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
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
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
Prof. Sharath R
Department of Marketing
ITM Business School,
Call @ 09986343193
ITM BUSINESS SCHOOL BANGALORE on Facebook
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.