicles, which also has suborbital vehicle and orbital vehicles as well. And so this is where, like, you know, we did a suborbital flight, that means it doesn't go and stay in orbit, which will for several years, but it goes to space and then falls back and splashes down to the sea testing, good number of technologies, which will go into other vehicles. And in fact, without being the first flight, it's very, very rare that a first flight from a private company succeeds, you know, it's it's very, very rare event which happened, this mission would have been a success if it has crossed 50 kilometers, and space is anything above 80 kilometers or 50 miles above the earths surface, the vehicle has surpassed all expectations, and it has gone to 89.5 kilometers. It is a great celebration with even the minister and ISRO chairman and chairman of in Space everybody and the entire team of Skyroot there, you know, but we're super surprised that you know, we got the entire video from liftoff till it was about to slash down to the sea from the camera, you know, which was put on the rocket. Also, it was crazy to look at the views from space down to earth, and then until it has reached back and before it fell back into the ocean.

Kiran Somwanshi 18:03
So Vikram S unveils the mission Prarambh for you. Now what's next?

Bharat Dhaka 18:08
It's amazingly a technology demonstrator launch for us through which we are actually testing most of the key subsystems that are going into our orbital launch vehicle, which is coming up next. So like the propulsion system has been cleared, qualified now and all the electronics that go into like the data vision systems and the live telemetry system that transmit the data from the vehicle to ground, the initial member measurement units and the battery systems, everything which we intend to use, again, in our orbital vehicle have been flight proven with this week, which gives us confidence about operating systems control systems that are going to be first time tested in orbital vehicle, or most of the systems have been flight proven here, which gives us immense confidence when we attempt our next milestone, which is a launch to orbit where we insert a satellite into an orbit around the Earth, which we are targeting to attempt in the last quarter of next year.

Kiran Somwanshi 18:58
So coming to kind of, you know, the business opportunities that you're looking at, like, you know, this is just the start, how do you see panning out for you in terms of, you know, when actually the first business deal you will have and when the money will start coming in for the business,

Pawan Chandana 19:12
we're quite fortunate that there is good amount of interest even for our first orbital launch next year. You know, however, like the generally the first couple of missions will be like to provoke the technology per se. And so once we have one or two launches next year, and then from 2024, we plan to ramp up production. So that until by the end of 2025, it leads to like, you know, two launches per month. By that time, I think there'll be like great revenue flow with pen in fact, we have a very unique model, very solid model, which can help us build a very meaningful and sustainable company long term and but of course, there's a lot and lot of effort, which goes into how to get there because you know, the production of rockets is extremely challenging. And also like, you know, consistent Success is also like, you know, very extremely challenging. So our focus now, after the success of the first mission Prarambh is, you know, to get very deep into launching of Vikram one, the first vehicle which will go to orbit from Skyroot. And then like, you know, once that is a success, then you know, the naturally even the customer interest would grow exponentially from there. And, you know, we'll be having will be signing even long term much longer deals going forward and 2024 and 2025 is when we see like really good revenues kicking in, and also, hopefully, breakeven as well.

Kiran Somwanshi 20:27
You know I was wondering about the funding. So now post this successful launch, I'm sure you will have a lot of investors chasing you and funding shouldn't be a problem now. But how was it to begin with? Like, how did you first kind of get the funds? The first ones did you bootstrap? Did you kind of who was the angel investor coming in for you? And how has it been like since 2018, to to this particular launch?

Pawan Chandana 20:50
When we started off? I think we were very fortunate to meet Mukesh Bansal, another who founded Myntra, and Cult.fit and he was like a part of Flipkart, you know, nobody knew about the space sector in 2018. And it has not become a norm to invest, or to, you know, have space companies, or deep tech companies in the country. And he took that leap of faith on us, he believed that we could build a great meaningful company in long term, and then invested around 10 crores in 2018, which was the largest seed round and sector at that point of time, after a couple of years, we raised our Series A of $11 million. And again, that at that point of time, that was the largest series around in the sector. And that was led by another two very interesting entrepreneurs named Anil and Mahesh were the founders of India's largest renewable energy company Greenco. So we're very fortunate to get in touch with them. And you know, they also believed in us, and then we got second round. And then after few months of that, we raised another bridge round of under 4.5 million led by Mr. Romm Sriram, who is like one of the earliest investors in Google who's a board member in Google for over 20 years. And then the biggest round ever in the space and aerospace industry in India came through our series B round, which just a couple of months ago, we closed it, which was led by GIC, which is one of the world's largest funds and one of the most respected funds. And we were very glad that we were able to get a really good validation from them. And that is the biggest boost in the sector, you know, $51 million, kind of around coming into the space sector has really shaken the Indian space and aerospace industry and also like, give good faith on a global stage as well on the Indian space sector. So at each stage, from the seed to the series, we you know, we have been breaking that ceiling of funding, which was very challenging for a deep tech and then especially space tech startup in India. But of course, you know, we'll be looking for more and more new investors to join our journey going forward.

