As the Indian government announces its 2023-24 budget, industry leaders and experts have been weighing in on the impact it will have on the Indian economy. This post will bring you the most prominent post-budget reaction quotes from these key figures, giving us a deeper understanding of their thoughts and opinions on the budget’s provisions and what they mean for India’s future.
These quotes will shed light on the business community’s perspectives on various areas such as tax reforms, infrastructure development, support for small businesses, and the government’s plans for job creation. By analyzing these post-budget quotes, we can get a sense of the key challenges and opportunities facing the Indian economy, and what role the 2023-24 budget will play in shaping its future.
So, stay tuned as we delve into the insights and perspectives of India’s top entrepreneurs on the Union Budget 2023-24:
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. The unified Skill India Digital Platform, addresses the imperative of businesses and Government to do more to address the skills gap enabling inclusive development of talent. Promoting sustainable growth is an opportunity for India to lead and has been essential and top of mind for all leaders; the focus on ‘green growth’ across sectors can unlock new economic opportunities for India. We are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years on Digital Public Infrastructure and a significant driver to this has been the innovation in Fintech, this budget is an impetus to further accelerate this growth with investments in AI, 5G, startups and more, accelerating demand and innovation at scale. Continued emphasis on Trust-based Governance and Ease of Doing Business, especially in a growth economy, has the potential to attract investments. The budget gives businesses India an opportunity to shine bright – domestically and internationally – ensuring they act, and fast.”
Visakh Sasikumar, CEO & Co-founder, Fyn Mobility: “This is undoubtedly a future looking announcement which will help India to become one of the prominent players in green hydrogen space and thus reducing the dependency on lithium. With the budget allocated to energy transition we will see a lot of businesses turning to EV fleets. Green credit system will ensure that the startups and MNC’s who is working for making the planet a sustainable place to live are incentivized.
The viability gap funding will ensure that new battery tech will get supported in the early days before it attains economies of scale.
Customs exemption on capital goods and machineries for lithium batteries will reduce the per kilowatt-hour cost of batteries and thus accelerate EV adoption in both personal and commercial segments.”
Swapnil Shrivastav, Co-founder, Uravu Labs: “The focus on the green economy not only addresses climate change problems but also provides a favorable environment for startups like those in the water and climate-tech domain to grow and expand. The green initiatives in the budget, such as the reduction of indirect taxes on customs duty for the green economy and the allocation of funds towards the Ministry of Energy, Oil, and Petroleum and the National Green Hydrogen Mission, demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting the transition towards a greener and more sustainable future. This presents growth opportunities for startups in this field and can help drive their success and expansion in the coming years.”
Pankaj Sharma, Co-Founder & Director, Log9 Materials: “The government’s decision to extend the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year is definitely welcoming as it would sustain the ongoing momentum within the Indian EV sector. Considering EV batteries account for approx upto 60% of the EV cost, this relaxation will make electric vehicles more affordable and hence enhance the EV adoption rate.”
Mayank Arya, Co-founder at Yes Madam: “Startups in India demand ease of doing business, and the Hon’ble FM has taken the same into consideration by reducing more than 39,000 compliances and decriminalizing 3,400 legal provisions. This will not only provide relief to the existing entrepreneurs but will also encourage the aspiring ones. Additionally, the persisting skill gap in youth is something that is faced in every organization. This implicates a direct impact on the overall employment rate in the country. Therefore, the proposals such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 and setting up of 30 Skill India international centres announced in the budget are more relevant now than ever.”
Mahankali Srinivas Rao (MSR), CEO: “The Union budget’s elaborate focus on building a digital economy and technology-enabled development is extremely encouraging. As mentioned during the budget start-ups have emerged as growth drivers for our economy showcasing the immense potential of India’s start-up ecosystem. It’s evident from the government’s decision to extend the date of incorporation for income tax benefits from 31.03.2023 to 31.03.2024, which will empower the start-up sector, foster entrepreneurship significantly, and give rise to a new generation of founders. We thank the Govt. for extending the benefit of carrying forward losses on change of shareholding to 10 years of incorporation from 7 years, this will help start-ups adjust initial losses. Furthermore, government’s decision to set up Agriculture Accelerator Fund will encourage Agri-tech start-ups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, this will bring innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers and transform the traditional agricultural sector.
