Discover more from The Indian Dream
Helicopter Rental Business in India & Creator Houses
And an idea to address the Farming issues in India
Welcome to the Trends Newsletter!
Each week we share business ideas and opportunities, and posts, articles and a lot more about the latest market trends. We also bring to you some interesting and quality business content from across the web.
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This week you’ll find:
Helicopter Rental Businesses in India
TID Book Recommendation of the week - Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart
Helicopter Rental Business - Joyrides or Profitable Business Ventures?
If you ever take a trip to the Statue of Unity, don't forget to hop on the helicopter ride - they'll fly you around the statue and the dam. The Gujarat Govt is bullish on Helicopters - they're even working out the logistics for air ambulances and other tourist applications.
The helicopter business is a fascinating industry to venture into. Tourists love flying around cities, politicians and film stars take private choppers to save time, and people are even using them for filming their weddings.
But what are the Economics of Helicopter Rentals?
We spoke to a helicopter broker friend of ours and he laid out some basic numbers:
How do Helicopter Businesses operate in India right now?
Since owning helicopters is expensive, the industry usually runs on rentals. Most companies don’t own their inventories, they rent out choppers from the ultra-rich and pay for the maintenance costs. Because it can be an expensive affair, most renters use these helicopters for multiple service offerings.
Some of our favorite assortment of services include:
Pilgrim Tourism definitely tops the list in terms of popularity. Every major yatra destination offers a heli-service. You can take a helicopter from the base of Vaishnodevi and avoid all the hiking. There are services that let you travel between two pilgrim cities.
Sightseeing via helicopter has its own fan-base. From flying around and enjoying the topical views of snow-clad mountains in Sikkim to getting a bird’s eye view of architectural delights of Hyderabad, chopper services are getting extremely popular among tourists.
Search and Rescue. Need we say more?
Aerial Filming. No, we aren’t talking about the Rahul Raichand scene from K3G. Filming establishing and wide shots using a helicopter is becoming super common. So much so that even wedding videographers offer an option of shooting the venue from a chopper.
Transportation services using a helicopter can be an excellent arena to grow. It is quick, easy and saves a lot of manpower.
Medical Necessities/ Emergencies. The Gujarat State government recently announced its plans to make air ambulances more accessible to common people. Doing so in rural parts of the country with limited medical access can be an amazing venture.
We did a deep dive into the helicopter industry on our YouTube channel. And discussed the commercials and revenues of premier helicopter service agents like Pawan Hans and Global Vectra.
Spoiler Alert- The numbers are crazier than you could imagine! Check out the video here:
The helicopter industry seems like a profitable business once you figure out the nuances. In fact, because Helicopters are tangible assets, getting loans should be straightforward. As we discuss in our video above, businesses built around chartered planes and helicopters seem to make decent money.
Risks of Starting a Helicopter Rental Company
This is asset heavy industry with a great deal of potential risks:
For starters, it is impossible to fly your helicopters during weather conditions like fog or heavy rain/wind.
Helicopters can’t travel more than 2 hours without running out of fuel.
If you do not maintain your chopper properly, it may crash. If you are carrying passengers, you will be liable for anything that happens to them.
We don’t recommend entering this business without any expert by your side. It is pricey venture and risk mitigation should be a top priority.
Given all this information, what do you think about starting a Helicopter rental business?
Creators Who Live Together…
Picture this: A bunch of content creators. All of them have been invited to live in a house for a while- an all-expense paid trip. The lavish pad offers all kinds of tools one may need to spin out magic.
Sounds like a vacation house, right?
The Hub Bengaluru does something similar. They have a creator/ influencer house where content creators across genres come together, enjoy great amenities and create content. The “house-owners” get a share of the profits from the content created under their roof. The creators are given growth targets that they have to meet. It becomes a win-win for all involved!
But, this is a Tier I city where Real Estate is expensive.
In India, Tier II and Tier III cities have a lot of untapped potential.
Most kids (and adults) don’t get the same kind of opportunities. So, what if you were to open up a content house or a creator house in a Tier II city? Bring together like-minded talented individuals? And offer them the resources they need to do what they love? Maybe even provide guidance and training?
In a house where creativity is flowing in every corner, nourishing new talent is rather effective. Something that will make this even better is a hybrid co-living arrangement where experienced and novice creators get together. Knowledge can be shared and fresh ideas can be round-tabled.
But the cost of building and maintenance would be much lower than in Bangalore.
This can be applied to all kinds of skillsets - gaming, coding, writing, podcasting, etc.
One of our favorite houses is the one created by the S8ul Gaming House. It works on the model mentioned above, and is widely popular. Check it out here.
Do you think we should start a Business influencer house? Maybe we can convince Ankur Warikoo to fund it for us.
Farm Life Simulation Game
Here’s a problem (among tonnes of others) with agriculture in India:
Farmers don’t have enough capital to grow high-value crops.
Low-value crops like cotton and dal cannot sustain a farmer and their family. Investing in high-value crops like mangoes or mushrooms can actually yield better profits for them. But a lack of funds leaves them with no choice but to regrow high volumes of the same wheat, rice, dal and barley.
