February 1, 2023: Here are some early reactions to the Union Budget 2023 from the tech sector
Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME): FISME welcomes the key announcements for MSME sector which will ensure its growth and reduce pain. Firstly, infusion of Rs. 9000 crore to Credit Guarantee Fund will be leveraged to facilitate flow of collateral free funds to the tune of Rs. 2 lac crore to MSMEs. With the back of the Guarantee, the cost of funds also may come down by 1%. Secondly, to support MSMEs in timely receipt of payments, it has been proposed that deduction for expenditure incurred on payments made to MSMEs will be allowed to their buyers only when payment is actually made. Which means, buyers cannot claim deduction without first paying to MSMEs. It will force them pay in time. Thirdly, the Budget proposes to bring relief to large number of Government MSME suppliers who were inflicted penalties or their Banka Guarantees were forfeited as the word was adversely affected during Covid. Now, 95% of forfeited amount is proposed to be reimbursed.
Manish Mimani, Founder & CEO, Protectt.ai: It is encouraging to see the government focus on building a digitally-driven nation in the Union Budget. By expanding innovative services in the fintech space, along with announcing the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India, we have a lot to look forward. In addition, the government’s relief measures for startups in areas of tax benefits and setting off losses comes as a welcome move, and will go a long way in encouraging the Indian startup ecosystem to continue to innovate.
Suresh Pansari, Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director – Rashi Peripherals: The Finance Minister highlighted the role of new-age technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G and Robotics in technological advancement. Announcements of setting up Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services, roll out of phase 3 of the eCourt's project, and National Digital Library for children and adolescents etc. will trigger demand for IT and datacentre solutions. The Finance Minister also announced relief on Customs Duty on the import of certain parts & inputs like a camera lens and continued the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year. It will help boost local manufacturing of mobile phones and drive mobile penetration in rural India.
Mainak Sarkar, Co-founder & CEO, Explorex: The Union Budget 2023, is a well-balanced and growth focused effort by the Government of India to ensure greater emphasis on various sectors such as social sector schemes, infrastructure creation, bringing in a great deal of relief to the middle class. It will assist India's economy in moving closer to the goal of reaching $5 trillion in GDP by 2025–2026 and growing at 7% in the current year. The allocation of funds to bolster the growth of start-ups is a noteworthy decision undertaken in the 2023 budget.The introduction of the National Data Governance Policy to unleash innovation by start-ups in the country will prove beneficial to many new age start-ups. Further, the government digital certificate depository Digilocker services for the MSMEs and fintech sector will hasten the germination of more innovative fintech services.
Ritika Kumar, Founder & CEO of STEM Metaverse:The emphasis of the government on past mile access is extremely encouraging for the edtech sector. This involves digitization of content and training and skill development becoming part of every sector. Coming to the k12 school education bit, “We are thrilled to see the government's commitment to empowering students through innovative and futuristic learning solutions. The establishment of a National Digital Library for children and adolescents, physical libraries at panchayat levels, and a focus on teacher training are all steps in the right direction. As a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge edtech solutions, we are particularly excited about the plan to set up Centers of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions.
Ravi Mittal Founder & CEO of QuackQuack: The Budget 2023-2024 comes bearing good news; it shows the economy to grow at 7% this year, which is the highest among all major economies, and we couldn't be more optimistic. The focus on Startups in this year's budget is certainly encouraging. As a young company with 22 million users, we are hopeful that the announcement regarding Startups will only take us further ahead. It is exciting to see that India will have more Centres of Excellence for the development of Artificial Intelligence to help make AI work for India.
Gautam Nimmagadda, Founder & CEO, Quixy: The government’s strides in advancing public and private digital services are a testimony to the rising global profile of the Indian Technology industry. The Indian government has recorded a phenomenal improvement in the Taxpayers Services owing to their digital adoption, where the average processing period has been reduced drastically in the past few years.Furthermore, the 3 CoE’s for AI and the 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will drive digitization and reignite employment potential in the tech ecosystem. Such measures demonstrate the multiplier impact of tech on India's strides onwards. Yet another stimulus was provided for E-Courts, a novel initiative undertaken to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts.
Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India: The impetus for the 'Digital India' vision is clear from budgetary allocations across sectors like infrastructure, skill development, sustainability, MSME, and entrepreneurship.This budget provides numerous growth opportunities for the technology industry by bringing digital solutions and innovation in legacy sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, education, railways, healthcare, financial services, and regulatory bodies to turn India into a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy.
Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO BCT Digital: The focus on refining the banking and financial markets through technology-led initiatives, such as the National Financial Information Registry and unified KYC; replacing the tedious process of document submission with DigiLocker storage; result-based financing, and reforms to develop the municipal bond market will pave way for the maturity of our markets to global benchmarks.
