Budget feedback from tech sector, mostly upbeat

February 2, 2023: Here is a second set of comments on the Indian budget 2023 from tech sector players:
Jeevika Tyagi, Co-Founder and CEO, Aastey Designs:The startup ecosystem has been a growth driver for India’s GDP for the past couple of years. Although, with advancing years, the prices of clothes are on the rise yet the extension of date of incorporation for registered startups to avail income tax benefits will prove to be quite beneficial to the startups initiated for launch during 2023-2024.
Ali Hyder, GrouP CEO, Focus Softnet: The MSME sector has received a much-awaited boost in the Indian Union Budget 2023 with the revamped scheme set to take effect from 1st April 2023. The infusion of 9,000 crores in the corpus will provide additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of 2 lakh crores, enabling MSMEs to access funds more easily. In addition, a reduction in the cost of credit by about 1 percent will also make financing more affordable for MSMEs.
Arunabh Sinha, Founder of UClean:The budget has focussed on the startup and MSME sector .The budget has come out with high hopes for startups meeting their expectations for favorable government policies, access to funding and resources, and a supportive ecosystem for innovation and growth. Additionally, announcements in the budget with regards to the MSME sector will offer a conducive business environment with stable economic policies and a skilled workforce to help drive innovation and growth. Some of the key announcements in the budget ie Access to Credit and various tax benefits will impetus the growth of this sector.
Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, pTron :The Union Budget 2023 is a progressive & far-sighted one that lays significant emphasis on supporting the growth of start-ups & proposes several measures aimed at fostering a favourable environment for startups to thrive & succeed. While there is no big-ticket announcement for the FMCE sector as a whole, there are still a few indirect positive impacts on the industry. As per the Economic survey of 2023, India is now the 2nd largest Mobile manufacturer in the World & also saw a 200% increase in rural internet subscriptions as against 158% in urban areas between 2015 & 2021.
Ankit Kumar, CEO, Skye Air Mobility:
The budget for 2023 is forward looking and focuses on enhancing talent development and training in digital skills. PMKVY 4.0 will definitely be a boon to bridge the gap especially for the emerging technology sectors where skill manpower is the biggest challenge.The state of the art on job training programmes like coding, artificial intelligence, robotics, mechatronix, 3D printing, internet of things, drones, and other soft skills will surely pave the way for India to lead the world in the technology sector.
Alone drone sector in India to witness a demand of 1,00,000 trained drone pilots in next 2 years and we are hopeful that with the launch of PMKVY 4.0 and emphasis on new age skilling and training this will be addressed adequately.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO Salesforce India:The 2023 budget is a growth-oriented and inclusive one that lays a solid foundation and strengthens the economic outlook for India. We have a unique opportunity of being a demand-driven economy with a rapidly digitising population. The increased capital investment outlay has a multiplier effect on generation of employment opportunities and thereby better standard of living for citizens. India is the talent basket of the world and has one of the youngest populations globally; we have a tremendous opportunity to unlock the potential of the country’s young workforce.
Rekha M. Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India: Strong focus on the knowledge economy with technology as the bedrock for boosting socio economic growth and green development. The government’s intent to set up three centres of excellence (CoE) will encourage the ecosystem to make AI in India and make AI work for India.While Agriculture, Healthcare & Sustainable Cities are the current focus of CoE’s, India has multidimensional potential – AI can add an estimated $450-500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, and more than 60% will be from four key sectors – Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Goods & Retail, Healthcare, and Industrials & Automotive. India will need to continue to invest in these centers to keep pace with the evolving asks across all sectors.
Amit Chadha, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services: We welcome the government’s move towards developing three AI excellence centres and 100 5G labs, as well as introducing the National Data Governance Bill, which will open up a wide range of opportunities for business growth and employment generation. As a pure-play ER&D services provider, our belief is that such a mass scale enablement of digital transformation and innovation will unlock the full potential of the Indian engineering and technology sector. It will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its strong hold as a global preferred destination for engineering services.
Venkatraman Narayanan, MD & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies: Digital has emerged as the hallmark of Union Budget announced today. Be it setting up of AI-focused CoEs, or Unified Digital Skilling platform, the role of digital technologies is empathetically at the forefront of India's economic rise. It will be interesting to see how the paperless digital locker based documentation storage and management for citizens shapes up, as accordingly it promises to open up a wave of opportunities in the domestic market related to cyber security, cloud, AI and ML. While tax exceptions on exports are a welcome step, certain breather on corporate tax would have complemented it well.
