India Opens Skies to Foreign Investment: Approves Up to 100% FDI in Space Sector
India Opens Skies to Foreign Investment: Approves Up to 100% FDI in Space Sector

India's emerging private space sector has embraced the relaxation of foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, calling it a pivotal step toward attracting investments and expanding the nation's presence in the global space market. Tushar Jadhav, co-founder and CEO of Manastu Space, hailed the move as potentially transformative, comparing its impact to the liberalization policies of 1991 that boosted the broader economy.

The government's decision to allow 100% overseas investment in satellite component manufacturing and up to 49% FDI via automatic approval for launch vehicles and associated systems has brought much-needed clarity to the industry. Previously, cumbersome approval processes deterred foreign investors from engaging with the sector.

Industry bodies such as the Indian Space Association (ISpA) and the Satcom Industry Association of India (SIA-India) have also applauded the Union Cabinet's decision to amend the FDI policy for the space sector. Lt. Gen A K Bhatt (retd), Director General of ISpA, emphasized the potential for India to access advanced technology and capital from both domestic and international sources.

Pawan Kumar Chandana, CEO of Skyroot Aerospace, welcomed the regulatory clarity, stating that it would facilitate investments and align India's standards with global norms. Yashas Karanam, Director of Bellatrix Aerospace, anticipated increased FDI and strategic collaborations with major international players, predicting significant growth in the sector.

Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO of DhruvaSpace, hailed the decision as historic, foreseeing unparalleled growth and innovation in India's space exploration and commercialization efforts. Similarly, Suyash Singh, CEO of GalaxEye Space, viewed the policy amendment positively, anticipating greater private sector involvement and access to global capital.

Awais Ahmed, CEO of Pixxel, described the shift in policy as a milestone for India's space industry, fostering innovation, growth, and global partnerships. Anil Prakash, Director General of SIA-India, highlighted the policy's alignment with initiatives like "Make In India" and "Atmanirbhar Bharat," aiming to bolster employment, technology absorption, and self-reliance.

Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos, set to launch its first sub-orbital rocket Agnibaan soon, welcomed the clarity provided by the amended regulations. CEO Srinath Ravichandran emphasized the significant boost this would provide to the sector's fundraising efforts and growth plans, foreseeing a new era of collaborative exploration and economic prosperity.

Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri, President of SIA-India, expressed optimism about India's space industry, poised for transformative growth and benefiting from these regulatory changes.

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