This is where crowdfunding enters the picture.
Agriculture crowdfunding can bring in the much-needed capital from a variety of sources and provide for better risk allocation. The farmers now have the means to scale-up and the investors can get a share of the profits.
What if we expanded this idea to include actual farm land?
Instead of pooling in, how about buying a small portion of land and co-owning a farm? You can choose the produce you want to grow. And if you decide to sell some of it, you might even share a bit of the revenue with the farmers.
Obviously, there are potential problems associated with this plan. A major one being trust. You will need someone to build that trust within the farmers. Help them understand the benefits of the plan. Once that is done, it is a niche model that can help the farmers in our country and provide you with fresh produce.
Farmizen, a venture built out of Bengaluru operates on a similar model. They have an app which you can use to access your farmland, and pick and choose your crop. It’s like Farmville in real life. But without the constant notifications!
Before we go on to 3-2-1, we have a request for you. Please help us reach more people by sharing this post with your friends, colleagues and family who might enjoy the content we create!
TID's 3-2-1 (3 Tweets, 2 Podcasts, 1 Article)
This is a proven way grow personally and in your career - if you're not feeling uncomfortable, you're not growing. We discussed this topic in detail towards the end of our Podcast with Sahil Lavingia - you can listen to it here.
Software businesses are some of the best businesses to start but a constant worry is - "how do I find and sell to my first 1000 customers?" This thread is a great breakdown on doing exactly that.
Some great suggestions in the thread to go, chill out and work.
For this week, we are diving-deep in the Internet of Things (IoT) space - a $10 Billion market in India.
A few years ago, we were told that all our consumer electronic devices (TV, Refrigerator, Air Conditioner, Security Systems, etc) would be connected to the internet to make a ‘Smart Home’. We’re almost in 2022, and only the TV has been connected to the internet at a meaningful scale. The reason for that is the differing technology standards that different companies and IoT devices use, making the interoperability amongst devices and standardisation very difficult. Matter, a new technology standard for IoT, is being worked on by the giants of the industry (Apple, Samsung, Google) to make the Smart Home a reality. Check out this podcast by The Verge to know more Matter and how it can save the Smart Home.
The Indian IoT Market is huge ($10 billion) and is growing at double digits. While Smart Home IoT might be facing adoption challenges, there are other sectors (Industrial IoT, Automotive IoT) that have tons of opportunities. We discuss them all with Kush Mishra, Co-Founder and CTO, SenRa. Checkout the podcast here.
1 Article - Is seaweed the future of flying?
We love niche businesses and this is a niche we've covered before - Seaweed farming and processing. This article covers another interesting use case of Seaweed - as a carbon negative biofuel for aircraft.
"It's estimated that macroalgaes like kelp and seagrass could remove 61–268 million tonnes (23-295 million tons) of carbon from the atmosphere every year.
But seaweed can also be harvested and turned into biofuel. Although when burned, it will still release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, as the fuel is made with carbon already drawn from the air by the algae, it shouldn't contribute additional emissions. In an added bonus, giant kelp forests can support other marine life that also help remove additional carbon from the atmosphere and some analyses estimate using macroalgaes for biofuels could even be carbon negative overall in the right conditions, although this has still to be thoroughly tested in practice."
A few fun facts about Seaweed farming:
The Indian government allocated ₹637 crore in the 2021 budget to build a multi-purpose seaweed farm in Tamil Nadu.
Seaweed is also being used as biostimulant to help plants grow better.
Sea6 Energy, an Indian startup, is the only company in the world that has a patented seaweed-based biostimulant.
Seaweed farming produces 30 million tonnes annually … a business worth more than $6bn (£5bn) worldwide. Half of this coming from China and most of the rest from Indonesia and Philippines; India produces about 20,000 tons.
The new-age farming space is booming right now - you can read more in our article about new-age farming where we discuss aquaponics, mushroom farming, seaweed farming and much more! You can also listen to our episodes with the largest Seaweed farmer in India, one of the largest hydroponics and aquaponics farmer in India, or one of the largest mushroom farmers in India.
TID's Book Recommendation: Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart
After speaking to 100+ entrepreneurs over the past year, we've realised that the single biggest factor holding back Indian SME growth is Hiring. Even heavily funded startup founders speak about how hiring is difficult for them.
"Who: The A Method for Hiring" has completely changed the way I (Sahil) think about hiring. The methods I've implemented because of this book have helped me source, interview, assess and hire better candidates who've helped me grow myself and my business.
To summarise the book:
‘Who’ gives you a great replicable framework for hiring A players for the role you need to fill. It provides a step by step process to make the most out of every interview, provide the optimal experience for the interviewee and maximum information for the interviewer. The two basic steps are: #1 Create a scorecard #2 Check if the candidate fits the scorecard. - Source
We recommend this book to anyone that's in a position to hire people. This could be seasoned entrepreneurs, startup founders and even managers in large businesses. You can't elevate your own role unless you hire the right people.
That’s it from us this week! Share this with your friends, family and colleagues who want to stay on top of Market Trends and Business Ideas & Opportunities!
Until next week!
Sahil & Sid