MD One Founder and Managing Partner Will McManners speaks with Anmol Manohar – the CEO and Founder of portfolio company Greenjets.
Anmol Manohar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Greenjets, a UK based business building cutting edge propulsion systems for drones and aircraft. Their propulsion units are quieter, more powerful, and more efficient than traditional systems; whilst being straightforward to install on a variety of drone platforms.
How did you get interested in the aerospace sector initially?
My father worked in the Navy and I grew in a number of naval bases fascinated by ships, aircraft, helicopters and engineering. A breakthrough moment for me was as a 7-year-old watching a Sea Harrier take-off vertically for the first time from an aircraft carrier. I don't think I considered any other profession after seeing that.
How has your tech progressed since company inception to today?
When we started 3 years ago, we had a seemingly impossible ambition of solving the annoying noise signature from drones and electric aircraft. Today we not only have a proven proprietary solution, but we have also started shipping our first product to the drone industry with significant commercial traction and 3 more product launches in 2024. Looking forward to our 5 year horizon, we would like to be the world's leading provider of electric propulsion systems for all drones up to 500 kgs.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since launching the company?
For the company, the biggest lesson has been to 'get out there'. We have spent a lot of time in 2023, meeting customers, stakeholders, suppliers globally- especially in the US and Asia. This has helped us connect the dots between our tech and real-world applications much faster than anticipated.
Do you have any product developments we can share?
IPM5, our first ducted fan product, designed for low-speed forward flight applications that need quiet and efficient flight, has now entered production.
Our 2nd product, ILF5, which is designed for hovering/multi-rotor applications has completed the pre-production testing and will be ready in Q2 2024, with several customers already preparing for adoption, as well as our 3rd product, which is designed for high-speed applications, will be available in Q2 2024, which already has a large orderbook.
The drone market is growing exponentially, with dramatic product improvements. How do you plan on retaining your lead in this arena?
We need to move quickly with our technology, bringing it to the market across a range of applications and use cases. To do this, we need to not only continue making the best propulsion systems in the market; but we also need to bring these products to market faster.
We have just won a $1.3M grant from the UK Government to speed up our design process using AI algorithms specifically trained on our past engine parameters and test data.
How do you see your team growing in the future?
We were delighted to welcome Paul Freeland in 2023 who brings over thirty years’ experience from his automotive background, including fifteen years working at MAHLE powertrain delivering high performance propulsion systems for several large OEs, as well as five years at Cosworth, developing high performance propulsion systems and leading their developments for high power battery systems and electric starter-generator systems for Hypercars.
Our team of 20 has best-in-class engineers from Aerospace (Rolls Royce, BAE), Motorsport (Formula 1, Le Mans) and young talent from top universities in the UK. We recognise the next phase of our growth will be enabled by building a strong manufacturing team and commercial team. This will be our focus for 2024.
What is your products edge within National Security applications?
Post the Ukraine-Russia War in 2022, drones will play a critical role in military applications worldwide. With evolution in counter-UAS systems, drones will need to be stealthier, faster and quieter to be more effective on the battlefield. Greenjets' propulsion technology is a critical enabler for future drones be effective and will therefore give a massive edge. That being said, our core technology is an aerospace propulsion innovation, and we would like to aim for a healthy 50:50 split between both commercial and military applications.
Considering the size of the Indian market and your existing production and client traction there, how big a role do you see India playing in the future of Greenjets?
India is poised to be a drone hub for Asia by 2030 with the market expected to reach $23B. In 2023, an Indian drone company called Ideaforge went public with a $0.5B market cap bolstered by the recent increase in drone procurement by the Indian Armed Forces and the favourable regulatory progress made by the Indian Government.
It would be unwise for Greenjets to not include itself in these tailwinds and we are keen to play a key part in India's journey as a propulsion provider.
Find out more: www.greenjets.com