Nitya Sharma, Founder and CEO, Checkout Network, Simpl’
The Indian startup sector, if nurtured well, has the potential to significantly accelerate commerce in the country, elevate people’s lives and fastrack the journey of India’s internet economy to $1 trillion by 2030. While the early initiatives have helped establish India as the third largest startup ecosystem, the next decade of growth would be set by the decisive calls taken now in strengthening the ecosystem. This year’s Vote on Account followed by the full year’s Union Budget should view startups as the sunrise sector, provide easy financing for sellers akin to MSMEs and open up more avenues in the era of Unbundling of E-commerce which has started with ONDC. We would expect a greater collaboration between the government and industry in further simplifying the Ease of Doing Business in India and resolving bottlenecks swiftly.
Siddharth Banerjee, CEO, UNIVO Education
“India has the potential to emerge as a global superpower in education. Aided by the framework of the NEP 2020 and the recent positive developments for the online higher education industry, we are well positioned to accelerate our GER from current 27% levels. Given the importance of quality online education, the government will surely consider relevant Tax exemptions and lower GST rates to bridge the skill gap, along with encouraging reduced and subsidized interest rates on educational loans for aspiring students across the nation. Online Higher Education in India goes across socio- economic strata and across Metro/ Tier 2-3-4 cities and we look forward to continued support from
the government to continue aiding the nation-building efforts by providing quality higher education and helping improve lives and careers.”
Ujjwal Singh, Founding CEO, Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya
The onus of Viksit Bharat@2047 rests on the shoulders of our youth in India. Therefore, education stands as a cornerstone for global prominence. We appeal to the government to join us in surmounting the challenges that plague our education system. Bridging the digital divide is imperative, and we propose fortifying the digital backbone of educational institutions across the nation. Our plea includes substantial support to make education accessible and inclusive for all, transcending geographic and socio-economic barriers.
In this context, we seek tax exemptions and lowered GST rates, aligning with our mission to narrow the educational gap. Additionally, reduced and subsidized interest rates on educational loans are crucial for fostering optimal growth and development within the education sector, paving the way for affordable education for every aspiring learner.
With optimism, we look forward to the 2024 interim budget, envisioning its potential to transform the EdTech sector into a resilient, reliable, inclusive, and innovative force. Our collective goal is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute, embodying the spirit of ‘Baccha Seekha ki Nahi.’
Mr. Akshay Munjal, Founder & CEO, Hero Vired “Anticipating the Interim Budget 2024, our
expectations center around fostering the growth of startups and establishing a robust policy framework for an enduring ecosystem. To promote research and development in the education sector, we call for a review of the 18% GST on education services, aiming to alleviate financial burdens. In this budget, emphasis must be placed on skill development, accompanied by a crucial need for the recognition of online degrees, which enhances the credibility and overall operations of EdTech firms. Additionally, we anticipate comprehensive support through priority-sector lending, facilitating all-encompassing expansion for both conventional and modern education. To forge a digitally proficient and futuristic educational system, the acceleration of technological adoption to boost the skilling industry is paramount. Smooth access to funds becomes equally critical in this pursuit. The budget’s potential to invigorate the EdTech sector lies in expediting innovation,
improving accessibility, and fostering inclusivity through policies that create a harmonious
environment for sustained progress.”
Dr. Dhruv Galgotia, CEO, Galgotias University
“Dr. Dhruv Galgotia, at the helm of Galgotias University, eagerly anticipates a budget that not only prioritizes education but harmonizes seamlessly with the ambitious ‘Viksit Bharat@2047’ vision. The recently unveiled 2023-24 budget, allocating a record Rs 1.12 lakh crore to education, raises expectations with an impressive 8.26 percent surge, marking a substantial increase of Rs 8,621 crore from the previous year. Aligned with the holistic goals of Viksit Bharat@2047, encompassing economic growth, social progress, environmental sustainability, and good governance, Dr. Galgotia underscores the crucial
need for a budget that integrates AI and technology into education. This integration stands as a pivotal step towards aligning the educational system with the future demands envisioned by the Prime Minister’s initiative. Looking forward to 2024, Galgotias University sets its sights on pioneering pedagogical approaches tailored to the 21st-century landscape. Actively investing in advanced teaching methodologies, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations, and cultivating an environment that champions exploration and creativity, the institution’s forward-looking approach goes beyond conventional education, aiming to empower students with the skills, mindset, and resilience necessary for success in our ever- evolving global landscape.”
Devroop Dhar, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Primus Partners
From the perspective of the IT and Tech industry, the forthcoming Union budget is the right platform to consider expediting Government expenditures directed towards the creation and improvement of digital public goods, with a particular emphasis on domains like healthcare, education, agriculture and MSMEs. Introducing a comprehensive digital initiative for family-based benefits could prove instrumental in ensuring the widespread implementation and saturation of schemes, leaving no eligible beneficiaries overlooked.
With significant discussions and deliberations on AI during the recently concluded G20 summit, there is a likelihood that the Government may focus on advancing and localizing AI, particularly generative AI. Incentives for startups and innovators in emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain may also be on the cards. Quantum computing is another sector where we anticipate further Government attention and financial support.
Now that the Digital Personal Data Protection Act is in effect, the Government might shift its focus towards fortifying data protection and cybersecurity measures across public institutions, critical sectors, and sensitive installations. Another anticipated outcome from the budget includes clear and comprehensive guidelines and policies regarding crypto regulations and the future trajectory in this domain.
