Drone Spraying Aus - Yasin & Levent Gulec
Hone TEK Program 1
1 Nov 2022
Yasin and Levent joined the Hone program to explore the opportunity to build and expand a drone-as-is-service weed spraying business. Yasin was exposed to the problem initially through his family's own experience on their farm managing weed infestations and the difficulty in accessing those weeds in hilly areas. Typical methods of managing these weeds include using a ground-mounted weed spraying system or helicopter contractors, both options which were not feasible for the scale and nature of their issue. The brothers saw an opportunity to utilise the manoeuvrability and accuracy of drones for hard-to-reach areas for spraying and managing weeds, such as Pattersons Curse and blackberry. Yasin and Levent also wanted to explore the complimentary opportunities that using drones may provide, such as land assessment services. Their company Levin Aerotech t/a Drone Spraying Australia is CASA registered for drone operations and have experience successfully spraying weeds with a spray drone they currently own.
Their key achievement for Drone Spraying Australia in the HoneTEK program was the exploration of business models that enabled a fundamental shift in thinking from a drone spraying service business, to a more scalable, growth enterprise as a “land management subscription” service. Yasin and Levent were also able to articulate some innovative thinking on alternative value propositions for farmers around self-service and leveraging of data collation for an intangible asset that can also be utilised the create value for agriculture – creating new offerings not already in the market.
Through introductions made by their coach, Drone Spraying Australia are currently exploring additional commodities in the SE Australian area, mainly around horticulture and viticulture to identify and validate problems that may be solved through similar technology, enabling diversification. The extensive flooding in these regions has hampered engagement with grass roots producers somewhat.
Drone Spraying Australia has developed a go to market strategy and were able to create some progress towards channels for customer access including data driven analysis around hilly geography and weeds as well as potential intra-program collaborations on weather impacts for drone operations. Governance actions such as shareholding agreements were also addressed in the course of the program. Most of all, Drone Spraying Australia made significant progress on their customer discovery process, validating assumptions and early key insights from the HatchTEK program. Yasin and Levent garnered a clear understanding of the business model canvas tools and techniques.
We’ve learned quite a bit in the Hone Program – it’s been great. The best thing is that we have a clear set of tools and tips that we can go to.
Drone Spraying Australia has some aspirational goals for growth and at 4Q2022, had ten clients on the books, after only securing the CASA licenses in May and their first client in June 2022. Their 12-month goal is to achieve $110K revenue and grow to 50 clients in Victoria. With a focus on Victoria, they forecast achieving 10% of the serviceable market - $10.6M annual turnover by Year 5. Key areas of action are around establishing relationships with industry experts, channels for execution of growth through agronomists, agricultural suppliers and land management-oriented community groups. The shift from ‘spraying as a service’ to a ‘land management subscription’ model is coupled with a vision for significant scale and to this end requires an alternative business model such as franchising, partnering or licensing. Yasin and Levent plan to explore these options.