M’sian Startup That Provides Drone Services And Photography
The use of drones for photography and videography is becoming more and more popular and accessible.
This market is expected to generate a value of 127 billion dollars by 2025, or triple what it was last year.
It is clear that the global drone industry is reaching new heights today, but 3 friends foresaw the market potential and decided to exploit it.
They weren’t even in the media business at the time and just wanted to make videos for fun.
After purchasing their first drone, they experienced it on some of their trips together, one of which caught the attention of many.
At first, they began to receive inquiries about the work of the aerial media, but companies also began to approach them about mapping and surveying.
“It made us realize that there was a demand for this new technology and a gap in the industry that we could fill,” Siddiq said.
Thus, DroneCult was born in 2015.
Have fun creating a portfolio
Prior to their start up, the 3 friends, Siddiq, Amir and Azzam had full time jobs as a lawyer, senior IT executive and digital marketing respectively.
They have been doing DroneCult part-time since 2015 and only started doing it full-time last year.
The work is shared between the 3 of them as well as drone freelancers.
All of their freelancers, including themselves, are trained and certified by CIDB, OPITO and PETRONAS.
It was not difficult for them to strike a balance in the early months of the startup, as their only capital was their first drone.
But what about their wallet?
Wouldn’t it be expensive to travel and take documentary type photos to show what you can do?
“Our team members love to travel. We bring our drones whenever we go on personal trips or vacations, as we all have a common interest in photography and videography.
“So it doesn’t cost the company anything,” Siddiq explained.
Plus, since 2 of their founders have IT and digital marketing background, it helped lower their start-up costs further.
They were able to easily design their own website, do online marketing, video / photo editing, and graphic design on their own.
Receive clients from various industries
Over the years, DroneCult has worked with clients from all kinds of industries.
Their most popular clients are construction companies, but they have also worked with brands, events, logistics, oil and gas, and utility companies.
The price depends on the customer’s needs and can range from RM2K to RM50K depending on the scope and duration of the work.
As their popular customer is the construction industry, they would always factor the risk of harm into their prices, which range from only RM500 to a few thousand ringgits.
Apart from that, they will also charge miscellaneous fees such as travel, accommodation and permit costs.
It must be a real treat to get paid by traveling and doing what you love.
So far, they are able to maintain a consistent 5-figure monthly profit.
To help you better assess their profits, they are able to set aside RM30K of their annual income for annual corporate travel.
But then again, since these trips help them bring more work to show on their wallet, it’s technically an investment on their side as well.
Although MCO has stagnated its income for 3 months, its savings are still enough to get through lows like these.
Stay ahead of the trend
2 years after starting their startup, they predicted the rise of drone photography, especially since they will become cheaper and more common in the years to come.
Which they are not mistaken about, as many IG influencers have more travel photos taken by drones these days.
Thus, their team has turned more to technical and industrial fields from the start to build a reputation.
They also explored more what drone technology can do besides taking photos and videos.
They used their drones for inspection, progress reports, mapping, agriculture, surveys, etc.
At present, they are in full R&D using drones in agriculture, especially for spraying and crop management.
As the drone market grows rapidly, they see this accessibility doing more harm than good.
“The commercial drones on the market these days are so easy to fly and get good images, but we are seeing a lot of inexperienced pilots offering their services for less than the average market price.”
“There have been many instances where these experienced pilots have crashed into personal property or even people due to unsafe practices,” Siddiq explained.
This is why they demand that all their pilots, including themselves, be trained and certified.
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Any job that allows you to travel while doing what you love is honestly a dream come true for anyone.
However, finding an opportunity like this requires intelligence and accurate market forecasting in your industry.
It’s not an opportunity that comes easily to just anyone every day, but when it does it is always necessary to work to stay relevant every day, as the team has shown. DroneCult.
- You can read more about DroneCult here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Siddiq Rafee, Co-Founder of DroneCult
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