Kiran Somwanshi 22:50
So Bharat, like if you could tell us how capital intensive is, you know, rocket making and launching. So how is it going to be and as you scale up further, how your requirements are going to go up.

Bharat Dhaka 23:03
Building a launch vehicle, or building a satellite is extremely expensive. Being a capital intensive domain in which we need to work in, it is imperative to raise good amount of funds to be able to achieve our milestones. But being in India, one of the key advantage we have is we have a good amount of aerospace grade vendor ecosystem already developed by the government agencies like ISRO over the past decades. So we have the advantage of leveraging the existing aerospace, good manufacturing ecosystem, and build our first product to manufacture our first rocket systems and zap systems. So all our funding, we've been investing on our people and on the rocket we are developing instead of huge capital goods equipment for the missionary that is needed to produce these aspects. And of course, further down the line, we will be internalizing a multiple aspects of manufacturing that is yet critical tours internal to us. But this is been our approach so far. And one of the as just to add to what Pawan was mentioning, government reforms have also played a huge role when it comes to being able to attract and gain the trust of investors past two years, especially because when we started as when Mukesh Bansal invested in us, it was not just a technology or a market risk he has taken but also from a regulatory point of view also, it is a big risk, because there was no certain policy towards how commercial space players will be allowed to operate in India and thanks to reforms in 2020 that has given this additional assurance to the investor community that they just need to bother about the technological capability in the market opportunities in space domain and regulatory uncertainty is something they should not bother about.

Kiran Somwanshi 24:34
How do you see things getting facilitated going ahead

Bharat Dhaka 24:37
a government has explicitly mentioned a level playing field will be assured when it comes to usage of public infrastructure that is already built up in India for the private players also, the huge infrastructure that is required to test the subsystem the propulsion systems of the scale we are building for our orbiter vehicle can only be tested in a government agency today. So this makes us very much efficient when it comes to our developmental expenditure, and most of our efforts in terms of time and money can be spent on developing our rocket subsystems. So these reforms will be crucial. Down forward, also, it's only a matter of time there, the space policy and Space Act will come into place and giving constitutional authority to all the infrastructure in the framework that has already been set up by the government.

Pawan Chandana 25:21
Basically, in a nutshell, there are two things which are required for this to happen. One is the infrastructure required, for example, if you see the recent Vikram S launch, the rocket is built by us, but it is launched using an existing launch pad at ISRO, you know, and also like to use the communication systems the radars for tracking everything comes from the ISRO spaceport. So basically, it requires such a mission, it can only be enabled by such infrastructure already exists in the country, number one, and number two is to get the policy or the regulation, right for a rocket launch or a satellite launch per se. You know, because there are international norms, when it comes to space sector for a country, then there are like several things to consider, you know, like safety, like, you know, authorization, insurance, etc, etc. It's, it's definitely as difficult as the rocket is same difficulty is there for the policy and the regulation, for it to happen. So both of these together, I think is very, very important to have infrastructure available, and also to get the required policy regulation and guidelines available. And both are what this new space reforms have enabled. And that is what culminated into a successful launch, I would say,

Kiran Somwanshi 26:30
what are the challenges do you foresee when you now see ahead, you know, Vikram 123. And the business and bringing in profit for the business,