Initiatives like National Data Governance Policy, Skill India Digital Platform, and upskilling policies announced will address the industry-academia widening gap and nurture entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. We are also happy to note that the government had allocated Rs 283.5 crore for the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme and the budgetary allocations for the Fund of Funds for Start-ups stood at Rs 1,000 crore, this will help in nurturing innovation and encouraging private investments in the start-up ecosystem. The government has taken a series of steps to promote start-ups in the country, the budget highlights special incentives Under the Startup India initiative, Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Start-ups (CGSS) encouraging capital at various stages of the business cycle of start-ups. These initiatives will serve as a successful catalyst for the country’s economic growth. We are excited for India’s economic growth this year and looking forward to start-ups playing a pivotal role”.
Kunal Jhunjhunwala, founder and MD, Airpay: “Union Budget 2023 remains consistent with the Government’s growth agenda and aims at small initiatives to achieve a large and lasting impact on the economy in the future. I see three key pillars to this budget that will propel financial inclusion and improve the appetite for financial products in the country. First, the focus on digitisation. The government will expand the documents used for Digi lockers (both for individuals and entities) to broaden the digital public infrastructure. In other words, access to
info would be quick and secure, enabling millions to initiate their financial journeys. Second, the sustained steps taken towards ease of doing business – especially for the MSME sector. The sector continues to be the spine of the Indian economy, and steps such as Vivaad Se Vishwas, Credit Guarantee, expansion of skill India digital platform and increase in presumptive taxation would go a long way in further strengthening the sector. In the end, the third one is taxation relief up to Rs. 7 lac of annual income. This in turn would also lead to improving the narrative of investing and insurance in the country.”
CA Aditya Sesh, Founder and Managing Director of Basiz Fund Service Private Limited : “The fund manager is the regulated entity now. For a long time, the issue of single window applications in GIFT IFSC be it the SEZ or IFSCA, or others has been in discussion. This has now been enabled with powers of SEZ being delegated to the IFSCA. The GSTN registration functions will also be delegated to IFSCA. This will vastly improve the ease of doing business and avoid dual regulation.The announcements concerning GIFT City have been carefully considered. The EXIM Banks subsidiary will be set up, since this is outside the FEMA zone,import and export financing and lines of credit will become much easier.Also, acquisition financing through GIFT City units will now be enhanced because ECB deals done abroad will now be structured in GIFT city and financed from here. An announcement has been made to recognize offshore derivatives in GIFT however, we await the details for the full text of the scheme.The Budget has introduced the concept of a Data Embassy which is unique to India. This will act as a data backup. Such data embassies will not be subject to the Data Export Laws of India. In a way, this will move GIFT IFSC to be a pure service centre for service that will not relate to India and GIFT IFSC will end up being India’s defacto commercial capital for International financial services and transactions.”
Sandhya Naidu Janardhan, Founder & MD, Community Design Agency: “It is encouraging and timely that the Government of India has included sustainable cities of tomorrow and developing key infrastructure in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities as an important part in the 2023-24 Union Budget. In the backdrop of India’s presidency of the G-20 summit this year, and our crucial role in negotiations around climate change and adaptation funding for developing economies at COP 27 last year, we see incredible opportunities for inclusive and integrated approach to building climate resilient and sustainable green cities.”
Bhavna Udernani, Founder and Managing Director, Adhaan Solutions Pvt Ltd: “1. “Budget 2023 is industry specific along with some benefits to middle class and MSME.”
- “The job market will be positively affected in sectors like Agriculture (Semi Urban and Rural), Government Projects (Railways and Airports) and Industries like Infrastructure, Energy, Automation & Tech.”
- “Focus on easy & digital KYC and Reducing TDS on PF withdrawal will make country more compliant.”
- “Reducing Credit Cost for MSME and Increasing basic Exemption Tax Limit will boost cash flows in market which will positively affect purchasing power of the Middle Class.””
Sejal Purohit, Founder, Seven Spring- Premium Tea Startup: “The Indian government this year has presented a growth-oriented budget with a special focus on boosting the manufacturing sector to create massive employment opportunities and to maintain India’s status as the world’s fastest-growing economy even after the global crisis due to the pandemic.
The concessional corporate tax for newly incorporated manufacturing companies is a positive move towards promoting the “Make in India” initiative, as this will encourage new manufacturing industries as well as increase private investment in this industry.
