Business / Companies

Skyview's heading into era of success

By Wang Wen and Yang Jun (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-16 09:58

Skyview is literally reaching for the sky as profit soars.

The Guizhou-based drone manufacturer expects sales to double to 6 million yuan ($968,400) this year compared with 2014.

"We have really huge market potential," said Zhang Ruixin, the company's co-founder..

Skyview might not be the biggest player in the unmanned aerial vehicles industry, but it is growing fast and increasing its market share.

In the first quarter, Skyview reported sales of 1.5 million yuan, which was just 200,000 yuan less than the company's entire 2013 revenue stream.

But then, the secret of Skyveiw's success has been to carefully target the marketplace. The company mainly supplies UAVs to China's armed forces, police and fire services, producing 10 drones a month from its factory in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province.

Zhang pointed out that Skyview is the industry's leading research and development company in Southwest China, specializing in aerial photography.

From humble beginnings, it has become one of the sector's highfliers. The success story started eight years ago when Zhang noticed that foreign rivals were using model airplanes to take aerial shots before switching to drones.

"We saw a gap in the market in China," he said, adding that he researched the UAV market on the Internet before setting up Skyview in 2008.

Drones are now widely used in scientific research, ground mapping and fire control. This year, the market is expected to be worth about $1.7 billion, according to a report by Mary Meeker, the respected venture capitalist and former Wall Street securities analyst in the United States.

China will be at the forefront as the sector expands, and Skyview is hoping to grow into one of the big players. "We want to lead in a certain segment of the market such as the army, police and fire services," Zhang said.

The company's largest client is the fire service in Hunan province although they also have contracts with the Chinese armed forces and the police. Besides selling UAVs, Skyview provides training for its clients on handling drones.

"Our customers can also get tailor-made drones," Zhang said. "These are products the major companies do not provide."

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