The success of the lunar mission opens up new avenues for the IT companies, spurring new thoughts on channeling the national pride into reshaping the future of India’s IT industry
‘Chanda mama door ke’ sang a 1950s bollywood chartbuster and the cradle song went on to become a favourite lullaby for millions of Indian mothers. Chanda mama or the moon was referred to as a far distant object that can only be the subject of popular imagination. Well, no more. At 6:04 pm IST (1234 GMT)on 23rd August, 2023, India created history. India’s 3rd moon mission Chandrayaan 3 successfully softlanded near the lunar south pole fulfilling the aspirations of India as a major space-faring nation.
Addressing ISRO scientists virtually from Johannesburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India made a resolve “on the Earth and fulfilled it on the Moon. We are witness to the new flight of new India. New history has been written.”
“India made a resolve on the Earth and fulfilled it on the Moon. We are witness to the new flight of new India. New history has been written.”
– Prime Minister, Narendra Modi
A Collective Success
India’s date with the Moon was hailed and acknowledged across the globe as a blazing triumph of Indian science and technology. Let it be noted that the globe waited with baited breathe for the success of Chandrayaan 3 after Russia’s Luna-25 moon mission failed just a couple of days before.
Not just ISRO, India’s prime space agency which lifted the heavy mantle, but some organizations of national importance and a host of industry players too contributed to this lunar success story.
Before delving deep into how India’s lunar success would go on to impact its tech industry, let’s take stock of how different tech organizations have contributed to reinforce and expand India’s lunar might.
“India’s moon missions have most positively impacted its IT sector. They innovate, inspire new scientists and engineers, promote global collaboration, and generate a virtuous cycle of technological developments that benefit many sectors.”
– Nazmeen Ansari , CEO, Matrix3D Infocom Private Ltd.
Robust Industry Participation
Hours before Chandrayaan 3 made its epic soft-landing, companies that had been instrumental in aiding the mission in terms of supplying critical instruments, materials and other logistics witnessed remarkable surges at the stock markets.
Industrial conglomerate Larsen &Toubro (L&T) saw a 1.5% surge in the markets. The company has supplied some instruments for the ISRO booster for the moon vehicle. L&T also supplies the radars used by the spaceport at Sriharikota.
Mishradhatu Nigam, the alloy-making PSU, has supplied the intensely heat-resistant cobalt and nickel based alloys for the ISRO launch vehicle. Similarly, Centum Electronics contributed modules for the lunar mission. Other than these, precision engineering firm MTAR Technologies, PARAS Defence and Space Technologies, and industrial gas firm Linde India too assisted the mission in a major way.
“ASIRT congratulates ISRO and every person behind the mission Chandrayaan-3 and its successful landing. Technology has made a major role in the success . Strong support provided by Central leadership to the mission and its vision is making India grow exponentially.”
-Nilesh Kadakia, Chairman, ASIRT
A Saga of Public-Private Sector Collaboration
A great example of public-private sector collaboration, Chandrayaan 3 offered a great opportunity for participation to private sector companies. As stated earlier, L&T provided the crucial booster segments including the head-end segment, middle segment and the nozzle bucket flange.
Tata Consulting Engineers Limited (TCE) helped with critical systems and sub-systems including the propellant plant, the vehicle assembly building and the mobile launch pedestal which were instrumental for the successful launch of the lunar mission. Similarly, Bharat Heavy Electricals supplied the batteries for Chandrayaan-3. Its Welding Research Institute also supplied bi-metallic adaptors for the mission.
While Godrej Aerospace produced key engines, and thrusters, Ankit Aerospace supplied alloy steel, and stainless steel fasteners. Like L&T, Walchandnagar Industries too supplied critical booster segments. It provided the S200 booster segment used in the launch vehicle, flex nozzle control tankages and the critical S200 Flex nozzle hardware.
Impact on the Tech Sector
India’s lunar success has opened new vistas for the country’s tech industry to take part in future space missions. As exemplified by Chandrayan 3, the country’s space mission offers a great opportunity to collaborate in different sectors of space technology.
