“Parrot led the consumer drone evolution since 2010, for the last 11 years we haven’t stopped innovating with more than 4.5 million drones to the Parrot name worldwide. Using our technical abilities combined with our proven, trusted superior level of cyber security and reliable track record we have pivoted to set the new standard for commercial drones which are rapidly now becoming the choice for professional users globally from public safety, first responders, defence, enterprise & inspection.“
– Chris Roberts, Parrot
Learn more at: https://www.parrot.com/
Chris Roberts, Vice President and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Parrot
Parrot Drones showed a significant change in business focus (from consumer to industry/governmental market). What were the leading arguments for this strategy definition?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): Parrot led as a pioneer in the consumer drone industry, however the consumer drone frenzy turned out to be a bubble which began to deflate mostly due to the global dominance from the Chinese DJI maker with cheaper and powerful consumer drones. However, at Parrot we had already realized the growth of needs and opportunities in the enterprise and professional markets where we can use drones commercially to make a complex task easier and safer to perform, plus solving complex tasks with professional drones really plays to Parrot’s technical strengths.
We introduced our first professional drone in 2018 and have since introduced specialized products, services and bundles with a focus on drones and professional solutions that are reliable in terms of performance and data security, aimed at and used globally by professionals in the first responders, defense, public safety, agriculture, research, real estate, construction/inspection, enterprise and government sectors.
In 2012, the Parrot Group was formed in an effort to make investments and support the development of the entire drone ecosystem. Parrot Group companies include SenseFly, Pix4D, and others.
Our focus today remains in the professional markets, which is where we see the most opportunities for growth and innovation.
What is your perspective on the commercial drone market for hardware in the next years? How do you see the proposed Security Drone Act by the US and other countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, India, etc.) against Chinese manufacturers?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): We have much in store for the future as we continue to deepen our offer for professional users. The future of drones for Parrot is moving in a direction towards more autonomy, more artificial intelligence, more into robotics. Our focus is to offer professionals tools to perform their missions more effectively and in the safest way possible, both in terms of mission safety and operator safety.
That said, our focus is on providing drones and professional solutions that are reliable in terms of performance and data security.
The proposed Security Drone Act established against Chinese manufacturers has finally raised awareness on the primordial importance of security for drones and their users. This is also at the heart of the design of Parrot drones. Securing your data is a top priority, and our world-class data encryption and privacy features meet the highest standards for professional users.
Where do you see the French drone market compared to other countries such as USA, China, or Germany?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): Parrot is a proud French tech company, and a pioneer of the worldwide consumer drone market, with the first leisure drone, the AR.Drone, launched in 2010. As of today, we have maintained our strong position as the leading European drone group and have sold more than 4.5M drones worldwide. Our aspiration is to continue disrupting the industry and setting the new standards of French technology, on a global basis.
In which industry verticals does your company focus on currently?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): Parrot is actively addressing the real professional drone market segments, in Enterprise, Public Safety/First Responders, Government, Inspection, Construction, Energy, Infrastructure and Defense.
Are there any particular industry verticals that might experience a huge boom or have a large potential for drones from your perspective?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): We see a lot of opportunities in different markets and verticals. Our mission is to develop drones and partnerships with the best-in-class compatible software to satisfy the needs of all professionals and offer them flexibility for all types of missions or emerging verticals.
Parrot Group consists of both hardware (Parrot Drones, Sensefly) and software (Pix4D) companies. Do you plan any significant changes (e.g. group growth or streamlining) in your Group strategy?
Chris Roberts (Parrot): We are always looking for ways to offer the best solutions to our customers in terms of hardware and of software, with Parrot Group subsidiaries and key partners.
You will be informed of any significant changes when the time comes.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge in the drone market as a ….?
– Drone Manufacturer:
Chris Roberts (Parrot): developing drones in compliance with worldwide regulations. This is why we are working actively on developing worldwide standards and regulations to make sure our current products are compliant with new regulations, but also make sure all of our future developments are ahead of them.
– Drone Software Developer:
Chris Roberts (Parrot): our software application needs to respect the privacy of our users. This is why we take this very seriously by undergoing security audits (Bishop Fox full audit available here) and by respecting the strictest worldwide regulation, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Ed Alvarado holds a Master’s in International Relations, Bachelor’s in Economics & Philosophy, and has lived in 7 countries.