Pawan Chandana 26:38
once we reach space, and did a successful, suborbital mission, so next major milestone is to reach orbit. And reaching orbit is considered as like one of the toughest things for any rocket company. In fact, very, very few companies were able to reach space, and also even very few companies were able to reach orbit. So that puts us into the next big milestone, which is super challenging to achieve, which we, you know, target to achieve next year. And that's when it very good revenues stream starts kicking in from the market. And, you know, a very big challenge would be to increase the frequency of launches, doing more number of launches per year. And that will require like increase in production increase and you know availability of launches, increase in utilization of more and more of existing facilities, creating new infrastructure, you know, etc, etc. So all this has to happen to go to a level where you can do a couple of launches per month, beyond, you know, that kind of investment, and, you know, the technology and the kind of sustainable successes, one after another needs to happen, which very, very few companies have achieved, you know, one of the one big example is SpaceX, and now it is the number one space company, you know, valued at over $100 billion, and having a steady stream of revenues, etc. But it's a 20 year journey, which they've gone through now, which is also a very big inspiration for us. So it's a very difficult challenging journey task ahead to build a very sustainable Space Launch company. But of course, you know, like I mentioned, India has a great advantage and Skyroot we, you know, the kind of innovative tech, which we're building has a very good advantage to make this happen. And then like studies revenues, and you know, good profits will be obtained as we increase the frequency of launches.

Kiran Somwanshi 28:21
As India enters the private space exploration field, how do you see India's USP via a vis is the world. So, what is it that you know, India or Indian companies, specifically, we bring on the board, when you look at this field,

Pawan Chandana 28:35
so the two things which Indian companies can bring, so, number one is innovation, and number two is cost effectiveness, you know, so any of these alone will not be sufficient to sustain in the markets. So, both has to come. And both is circular combination, which I think the Indian says that companies have their innovative and cost effective, and that's what it's needed for a space company to flourish. And you know, and even the cost effectiveness is the easier part of it being proven to the slow program, you know, and also like the wonderful engineering talent available in the country. Innovation is something which is, of course, you know, the difficult part of this both, which, you know, the best innovative companies will succeed in the long run, and they are the ones who will actually lead the sector. And that's when like we at Skyroot especially, you know, we don't want to compromise on any of these things. We want to get into, you know, get cutting edge innovation, that kind of course, by always keeping on track the kind of cost effectiveness while getting there both of which can happen, and really good thing from India point of view.

Kiran Somwanshi 29:40
Founded 20 years ago, SpaceX became the first private company in the world to launch a rocket in space. Its first launch in 2006 came at a development cost of around 100 million dollars, but the company was successful only in its fourth attempt. Today, SpaceX is valued at 125 billion dollars and has become an inspiration for companies like Skyroot. One can just about imagine a similar growth trajectory for the Indian Space tech companies that are working on being innovative and cost effective. Opening up of space has therefore been an important move by the Indian government. After all, a yearly budget of 12 to 13,000 crore rupees. For an agency like ISRO cannot really help India become a serious player in the global space economy. And private money has to come in to bridge the gap. Thankfully, the government has moved fast. Within two years of opening the space up regulating agency was in place and we now have the first startup making a dash for space with the help of ISRO of course. In fact, in the words of Pawan himself, Vikram S stands on the shoulders of ISRO. And all this has happened even before India has brought in its space policy, or its space activities act. While sky route made its Prarambh, there are many more Prarambh's waiting in the wings with startups like AgniKul, Digantara, Bellatrix and Pixel. In fact, AgniKul is slated to launch its rocket by the end of this year. But if the past is any indicator, it will be some years a lot of hard work, a strong policy framework and a good public private collaboration before we see Indian companies making their mark in the global space economy. Till that happens, it is an interesting space to watch out for. A big thank you to our guests, Pawan Chandana and Bharat Dhaka for their amazing insights and Chetan Kumar for decoding the Indian Space ecosystem. And thank you for tuning into this podcast brought to you by the team economic times. Show producer Vinay Joshi, Sound Editor Rajas Naik, executive producers Anupriya Bahadur, Anirban Chowdhury and Ariji Berman, we hope you like our new bells and whistles like the mint fresh signature You have been listening to for the last few episodes. Shout out to the musicians at BCS Raga Sur for that we hope you liked this episode. Do share it on your social media networks. The morning brief drops every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The morning brief is now streaming on Amazon Prime music and Jio Saavn apart from Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts. And of course ET's own audio platform et play. Do tune into et play our latest platform for all audio content. All clips used in this episode belong to the respective owners credits mentioned in the description.


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