Varun Khurana, Founder & CEO of Otipy: It is encouraging to see the government's focus on agriculture, specifically setting up an agri accelerator fund for agri startups. This will accelerate the pace of innovation in a sector which is India's biggest in the context of the employment it generates. The Government's commitment to set up digital public infrastructure for agriculture will help the agritech startups to connect with more farmers and in turn enable them to realize better value for their produce.
Apurv Modi, Managing Director & Co-Founder, ATechnos Group: The government plans to set up 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ in top educational institutions for realizing the vision of Make AI in India, for India. Moreover, 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will be setup in engineering institutions is a very promising announcement for the tech start up space in general and gaming in particular.
Vishak Raman, Vice President of Sales, India, SAARC and Southeast Asia at Fortinet: The 33% increase in capital investments to 10 Lakh Crore, nearly three times the amount invested in 2019, attests to India's thriving economy. The budget focuses on technology- driven growth, recognizing the potential of 5G by establishing 100 labs in engineering institutions to develop apps for various industries, including smart classrooms, precision agriculture, smart transport systems, and healthcare.The budget also embraces the power of AI with the mission "Making AI in India and Making AI Work for India". The expansion of Digilocker and establishment of e-courts are crucial for maintaining data privacy and security. A comprehensive system of technology and human collaboration is necessary to ensure data privacy and cybersecurity.
Sindhu Gangadharan SVP & MD, SAP Labs India: The Union Budget 2023-24 is a testament to India’s unwavering focus on building a technology-driven economy that is both sustainable and inclusive. Drawing a parallel to its undertakings to shaping the Techade, it underlines the imperative of job creation and youth upliftment through the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4 that aims to upskill lakhs of youth in new-age courses such as 3D printing and drone technologies. In line with this, the establishment of 30 Skill India International Centres across states will be critical to developing and nurturing the digital talent pool in the country. Additionally, the launch of the National Data Governance Policy and three Centres of Excellence for AI are initiatives that will help further reinstate India’s position as the global innovation hub.
Sanjeev Barnwal Founder & CTO, Meesho: Making emerging tech mainstream by introducing it in engineering campuses is a masterstroke by our visionary government. The establishment of 5G labs and AI Centres of Excellence conveys a clear focus on boosting research and development, upskilling our workforce and preparing them for a new gamut of opportunities. At the same time, initiatives like the Agriculture Accelerator Fund and a unified Skill India digital platform have potential to deliver meaningful change at the grass roots.
Frederick Devarampati, Founder & CEO at HotNot: As a fashion tech entrepreneur, I am thrilled to see the government's emphasis on supporting innovation, research, and development in the Union Budget 2023-24. The rollout of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) is a game changer for the economy, especially the creator economy, providing a major push for the growth of tier 2 and tier 3 cities. With higher capex spending and a focused effort to reduce the fiscal deficit, this budget presents a huge opportunity for the Indian creator community. At a time when the market is facing challenges, this budget is a beacon of hope and a much-needed stimulus for the economy
Debashis Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, LTIMindtree: One of the salient aspects of the budget is its continued emphasis on skilling, employability, and industry-academia collaboration, which are critical to India’s competitiveness as a global hub of digital and Industry 4.0 skills. Unveiling avenues for leading industry players to partner with educational institutions in driving interdisciplinary research and cutting-edge AI and 5G applications will create a win-win proposition for both — a rich training ground for students involving real-world challenges and use-cases, and greater opportunities for the industry to further strengthen the digital ecosystem in India.
Javed Tapia, Founder & Managing Director, Clover Infotech:The measures introduced in the Union Budget 2023 in terms of ease of doing business such as reducing compliance requirements and legal provisions will play a key role in attracting global investments into India. By relaxing contract execution policies, facilitating availability of credit, and extending tax benefits to start-ups and MSMEs, the FM has taken progressive steps to build a favourable support ecosystem for start-ups and MSMEs. The training and skilling initiatives under the ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’, will create a highly skilled workforce that can significantly accelerate our economic growth.