Rajnish Gupta, India and Sub-Continent Lead, Zebra Technologies APAC: In this Union Budget, the government has set the tone to unleash both human and digital potential for the country’s socio-economic development. This is reflected from all the 7 key priorities including reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, youth power, inclusive development, unleashing the potential, green growth, and financial sector.The government has shown a clear objective of raising the infrastructure development in the country as it plans to raise its capital expenditure by 33% to INR 10 trillion ($122.29 billion) in the next fiscal year. This will provide the much-needed impetus to the existing infrastructure schemes like Gatishakti, Bharatmala, Parvatmala, Sagarmala amongst others.
Rohit Paranjpe, CEO and Co-Founder, Sugarbox: The Government has immensely emphasized on ‘Make-in-India’. The custom duty cuts for specific electronic goods and parts, especially that for Mobile Phone manufacturing, will continue to support and boost digital penetration in rural India. It is encouraging to see that the Government is focusing on developing digital public infrastructure for agriculture. This gives the sector hope that investments can be made for ramping-up digital public infrastructure to facilitate seamless access of essential digital services, at a village level. The initiative to build National Digital Library is a big step towards enabling digital education. The deployment of edge-cloud or hyperlocal cloud technology will be the appropriate digital infrastructure to make educational resources accessible, for children and adolescents across geography, without any additional data cost to the end-use
Sumeet Mathur, Vice President & Country Head of ServiceNow India Development Centre: The Government’s focus on developing a technology and youth led economy will play a pivotal role in further strengthening India’s position as the ‘Bright Star’ across the globe. Policies like Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 and National Education Policy are centred around encouraging industry participation to develop cutting-edge digital skills along with soft skills amongst the youth. This initiative will help in job creation as well as in the creation of a future resilient workforce, empowered for purposeful work at the intersection of technology and people.
Nikhil Sethi, MD, Zuvomo: The budget over-delivers on personal income tax with the 7 lac rebate for the middle class, surcharge relief for NHIs, fiscal consolidation and largely all fronts. More money in the hands of taxpayers coupled with a healthy economy expected to fuel spendings and investments. I'd bet on banks and infrastructure to do well.
Rishabh Khanna, Founder & CEO of Suraasa: The reenvisioning of teacher training programmes through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, and continuous professional development will help address the challenges such as the shortage of qualified teachers and the lack of teachers’ career growth. The budget provides teachers with the resources they need to grow and succeed. This commitment to teacher growth will help ensure teachers are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills.The plan to set up of 30 Skill India International Centers highlights the importance of skill development.
S Durgaprasad, Co-Founder, Director, and Group CEO, Bahwan CyberTek: The announcement of three centers of Artificial Intelligence and 100 labs for 5G apps to nurture R&D in India with the vision to Make AI in India and Make AI work for India will further strengthen India’s position vis-à-vis global counterparts. The 30 Skill India international centers focused on emerging technologies, with a strong focus on, on-the-job training, will contribute to the country’s expanding knowledge capital, positioning India as a strong digital contender.
Avnet Singh Marwah, CEO and founder,Super Plastronic Pvt. Ltd: With one of the best budgets in the last 4 years, the government is clearly pushing electronic manufacturing in India. Feel good factor for all sections, welcoming the move to reduce customs duty to 2.5 % this will reduce the price of tv by 5%. As we know there is a global slowdown that will hit India as well, and the government has taken corrective action to increase disposable income to support consumerism. The focus on 5G and AI shows how serious the government is on internal security, last 2 years we have seen how some apps from across the border have done security breaches of important data.
Ashish Singhal, CEO & Co-Founder, CoinSwitch: While we are still reading the fine print, the thrust to improve financial literacy and to build DigiLocker as a one-stop KYC solution are positives for the Wealth Tech Ecosystem. Being an early adopter of DigiLocker, its use has greatly helped us at CoinSwitch to implement more user-friendly KYC standards.
Gautam Kumar, COO & Co-founder, FarEye: We were hoping for budget announcements that focus on the improvement of logistics infrastructure across the country and are happy to see the government's continued push to build a more robust logistics ecosystem in the country.
The move to invest Rs. 75000 crores with focus on prioritising 100 transport infrastructure projects that will develop last and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, and other sectors is a welcome step. Improving last and first-mile connectivity will have a direct impact on bringing down the logistics costs for industries and ultimately will help them become more competitive in the international market.
Sunil Nayyar, Managing Director at Sony India:This budget is quite progressive and growth-oriented which is in line with the government's long-term vision for India’s path to becoming a major global economy. Measures taken for significant job growth opportunities, especially in infrastructure, agriculture and rural sector is very encouraging. This will in turn give a major boost to rural economy, thereby increasing business potential in tier II and tier III towns in India which is a positive step in the right direction. This budget should propel more demand and consumer spending across various sectors, especially with more disposable income in hand of consumers owing to significant tax benefits.