“India’s moon missions have most positively impacted its IT sector. They innovate, inspire new scientists and engineers, promote global collaboration, and generate a virtuous cycle of technological developments that benefit many sectors,” states Nazmeen Ansari , CEO, Matrix3D Infocom Private Ltd.
The event has been hailed by the country’s IT industry and influential industry associations. Mumbai-based IT industry ASIRT has congratulated the country’s space agency on the spectacular success. Nilesh Kadakia, Chairman, ASIRT, said, “ASIRT congratulates ISRO and every person behind the mission Chandrayaan-3 and its successful landing. Technology has made a major role in the success. Strong support provided by Central leadership to the mission and its vision is making India grow exponentially.”
“As IT companies have played a pivotal role in scripting this success story, we will see many new ventures that will count on the industry to accomplish unprecedented goals.”
– Navneet Singh Bindra, Senior Vice President & Country Chief Executive, Ingram Micro India
ASIRT (Association of System Integrators and Retailors in Technology), which is a 250 + strong SI Partners of Mumbai expressed pride being in the technology trade. “We are proud that we are in the service of technological products and that we contribute in the growth of the nation with technological products and services,” added Kadakia.
The success of the lunar mission has opened up many opportunities for IT companies in the country and abroad. Chandrayaan-3 has demonstrated India’s capability and expertise in space technology. “Indian lunar missions show its potential to develop advanced technologies. Moon missions require engineers, software developers, data analysts, and others. Demand for qualified professionals trains and grows a highly specialised workforce that can contribute to other technical disciplines. This helps techies get work and close the skills gap,” says Nazmeen Ansari , CEO, Matrix3D Infocom Private Ltd.
“Moon missions encourage startups and entrepreneurship. Industrial uses use space mission technologies. These prospects can help entrepreneurs start space-related firms, expanding the IT sector. Advanced research, testing, manufacturing, and communication networks are needed for lunar missions. Reusing this infrastructure for IT operations can boost tech growth,” adds Nazmeen.
Navneet Singh Bindra, Senior Vice President & Country Chief Executive, Ingram Micro India, said, “Our country’s remarkable achievement – the successful landing of our satellite on the moon – has captured global attention and left the entire world awestruck. I strongly believe that this accomplishment is a testament to our nation’s prowess in space technology, and this opens up new avenues that every IT company must aspire to explore. So, while we take pride in our country’s accomplishment, we must also think innovatively about how to channel that pride into reshaping the future of India’s IT industry.”
The success can attract more global and commercial projects for both ISRO and private companies involved in the mission in the near future. “Chandrayan mission has also attracted the attention of foreign investors. Several companies have expressed interest in investing in the Indian space sector. This investment is expected to help to boost research and development in the sector,” says Nazmeen.
Chandrayaan-3 has also boosted India’s image among the Artemis Accords signatory countries, which are a US-led global partnership for space exploration and research. India can also collaborate with these countries for future lunar missions and space stations. The mission’s success has also paved the way for more scientific discoveries and innovations on the moon, such as mining, water exploration, colonization and space tourism. IT companies can provide solutions and services for these emerging sectors.
“This kind of missions generate massive data sets that require complex processing and analysis. Data analytics and processing can improve healthcare, banking, and other data management,” says Nazmeen.
Inspiring a Generation
Easily the greatest event in our lifetime, Chandrayaan-3 has also inspired a new generation of young Indians to pursue careers in science, space technology, engineering and mathematics. IT companies can benefit from the increased talent pool and innovation potential of these students.
“Space missions have an inherent set of challenges and complexities, and the areas that demand undivided attention are data management, end-to-end security, and seamless communication between spacecraft and control centers. To envision and accomplish such a complex mission, you need a distinct level of digital competence and expertise. In fact, the lunar landing not only brings forth the technological advancements that facilitate this exploration but also highlights the country’s spirit to realize the true potential of technologies. As IT companies have played a pivotal role in scripting this success story, we will see many new ventures that will count on the industry to accomplish unprecedented goals,” says Bindra.