Once upon a time, in a far-away galaxy … Oh no, not like that.
If you are somehow connected with the drones, flew one, heard about them, saw them, you must have heard about a company named DJI. No? Then read on, and we will tell about them in detail.
Geographically, DJI (Dajiang Innovation Technology Co. or SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.) is located in China in the sub-provincial town of Shenzhen. The company specializes in developing and manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles. Frank Wang Tao founded the company back in 2006 while studying at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. From the early childhood he was interested in aeromodelling. Frank assembled a team of specialists and professors and began his first production of drones.
DJI started with the production of prototypes which were rather expensive. On average, one prototype cost the customer $6000, while DJI’s biggest clients were universities and energy companies that tried to adapt the drones for their needs.
In 2010, the company had about 20 employees, and the earnings were only a few hundred thousand dollars. In a typical month it would sell 15-20 drones.
As the prototypes improved and the new technologies emerged, DJI managed to significantly reduce the cost of drones. Now they cost a little below $1000. Thus, their drones began to attract the attention of ordinary people more and more. At this price almost everyone could afford to become the happy owner of a drone.
And in 2013 a breakthrough was made – the release of the quadrocopter Phantom. The model turned out to be very successful and there was a huge demand for it all over the world. This drone made it possible to multiply DJI’s revenue by five times for that year. And in 2013 they managed to earn $130 million. They could only dream about such success all the years prior. After Phantom a successful Phantom 2 and Phantom 2 Vision models were released and cemented the company’s excellent reputation.
Big profits ensure a good future for the company but also broke the friendship between Frank Van Tao and Colin Gwynn, who since 2011 has represented DJI in the United States. Friendship could not stand the test of money. Gwynn went to work at a rival 3D Robotics company. By the way, the motto of DJI, “The future of possible”, was thought up by Gwynn.
In 2014 the company sold over 400 thousand Phantom series drones. Also, that year stabilizers and suspension systems and of course new models of drones entered the market. As a result, DJI’s staff expands to 3,000 people and in 2015, according to Frost & Sullivan, DJI occupies 70% of the market for unmanned aerial vehicles. In the same year DJI buys the share of the legendary company Hasselblad – the company known for its excellent photography equipment.
In 2016 the company introduced the world to Phantom 4 which according to most specialized publications has become one of the best drones in its segment. Finally, in September of the same year the company releases its compact drone Mavic.
Currently, DJI produces a variety of drones & accessories: quadrocopters for the mass and professional consumers, and shooting equipment for the drones. The company has a large-scale production, a full-fledged research center. There are representative offices in Korea, Japan, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands. At the moment DJI is the market leader in civilian UAVs.
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