DJI sees jump in rev­enue

After open­ing out­let in Shang­hai, com­pany is con­fi­dent of ex­ploit­ing new growth ar­eas

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­

DJI, China’s largest com­mer­cial drone man­u­fac­turer, is con­fi­dent its rev­enue this year will surge by 60 per­cent to 10 bil­lion yuan ($1.47 bil­lion), thanks to the ex­pan­sion of its pro­duc­tion line, ac­cord­ing to its vice-pres­i­dent.

“This year is a milestone year for DJI, as we are cel­e­brat­ing the tenth an­niver­sary of DJI In­no­va­tion,” said Xu Huabin at the launch of the com­pany’s flag­ship store in Shang­hai.

“We’ve ex­panded cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties for pro­fes­sion­als, and we’ve made it eas­ier for gen­eral con­sumers to ex­pe­ri­ence the fun and ex­cite­ment of flight,” he said.

DJI on Fri­day opened its sec­ond Chi­nese main­land flag­ship store in Xin­tiandi, one of Shang­hai’s tourist at­trac­tions.

The first store on the Chi­nese main­land is in Shen­zhen, where DJI is based. DJI opened a store in Seoul, South Korea, in March and another one in Hong Kong in Septem­ber.

The new­est Shang­hai store is in a two-story, 500-squareme­ter build­ing, dis­play­ing DJI’s full range of aerial plat­forms and cam­era prod­ucts. DJI aims to ex­plore the mar­ket po­ten­tial in the wealthy Yangtze River Delta re­gion with its state-of-art drone tech­nol­ogy.

“Our flag­ship stores have be­come im­por­tant touch points for peo­ple to dis­cover, learn and be in­spired. Our new­est Shang­hai flag­ship store will al­low us to con­tinue on this path and pro­vide more peo­ple with the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence our aerial tech­nol­ogy first hand,” said Xu.

Drone en­thu­si­asts and novices alike can get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence with DJI’s mar­ketlead­ing tech­nol­ogy, rang­ing from the fold­able yet pow­er­ful Mavic Pro per­sonal drone to the lat­est pro­fes­sional prod­ucts such as the Phan­tom 4 Pro and In­spire 2 drones.

Ac­cord­ing to Xu, DJI’s rev­enue has in­creased 100 fold be­tween 2011 and 2015, with the an­nual growth rate av­er­ag­ing three to five times.

Al­though China has 20 drone brands now that of­fer var­i­ous mod­els for dif­fer­ent pur­poses, DJI com­mands about 70 per­cent of mar­ket share, ac­cord­ing to IDC’s China Aerial Drone Mar­ket Quar­terly Tracker 2016Q1.

Apart from the China mar­ket, the United States is cru­cial to DJI. The US is DJI’s largest mar­ket glob­ally, fol­lowed by Europe, Aus­tralia and China. China con­trib­utes less than 20 per­cent of its global rev­enue.

For film­mak­ers and TV pro­gram pro­duc­ers, com­mer­cial drones of­fer a cost-ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to air­planes and he­li­copters, Xu said. Hence, DJI is try­ing to find po­ten­tial clients among them.

“We have to date co­op­er­ated with quite a few well-known di­rec­tors and ac­tors in the mak­ing of Hol­ly­wood movies and sit­coms, in­clud­ing Mod­ern Fam­ily and The Big Bang The­ory,” said Xu.

In ad­di­tion, DJI has built wide co­op­er­a­tion with US elec­tronic prod­uct distrib­u­tors, in­clud­ing BestBuy, Ap­ple Flag­ship Stores as well as ma­jor air­plane ven­dors, and has sev­eral thou­sand lo­ca­tions for sales in North Amer­ica.

“For the ma­jor­ity of US cus­tomers who go to BestBuy for a drone, they choose a DJI prod­uct. It is just like Chi­nese peo­ple buy­ing iPhones. This fact gives us a sense of ful­fill­ment,” Wang Tao, a Hangzhou na­tive who founded DJI, was quoted as say­ing by

DJI has cre­ated a US team of sev­eral hun­dred mem­bers, with five of­fices in San Fran­cisco, Los An­ge­les and New York. Most of the com­pany’s new prod­uct de­buts were held in the US.

In its re­port pub­lished in May, Price­wa­ter­house­C­oop­ers es­ti­mated the global mar­ket for com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions of the drone tech­nol­ogy will bal­loon from the cur­rent $2 bil­lion to as much as $127 bil­lion by 2020.

DJI is run by peo­ple with a pas­sion for re­mote-con­trolled he­li­copters and ex­perts in flight-con­trol tech­nol­ogy and cam­era stabilization. More than 1 mil­lion un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles made by DJI are in use world­wide.

DJI’s global op­er­a­tions cur­rently span the Amer­i­cas, Europe and Asia, and its prod­ucts and so­lu­tions have been cho­sen by cus­tomers in over 100 coun­tries for ap­pli­ca­tions in film­mak­ing, con­struc­tion, emer­gency re­sponse, agri­cul­ture, con­ser­va­tion and many other in­dus­tries.


Vis­i­tors take pic­tures of a DJI Phan­tom 4 Quad­copter drone at the Pho­tok­ina, the world’s largest fair for imaging in Cologne, Ger­many, in Septem­ber.

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