Working with drones is still not a career for most. Take Bhavesh Sangani for example. While studying at an engineering college in Tumkur, Karnataka, in 2009, Bhavesh Sangani bought a small toy: a remote-controlled helicopter. Before he started flying it, he tied it with a thread, just like a kite, scared it might land somewhere else. Something worse happened—the flight crashed and the toy was wrecked.
Drones is cutting-edge tech
What remained with Sangani, however, was the desire to fly something with a remote control. The same year, he started a club in college that made DIY remote-controlled flights or drones. “By the time I graduated in 2011, we had built 36 remote-controlled electrical planes, all self-taught through the internet,” says the 28-year-old. The hobby helped Sangani land a job as an engineer with Quest Global, an engineering services company based in Bengaluru, straight out of college.
It has been nine years since Sangani picked up drone-flying as a hobby. In this time, he has seen it evolve from a geeky pastime to a fledgling, yet promising, career option that is in demand in several sectors—from movie shoots and public sector undertakings to mining companies and survey agencies.
There’s future scope for drones
“Since I have a lot of experience flying these birds, I can easily choose to become a full-time test pilot for new products for mapping or surveying in a few years. There is a lot of scope for future growth of this technology,” says Sangani.
Globally, the market for piloted drones is forecast to more than double by 2022, according to a European Commission impact assessment report released in December 2015. The report estimates some 150,000 jobs by 2050 in Europe alone. According to an estimate last year by the non-profit body, Consortium of Unmanned Vehicle Systems India (Cuvsi), there are 40,000 drones in the Indian sky and Indians have spent more than Rs40 crore buying civil drones, even though their civilian use is illegal.
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