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ISRO’s business arm to invest Rs 10k crore in next five years


BENGALURU: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), which started operations in 2019 and clocked a revenue of Rs 300 crore in the first year, is now looking at revenue of Rs 400 crore in 2020-2021. It is also looking to investment Rs 2,000 crore per year over the next five years, and increase its manpower capability to from the existing 20-25 to 300, to cater to the country’s and international space requirements.

The money will be raised through a mix of equity and debt, NSIL chairman Narayanan G told mediapersons on Friday. The enterprise foresees a paradigm shift, from having a mandate to produce and operate launch vehicles for ISRO, to procuring, owning, launching and providing space-based services, primarily in the communication sector, to its various customers As per a top source in the organisation, more revenue comes from satellite-related missions than launches. The NSIL has already started discussions with users about communication satellite capacities. It is also in talks with the Department of Space to take ownership of two communication satellites. 

The NSIL is also looking at owning the already operating satellites in space. “We propose to take over the satellites run by ISRO,” said Narayanan. The space enterprise  which is incorporated as a wholly government owned enterprise with a paid-up capital of Rs 10 crore on March 6, 2019, has an authorised capital of Rs 100 crore. The recent budget identified Rs 700 crore for the company in the coming financial year. 

With global demand for launching small satellites, the NSIL is looking at production of the PSLV launcher, and is expecting to engage with industry partners in the next six months. It is looking at capturing the mid-segment class of launch vehicles. “Today, we are the best in the world to cater to that segment of the market.  The other competitive vehicles in similar class to PSLV is Arianespace’s (Italian) Vega, whereas Soyuz (Russia) and SpaceX (USA) are heavylift launchers.

The PSLV is ideally suited for mid-segment satellite with its success rate, number of launches in India and the commercial competitiveness,” said Radhakrishnan D, Technical and Strategy Director, NSIL. He told TNIE that the enterprise eventually aims to produce GSLV, GSLV-Mk3, and SSLV launch vehicles. So far, NSIL has launched 342 satellites for 24 countries, and 80 per cent of all small satellites are from the USA.