Apart from that, the funds allocated to the Green industry are also positive for the startups who are trying to bring new technology and products to this industry to bring about a revolution as well as contribute to the whole economy.”
Himanshu Singh Raghuvanshi, Co-Founder & COO, CapGrid: “The budget is very thoughtful driven by market dynamics. Lots of positives coming out on the green energy front. Welcome the decision of extension of subsidies on EV batteries. Scheme to support state governments and municipalities in replacing their old polluting vehicles will also give sales push to the automotive & EV segment. With cost of capital expected to remain high, glad that the current liquidity scenario in the markets have been paid heed to with Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSMEs extended with an infusion of Rs 9000 crore. This will help the entire auto sector which is held together by MSMEs.“
Anmol Bohre, Co-founder & Managing Director of Enigma: “It is really great to see how environmental sustainability has been one of the top 7 priorities in this budget. The Pro-EV budget focuses on much-needed initiatives such as Customs Duty reduction from 21% to 13% on capital goods and machinery required for Lithium Batteries and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year. This will certainly encourage each EV manufacturer to contribute to Government initiatives to achieve mass EV adoption by 2030. This will also encourage investments in the EV sector which help new players to continue with innovation.”
Shilpa Bhatta, CFO, The Sleep Company said, “We are thrilled with the announcements made in the 2023 budget; it truly shows the government’s commitment to supporting start-ups in India. One of the biggest problems we face as an ecommerce player is relatively longer delivery timelines which leads to higher cancellation and return rate. The government’s focus on improving regional connectivity by developing 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing groundings is a welcome step. This step will be instrumental in shortening the delivery timelines for our customers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and achieving our larger aim of being present in every Indian home.”
Amit Relan, Co-Producer, Woot Factor: “The budgets’ focus on the travel and tourism sector will indeed be beneficial for the event industry. This will be reflected through a significant increase in the number of MICE events being curated this year. Right from the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative to the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, these initiatives bode well for the industry providing integrated opportunities for growth and expansion on both national and international platforms.
The revised income tax slabs have increased spending power which might lead people towards attending more experiences. Additionally, the budget’s emphasis on technology, the future for the Indian economy seems bright. The common man emerges from this budget the happiest and the evident shift in the government’s approach this year will definitely detect an upwards trend, one which is even better than the pre-pandemic years.”
Sarvagya Mishra, Co-founder & Director, SuperBot (PinnacleWorks): “This Budget is notable for its renewed emphasis on the development of digital infrastructure. The Indian government’s intention to establish three “Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence” in prestigious educational institutions to make “AI Work for India” is a dose of encouragement for entrepreneurs who have been working in the field, hoping to give a new face to sectors and services. These centers will undoubtedly serve as a bridge between educational institutions and leading industries, with the goal of researching and developing practical AI applications across different verticals including agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. Furthermore, the focus on building a strong AI ecosystem in India and training skilled AI professionals will assist new businesses in acquiring the right talent. This also puts a lot of responsibility on education institutes to strengthen the curriculum in the field.”
Samarth Kholkar, CEO & Co-Founder, BLive: “We applaud the finance minister’s endeavours in displaying the country’s serious inclination towards ‘Green Growth’; the allocation of Rs 35,000 crore towards achieving net zero goal and energy transition is a welcome move. Having said that, we were hoping that an extension of the FAME 2 subsidy would be announced at the Budget 2023-24. This scheme of the Government of India has been instrumental in promoting EV sales owing to the subsidy it offers to the end customers of two-wheeler EVs.”
Vipull Bhalla, Chief Business Officer of Pradhaan Air Express: “The 2023 union budget reflects a continuation of the Government’s fiscal consolidation strategy. As India’s youngest cargo airline, Pradhaan Air Express is buoyed by the increased effective capital expenditure of 13.7 lakh crores and expected growth of 7% reflecting a bigger positive sentiment as compared to other world economies.
Among other things, continuing the tax exemption for start-ups, reduction in Customs duties to spur domestic manufacturing, and allocation of 35000 crores for achieving net zero and Green growth are all welcome steps. Simplification in indirect taxes will also deliver higher exports and value addition in the economy.
In related sectors, investments in Aerodromes and tourism, a boost for Electrical vehicles, semiconductors, and Lithium Ion battery manufacturing will all have a positive impact on air cargo capabilities and infrastructure. We believe the budget supports our economic recovery with improvements also expected in international and domestic air cargo volumes as the policies and measures unfold in the coming days.”
