The friendly Drone is here..!

Imagine, on a lazy Wednesday afternoon in Mumbai suburb a mother staying with her toddler son

recollects that she wanted to read a new novel which has recently hit the stands. She goes ahead and

buys it online just like any typical customer would do these days and expects it to be delivered home in a

couple of days. But there is a surprise in store… Just an hour later she hears the sound of what might be

a helicopter which is flying too near to her home, maybe it is landing in her backyard!! When she goes

out she sees an unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as ‘Drone’ which is structured like a mini

spaceship and it is there to deliver the book that she ordered just an hour back. She picks up the book

and the Drone departs.

Too fancy to imagine? Not really…! If we go by what companies like Amazon are trying to achieve, this

fancy imagination could soon turn into reality. Welcome to the new age of ‘Drone Delivery’ where

everything would be available to the customer at his doorstep, literally.

The advancements that humanity has achieved in the field of science and technology has steadily

influenced the way of life of the society at large in a very constructive way. For a long time now, the

question of how to make people’s life easier and safer has been the driving force for the technology

industry. The past year has seen a flood of such new technologies: be it new advancements is the smart

phone industry, Google’s projects such as Google-glass, a wearable computer and Google Chauffeur, a

driverless car. Use of Drones by companies like Amazon and Dominos to reach their customers instantly

is one such milestone towards making peoples life more convenient.

Imagine the impact it would have on the healthcare sector with the possibility of being able to transport

life saving drugs or apparatus to any location in a very short span of time irrespective of traffic

congestions.

The Drone delivery concept is also a definite game changer in the field of logistics and customer service.

It would drastically reduce the time and cost of product delivery which is why it would not only affect

the way businesses serve its customers but it would also have a direct impact on the whole supply chain

system of the companies and the way they interact with other businesses. This would open up

possibilities of whole new business models like instant intercompany document deliveries, library books

on demand, instant grocery delivery and so on.

With such Drone technology put to proper use, Sky is the limit. Quite literally!

But is it all as easy as it sounds?

Getting goods delivered instantly at your doorsteps by an unmanned aerial vehicle! This is news that has

the potential to create enough buzz in the industry and in the minds of the customers. As pleasing as it

might sound but the thought of practical implementation of the idea poses many questions and

challenges.

The economic feasibility of the idea is still very uncertain. After all, how many organizations have the

financial muscle to invest in a fleet of Drones is a question worth pondering. Risks which might affect the

investment decision financially are, the physical damages that the Drones might face frequently due to

uncontrollable external environment and the possibility of Drones itself being stolen once it is outside

the organization’s campus for a delivery. Then there is also the recurring maintenance and upgradation

costs to be incurred.

Even after assuming that a few companies do manage to invest in it, how many places around the globe

have such organized markets where Drones could be operated efficiently? The challenges this idea could

face at developing markets like India are many folds greater as this may create more unemployment in a

labour abundant society. Also, majority of people here still trust in payment by cash once they receive

the goods and that would be tough to accomplish with a Drone. Moreover there are local regulatory and

security issues needed to be addressed.

Even technologically, drones for commercial purposes are still in its nascent phase of evolution and

would need time to mature. How reliable are these drones anyway?

Operating Drones by security agencies against rival states is altogether a different ball game than for the

private companies to operate drones to satisfy customer demands. Training a workforce to do the job

would be a herculean task. Also, flying drones at low altitudes in a crowded locality and the steady

availability of GPS signals for mapping and routing are only few of the technological challenges that are

yet to be overcome.

Also there are a whole bunch of marketing gurus who argue that for an organization to retain customers

over a long term basis there is a need for ‘personal touch’ in services delivered and this is completely

missing in the Drone delivery system!

In spite of considering all the above discussed challenges we can still trust in the ever continuing pursuit

for innovation and excellence by our scientific community and believe that all these challenges can be

overcome in due time and Drone technology may as well evolve a game changer for the markets in the

near future.

Prof. Sharath R

Lecturer,

Department of Marketing

ITM Business School,

Bangalore

Call @ 09986343193


Blog:

itmbangalore.blogspot.in


ITM BUSINESS SCHOOL BANGALORE on Facebook

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Note: This is a sponsored article and has NOT been written by the PaGaLGuY Editorial Team. It is intended from an informational perspective only and it is up to the readers to research and verify the claims and judgements in the article before reaching a conclusion.

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