Post Budget Reactions from Startup Community

by February 1, 2018 0 comments

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget today and made many announcement. He said that India is soon going to become 5th largest economy very soon. He reiterates that India will grow at 7.2-7.5% in the second half of the 2017-18. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Union Budget for the next fiscal year also focuses on ‘Easy of Living’, apart from ease of doing Business’. Well many are finding this budget good while some of them are not, let take a look on post budget reactions from Startup experts, on what they think this budget is all about.

Gaurav Burman – VP & Country President, India, 75F

“I had imagined more emphasis on technology adoption and support for startups in areas such as AI and IOT in this years budget. While the allocation to digital India has increased, there could have been a more focused outreach to encourage the country’s entrepreneurs. India needs more of ‘Make in India’ and I believe that can only come from our entrepreneurs building companies from India and catering to the world. Technologies like AI and IOT are bound to revolutionise the way we operate and India should become an early adopter to stay ahead of the technology race. Furthermore, the startup sector could have also benefited from dissolution of the angel tax introduced by the government previously and further extending the tax holiday period companies achieve a certain scale.”

Sudeep Anandapuram – Co-Founder & CEO, Zippserv

“I envisaged more sops for the real estate sector which was hit hard by demonetization and some policy reforms like the implementation of RERA and GST. However it has been balanced with the emphasis on Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure and healthcare which will help boost growth. Companies will have to keep faith in the fact that there is a stable government in the Centre and that the markets are performing well. Increasing wifi and broadband access in rural markets are also a step in the right direction to infuse growth in these regions”.

Kunal Kislay – CEO & Co-Founder, Integration Wizards

“In this budget, the government has taken a positive step in announcing that NITI Aayog will establish a national programme to conduct research and development in areas like machine learning, artificial intelligence and other futuristic technologies. I also feel that the government should further deploy technologies like AI, IOT and Machine Learning into other industry sectors such as education, manufacturing, healthcare.

Indian startups have the potential to infuse technology and modernization into all streams of Indian economy. I think the steps taken by the Indian government by increasing allocation to digital India in this current budget will also empower startups further. ”

Mukesh Agarwal – Founder & CEO, RevX

“In this budget, I think the impetus on rural infrastructure, focus on digital India and increase in funds allocated for education and healthcare among others are steps in the right direction. It is no secret that India is a supply constraint market, and can’t achieve its growth targets unless structural improvement are made to increase supply of goods and services. The lack of proper infrastructure is the main impediment in bringing efficiency and scale in the supply of goods and services. And I believe the budget has addressed most of these concerns keeping long term goals in mind.

From this budget it is also evident that GST has made the life easier for companies, particularly e-Commerce companies with a significant cross-border activity. The added tax payers from the GST Implementation is another indication of its success that was announced in this budget. Many companies are beginning to streamline and simplify backend logistic infrastructure which bring efficiency in supply of goods and services. While there had been many early problems its implementation, Government has taken what software companies call “agile approach”. They launched the programs proactively and are continuing to refine it based on the market feedback. The budget is a forward looking one, keeping growth in mind”

Shreyas Chandrahasan, Co-Founder, Option3

“I feel the budget is a mixed bag, it is good to see that the government focuses on AI and Machine learning, which are areas new age companies are in to these days. There are Interesting update on MSME, Mudra and working capital improvement but we were expecting more on the ease of availing credit guarantee scheme. On the other hand, there was no mention of increasing tax holidays and tax rebates, especially for tech companies. There were no updates on angel tax as well. Trade receivables and GST integration was a grey area. We will have to wait and see how this will impact the cash flow”

Subrat Kar, CEO and co-founder Vidooly

“Changes in the corporate tax regulations are a welcome move as this will provide a breather to more startups and MSME’s who are not covered under the current policy. It’s also extremely encouraging to see the government recognize the need for research in cutting-edge technologies around AI, ML and blockchain. Niti Aayog’s involvement in the same will allow us to indigenously develop technologies on par with our silicon valley counterparts and reduce dependancy on them.Rural connectivity schemes like public wifi is a welcome move not just for telcos but also content players like us as digital consumption will rise and provide more monetization opportunities for content creators.”

Rohan Bhansali, Director & Co-Founder, Gozoop

As an Indian, I applaud the government’s focus on the poorest of poor. Farmers, healthcare and rural India were the main focal points of the budget. From a macro standpoint, reducing the class gap within our social structure, not only has profound social benefits but also serious economic benefits in terms of consumption and lower subsidies. Corporate India will see the benefits of these in the long run; we will be stronger as a country and as an economy.

As an entrepreneur, what brought the biggest smile to my face, is obviously the 25% corporate tax rate extension to companies of my size. Education cess increasing to 4% (from 3%) leads to a slight increase in tax outflow for companies.

As an integrated digital-first marketing company, what is most encouraging is the 5 lac Wifi Hotspots that will bring 5 Crore rural Indians online. This accelerates the inevitably increasing role that digital advertising will play in the marketing landscape of companies. Improving education quality through technology and digital is an uplifting announcement, as well.

As an employer, I am mixed – standard deduction increasing to Rs. 40,000 will lead to limited savings for employees. We are cheering out of proportion. What  is more worthy of rejoice for an employee,  is the ease of life that the railway budget will bring. Railways are the lifeline of India and the primary mode of transport to and from work for the working class. All stations with a footfall greater than 25,000 will have escalators. Rs. 11,000 Cr was allocated to Mumbai alone and I hope to see commute becoming more comfortable. The reduced stress from commuting will lead to marked improvement in efficiency at work.

As a tax payer, would have liked to see standard deduction increasing and tax slabs relaxing but the government obviously needs to balance fiscal deficit too.

Overall, this budget restores my faith that the government is thinking long term and investing our countries resources in the right areas.

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