Mr. Gaurav Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, CarLelo, A Capri Loans Venture
“The landscape of online new car sales has experienced a substantial surge over the past 4-5 years, driven by an increasing preference for consumers buying cars digitally. We are expecting some key developments from the budget like a reduction in the GST rate that will support home-grown players in investing in newer technologies for enhanced mobility offerings on a global scale. Then, re- evaluation of the import structure for electric vehicles is also sought to address disparities in GST rates, providing a much-needed boost to the start-up community through government loans and investments. As an online new car market player, we are closely monitoring these developments, recognizing their potential impact on the electric vehicle market. Our commitment is to adapt our platform to the evolving landscape, ensuring that our customers have access to the latest and most sustainable automobile options. We look forward to the Union Budget introducing measures that not only support the growth of the electric vehicle industry but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.”
Mr Yatin Gupte, Chairman & Managing Director, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility Ltd.
“The visionary stance of the Union Budget 2023-24 towards sustainable mobility played a pivotal role in the successful realization of the target of 1 million electric two-wheelers, providing crucial support to the industry. Looking ahead to the Union Budget 2024-25, there is anticipation for a further boost in support for Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the country. Optimism surrounds the potential reduction in both input and output Goods and Service Tax (GST) for EVs and spare parts—a move that would significantly enhance accessibility and broaden the reach to the masses. Additionally, hopes are high for increased financing opportunities, propelling research and development to a larger scale. This, in turn, would open doors for substantial investments in the ecosystem, accelerating India’s overall adoption of electric vehicles. A crucial aspect lies in the call for added incentives specifically directed at Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), aiming to stimulate advancements in localizing EV technology, fortifying the indigenous industry, and contributing to a more self-reliant and progressive economic landscape for the industry.”
SK Chaudhary, Founder Director, Safex Chemicals
“I anticipate Budget 2024 to be a catalyst for transformative change in agriculture. With India’s imminent elections, the government’s focus on our sector is crucial. I urge increased allocation for research and infrastructure development. Strategic investments in irrigational infrastructure will significantly contribute to the growth and sustainability of Indian agriculture. The persistent challenge of El Niño has exposed the vulnerabilities of agriculture by impacting not only yields but also livelihoods. Hence, it is important to allocate funds to research institutions for developing climate tolerant crops. These strategic investments in irrigation & research will mitigate the impact of climatic uncertainties, fostering resilience in the agrochemical industry. I believe, together, we can
cultivate a brighter, more resilient future for our farmers and the nation”. Pre-budget quote by Unicommerce “India’s vibrant retail sector, supported by the expanding e-commerce ecosystem, continues to evolve to meet the needs of its users.Over the years, the government has integrated technology tools to simplify taxation, streamline logistics and promote the use of e-commerce to boost exports. We anticipate continued support of the government in facilitating the use of technology to make India’s retail sector future ready and aligned with growth opportunities. At Unicommerce, we look forward to supporting this.”
Mr. Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder, Biz2Credit and Biz2X
“We anticipate a budget that prioritizes financial inclusion and ease of doing business, fostering a conducive environment for growth. Measures such as simplified regulatory procedures and reduced compliance burdens can empower startups and MSMEs, promoting a more agile and competitive landscape. Access to affordable credit remains a cornerstone for these entities; thus, the budget should consider incentivized lending rates, credit guarantee schemes, and increased funding channels to enhance financial resilience. Targeted tax incentives for research and development activities can further stimulate innovation within these sectors. In alignment with the digital era, investments in
digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, and skill development are essential for the sustainable growth of startups and MSMEs. A comprehensive budget addressing these expectations will not only fortify their financial foundations but also propel these sectors to play a more significant role in driving economic recovery and job creation.”
Raj Ramachandran, Partner, JSA Solicitors and Advocates
Incentive for new manufacturing domestic companies under section 115BAB of the Income Tax Act: The benefit of a concessional income tax rate of 15% applicable to new manufacturing domestic companies is expected to be extended beyond March 31, 2024. When originally introduced, the condition was that the new manufacturing domestic company should have set up and commenced manufacturing on or before March 31, 2023, which was extended by a year in the 2023 budget. Given the focus on domestic manufacturing, and to provide the necessary incentive and attract more investments, an extension of the date is expected. More sectors to the benefits of production-linked incentive scheme: Currently, about 14 sectors are covered under the production-linked incentive scheme. The various stakeholders are expecting more sectors being covered under the PLI scheme, and these include handicrafts, jewellery, etc. These are typically sectors which are localised and have the potential to generate employment opportunities, boost exports, and will further augment the “atmanirbhar” goal. Easing of rules for domiciling companies in India To encourage companies to domicile in India, the investor and promoter companies expect that the Government will ease the rules of domiciling/ re-domiciling. These could include tax benefits, clarity on taxation on transfer/ swap/ sale of shares, and easier procedural norms under foreign exchange regulations. This would in the short term help with generation of employment opportunities, foreign capital for operations, and also create the environment for such companies to consider accessing
capital markets in India. Rooftop solar: An additional push for rooftop solar power (under the Suryodaya Yojana) is also expected. The stated intent of the scheme is to reduce the electricity bill of the poor and to make India self-reliant in the field of energy. As per reports, the government’s expectation was to achieve installation of 40 GW in rooftop solar, although up until recently, the installed capacity has been only about 12
GW, out of which over 75% are non-residential. Adoption of the technology will not only result in lower electricity bills, but result in sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint.