Rotors and Pilots: Nigeria’s First Drone Maker

Growing up, Ben Chiedu, founder of Rotors and Pilots Limited had a passion for making things with his hands. When he discovered drones, he started building them as a hobby and it was something he enjoyed doing. Four years down the road, he realized building drones was his passion and he could monetize and develop it as a venture. Here is the detailed interview of the Video Documentary Spotlight on Rotors and Pilots:

What inspired you to get into drones?

I have always liked to build things. As a child, I made paper versions of a lot of my toys. When I started working, I knew I was meant to make things with my hands. When I discovered drones, I was happy getting into it.

What opportunities have you identified going into drone making?

A lot. On TV you see people talking about building drones that are capable of aerial delivery services. Right now, companies like Amazon and DHL are testing out drones to deliver products because at times it is actually cheaper. There are many capabilities for drones in terms of delivery, science, search and rescue, security, mapping, construction, telecommunication and the list goes on.

What services do you presently offer?

We offer aerial services, 3d services, production services i.e. procurement services to build drones for people, Multimedia services e.g. company profile, training on how to fly and use drones for 3d mapping, security, video, photography and so on.

Who are your target audience?

My target audience are individuals, construction companies, film makers and security agencies.

How has the journey of entrepreneurship been so far?

The journey to entrepreneurship hasn’t been easy. Being an entrepreneur means you have an idea and you feel you have to sell this, if you do not have funding, you fund it from your pocket. I have funded this project from my pocket all the way.

What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

I am motivated by how people in other third world countries have advanced in terms of technology. The world has gone past the stage of importing raw materials. The world is at the stage where whatever you are blessed with by nature, you add value to it and sell. I want to handover a generation where we can self-sustain ourselves as Nigerians.

Can you comment on the Made in Nigeria movement?

Recently, the government has been looking inwards to reduce dependency on dollars, while promoting Made in Nigeria brands. There are also a lot of talents in Nigeria that the government needs to support. We have a lot of startups springing up and they are the future. The youth are the ones with new ideas, starting new businesses and they should be paid attention to, and supported where necessary. Support should also be placed in the right direction.

What are your future plans for this venture?

My future plan is to grow my venture into an industry that produces drones. I’m not sure there is a company in Africa that produces drones. I want to build my venture to where there is a chain of drone production.

What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs?

Consistency and hard work. Persist and continue pursuing your dreams. Don’t give up, remember that when a child is trying to walk, he falls and stands up to attempt to walk again. That is how you should see yourself; see that there is a need for what you are doing. Keep at it and one day that person who should pay attention to you will! Be persistent and ensure that your venture adds value.

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