We discussed an interesting case study on Antrix Corporation at Tasmac. The team comprising did a splendid presentation on this government owned company. The team highlighted the dedicated efforts and success of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and its marketing arm Antrix Corporation Ltd (set up in 1992. It is interesting to note that the name “Antrix” is an anglicized version of the Sanskrit/Hindi word अंतरिक्ष – Antarriksh, meaning “Space”. This change will surely help Antrix in developing a global brand identity. References have been made to verify and source information from http://www.brahmand.com/ and http://www.antrix.gov.in/
Vikram Sarabhai’s Vision
Vikram Sarabhai considered as the father of Indian Space Program vision was profound “To us there is no ambiguity of purpose … We are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally and in the comity of nations we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of the man and society”.
Globe Forum Award 2010
True to Sarabhai’s vision Antrix Corporation, ISRO demonstrated the use of space technology and Information Technology (IT) solutions to effectively reach out to grassroots through Sujala Watershed development program in Karnataka which was implemented during 2002–09 in five districts benefiting 1250 villages.
In recognition of the above Antrix Corporation was conferred with the most prestigious Globe Sustainability Research Award 2010 by the Globe Forum, Stockholm, Sweden for its outstanding contribution to improve sustainable livelihoods amongst rural poor while reducing their vulnerability to climate risks.
Scope of the Indian Space Industry
- Operational space services – communication and remote sensing including raw satellite imagery and geographic information systems
- Space Communications System and Software
- Remote Sensing Systems and Software
- Spacecraft Systems and Sub-Systems
- Launch Services – commercial services and manufacture of subsystems
- Ground Systems – receiving data and images from satellites.
- Testing and Lab facilities
- Mission Support
- Training, Consultancy and allied services
Antrix’s annual revenues have been pegged at around Rs 1,000 crore. As reported in a recent news item India’s $1.25 billion space industry is being given the highest priority. Working as the commercial wing of ISRO, Antrix has widened the base of ISRO’s activities, its products and services in the international aerospace market. Antrix has orders of over Rs 3,000 crore in the pipeline.
A SWOT analysis by the team revealed Antrix’s opportunity in the developing countries to open new sources of revenues. The option of venturing into Space Tourism was also debated. Antrix has made the Indian space industry more lucrative by promoting ISRO’s products and services and adding more and more international customers to its list.
K R Sridhara Murthi, MD, stated that Antrix Corporation Limited is playing a pivotal role in offering space-based services such as Direct-To-Home television, VSAT networks and Geospatial information and solutions. With the technology assistance rendered through ISRO, they have developed world-class capabilities to produce components for spacecraft and launch vehicles. They can now look further for partnerships with their global counterparts to access markets outside India.
Relevance of Space Technologies to the ‘aam admi’ in India?
Though still at a modest level the programs such as Telemedicine (health care), Tele-education, agriculture and natural
resources information thru’ the VRC (Village Resource Centre) of ISRO are benefiting and bringing the technology to the door steps of common man. State and central government authorities are provided with satellite derived information on floods, drought and forest fires for the preparedness and management.
In the field of Space Technology there are uncertainties and failures. The Government and The Dept. of Space must continue to support ISRO/Antrix in their pursuits with full independence. Only then can India hope to make a mark in the celestial world of SPACE. It appears we have no other options and in the words of Konstantin E. Tsiokovsky (1857 – 1935) the Imperial Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory –
“Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever”
We thank the team for their effort to brief us on the challenges and achievements of ISRO and Antrix Corporation.