These days Drones are considered very fascinating gadgets and getting space in different industries such as defense, research, travel, and photography etc. And with consumer adoption expanding and commercial applications growing, the drone industry is on the verge of the modern revolution, Sonal Baid, an aerospace engineer from Indore, is right at the front.
In recognition of the women who have helped in the transformation of the Drone industry, the Women And Drones group, in partnership with Delair, GLOBHE & Sundance Media Group, announced their ‘Women to Watch in UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) 2018’ list, Sonal Baid become the first Indian to feature in it!
Speaking with the times of India Sonal said: “The unmanned vehicles industry has an immense potential and I see myself being a part of the revolution this technology is bringing to the world. By being a part of the teams developing innovative products, I can help to shape this new and upcoming industry.”
Sonal’s love for unmanned flying objects started when she was just a child. Speaking to The Drone Girl, Sonal says: “From my very first childhood memories, I remember two things—going to the park with my grandfather and going to my small town airport with my dad every Sunday, just to watch airplanes take off and land. I have always been super excited about machines, especially flying machines.”
Sonal pursued her engineering in the Aeronautical branch from SVIT in Vasad, Gujarat and soon she started working for TATA Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). From there she went on to work on a project for Airbus landing gear with Messier Bugatti Dowty furthering her knowledge and experience in the field of aerospace engineering. After that, she moved to the USA to complete her master degree in Technology Management and after that, she joined a San Francisco-based start-up company Kittyhawk as an intern, this start-up company works on the development of drone devices. Today, She leads from the forefront of the Strategic Operations & Product Management and hopes that her position will help her to bring more awareness about drones among the people.
She pointed out that the basic difference between industries in the two countries is that India is yet to emerge as a breeding ground for start-up companies developing drones.
Speaking with ‘The Drone Girl’ she says: “There aren’t many start-ups in the aerospace industry in India… I worked with big corporations back home; and like the US, in India too, these big corporations follow a lot of hierarchy, and as a result, the growth is slower… I feel, there is not much of an impact on the culture in the industry based on the geography… It’s the start-up culture that is playing the major role in defining the industry.”
In the modern world, we all are aware of the use of drones and each passing day, the operational field of drones is increasing.
In the last 2 -Years, there has been a remarkable jump in the usage of drones in almost every sector.
Speaking to the Times of India Sonal says: “But not many know that drones are considered an aircraft, and they belong to the national airspace. Since almost everybody and anybody is using drones, the software that we have developed helps them understand how they should use drones, what are the weather conditions they should look for and what kind of special permissions, if any, are required for using them.”
Sonal Baid is currently working in the USA, let’s hope that she gets to bring her expertise and experience to develop the Drone Industry in India.