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Garuda Aerospace picks ‘farmer’ MS Dhoni as shareholder, brand ambassador



Drone startup Garuda Aerospace has appointed cricketer As the company’s firm’s brand ambassador, the company announced on Monday. The cricketer will also be one of their shareholders, it added.

“(I) look forward to witness their growth story with the unique drone solutions they have to offer,” said Dhoni, as quoted in the company statement.

The Chennai-based startup had recently announced its plans to support agriculture. The company said in April that it was working on a model to sell drones to village-level entrepreneurs or pesticide and fertilizer retailers.

Dhoni owns a farmhouse in Ranchi and has ventured into growing organic fruits and vegetables.

“Farmers can adapt to various circumstances and make thoughtful decisions with the help of an agriculture drone,” the company wrote in its website, adding that crop health, crop treatment, crop scouting, irrigation, field soil analysis, and crop damage assessments are all aided by the information gathered.

“Garuda’s agricultural drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that help with agricultural production, crop growth monitoring, and agriculture operations optimization,” it added.

An ardent fan of Dhoni, Garuda Aerospace CEO Agnishwar Jayaprakash said, “To have him as a part of the Garuda Aerospace family is honestly a dream come true.”

“Mahi Bhai is the epitome of Dedication & I firmly believe that having Captain Cool on our Cap table adds tremendous value which will motivate our team to perform better (sic),” he added.

In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had virtually inaugurated the drone manufacturing facilities of Garuda Aerospace at Manesar in Gurugram and in Chennai.

Garuda Aerospace deploys 300 drones and 500 pilots across 26 cities. Jayaprakash said the enterprise was on its way to become India’s first-ever drone unicorn startup.

Garuda Aerospace is among the four drone startups that had been selected by online food delivery service Swiggy for a pilot project involving carrying out supply runs for its grocery service Instamart.

“(The companies) will replenish stocks between seller-run dark stores and from a store to a common customer point,” Swiggy had said in April. “A delivery partner will then pick up orders from the common point and deliver them to a customer’s doorstep.”

Swiggy in a blog post ‘Swiggy Bytes’ had said the pilot will be done in two tranches, the first one in Bengaluru by Garuda Aerospace and in Delhi-NCR by Skyeair Mobility.

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