Indian rocket
Pictured, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) communication satellite GSAT-19, carried onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-mark III), launches at Sriharikota on June 5, 2017. ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Image


  • India's space economy has the potential to reach $100 billion with the right strategies, an Arthur D. Little report said
  • India currently has a 2% share in the global space economy and has been seeing a growth rate of 4% in recent years
  • India needs to have better regulations and improve its manufacturing capabilities to unlock its full potential

India's space economy has the potential to grow at least four times in size by 2040, according to a new report released by global management consulting firm Arthur D. Little.

The forecast predicts that India's space market, currently valued at around $8 billion, can reach $40 billion by 2040 and possibly even $100 billion if the right strategies are implemented, the report said.

India's space market currently has a 2% share in the global space economy and has been seeing a growth rate of 4% in recent years, as per the report.

In order to tap into the full potential and turn the country's space economy into a $40-$100 billion industry, India reportedly needs to have better regulations, improve its manufacturing capabilities and also extend more support to startups.

"India needs to encourage widespread adoption of satellite internet services and capitalize on its existing strengths in satellite and launch vehicle manufacturing," said Barnik Chitran Maitra, managing partner at Arthur D. Little, India & South Asia.

"India should develop capabilities in high-potential sectors such as space mining and in-space manufacturing, venture into new space activities like space tourism and space entertainment and innovate in the realm of 'green space,'" he added.

Sandip K. Chakrabarti, one of India's most notable scientists in the field of astronomy and astrophysics, believes the rate of India's space sector growth cannot match the pace at which other sectors of the country are growing.

"The space sector growth which is presently 4% cannot cope up with the overall growth unless India opens up. Presently it is very conservative," Chakrabarti told International Business Times. "The internal market of space technology related product is zero. So India ritually imports most of the crucial components from abroad for any significant satellite it makes. That money could have been saved if our R&D (Research and Development) sector was stronger."

In terms of global government expenditure, the year 2022 saw a record spending of $103 billion on space programs across the world, according to data from Statistica. The U.S. government made the highest space expenditure by spending nearly $62 billion on space programs. China came in second with a government expenditure of nearly $12 billion on space programs. India — coming in at sixth place after Japan, France, Russia and Germany — saw a government expenditure of almost $2 billion on space programs.

Moreover, the U.S. had 87 space launches, including launches by private players, in the calendar year of 2022.

China set a new national record in 2022 with 64 rocket lift-offs; the country additionally saw three of its private rocket companies making their own launches the same year.

India saw five launch missions in 2022, which was an improvement from two missions each in the years 2020 and 2021.

"Unless the manpower in R&D sector is raised by at least 10 times, India cannot compete with China in the same sector. It has to raise by a factor of 40-50 to complete with USA. So that's a big vacuum," Chakrabarti said.

Chakrabarti also noted that India's manufacturing in space technology is also lagging behind.

"Today I see no component of space technology which must be bought from India. Compare [that with] a much smaller economy of Canada; they are supplying CANARMs, i.e., the arms for space shuttle program of USA since the 1980s," he added.