Vineet Patawari – Cofounder CEO StockEdge: “India’s Budget Day was met with excitement as the Finance Minister delivered a fantastic performance, lowering individual taxes for all salaried individuals. With the increase in basic exemption level from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh and the reduction in tax slabs from six to five, citizens will see an increase in their disposable income, leading to greater per capita expenditure. The government also launched the ‘Mahila Samman Saving Certificate’ initiative with a 7.5% interest rate and a maximum investment of Rs 2 lacs. The new tax regime will be the default, with citizens having the option to opt into the previous regime. The Finance Minister’s efforts have resulted in more savings for citizens and greater investment opportunities in various asset classes.
The Indian Union Budget 2023 has made significant announcements that will impact the agritech and fintech sectors. The government is taking steps to build a digital public infrastructure for agriculture, which will provide inclusive farmer-centric services for crop protection. This move will be a major boost for agritech startups. The expansion of the Government digital certificate depository Digilocker services for the fintech sector will also be beneficial for fintech startups. The budget also focused on continuing to strengthen the digital payment infrastructure in India through UPI and India Stack. The finance minister extended the carry forward of losses for startups on a change of shareholding to 10 years of incorporation, up from 7 years previously. Other measures in the budget were aimed at easing the process of doing business and reducing the compliance burden on startups.
The budget was true to the slogan “Sabka Sath Sabka Biswas”. The FM has laid out a blueprint for strong momentum in the growth of our economy. Capex outlay has increased by 33% which will lead to a multiplier effect on GDP growth. Current Deficit estimation is kept within expected level at 5.9%. Personal taxes are reduced by increasing rebates from 5 lakhs to 7 lakhs, restructuring the tax slabs. There is continuity of reforms, fiscal prudence, digitalization of economy, infrastructure development, rural & tribal upliftment, ease of doing business and ease of living for urban citizens.
This budget is laying down the framework for a new India in the next twenty five years which is being celebrated as Azaadi ka Amrut Mahotsav.”
Akshay Kashyap, MD, Greenfuel Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd: “It is heartening to find ‘Green Growth’ among the seven focus areas of the budget 2023-24. The government’s intention to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy and promote green fuel, green energy and green mobility among other practices is commendable.
The allocation of 35000 Crore towards achieving Net-Zero goals is a step in the right direction. It will help in getting the viability gap funding for battery storage. With the outlay of 19700 Crores for Green Hydrogen the nation can meet the target of reaching 5 metric million tonnes production by 2030. Further the introduction of green credit programme would encourage businesses to become responsible and sustainable. The customs benefit extended to CNG and the continued exemption on Li-ion battery manufacturing would give a boost to the green mobility sector.
We at Greenfuel are aligned with the government’s endeavour of ‘Green Growth’ and would continue to provide green mobility and green energy solutions to help the nation reduce its carbon footprint and achieve the Net-Zero goal.”
Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, Co-founders, Wholsum Foods Pvt Ltd: “Union Budget of 23-24 envisions India becoming the global hub for millets. As a millet-focused brand, we applaud this step to make India the global leader of this supergrain. The Government of India has led the campaign for 2023 to be earmarked International Year of Millets and today’s budget proves their intent to drive measures which can increase the popularity of millets in both domestic and global markets. The Govt has also announced turning the Indian Institute of Millet Research- Hyderabad into a centre of excellence to foster innovation which is especially commendable and will continue to help brands like us in enabling adoption and achieving India’s millet dreams. In addition to this, the government is planning to set up an agriculture accelerator fund to encourage startups in rural areas, which we believe is the need of the hour. We are ready to support the government of India in achieving this vision through innovation in the value add sector, branding and marketing to make millets acceptable across the world, and promoting the export of millets. We wholeheartedly welcome these initiatives and are excited to see how it aids in the development of the industry.”
Shailesh Vickram Singh, Founder of Climate Angels: “FAME2 has demonstrated that with the right incentives and adequate supply, Indian customer is willing to pose their faith in EVs as in 2w space, India has seen almost 10X jump to 100,000 vehicles a month in less than one year.
With 20% of last-mile mobility already transitioned to EVs, the adoption is going fast and it has demonstrated that with the right model/pricing, India has enough appetite for EVs. And this huge demand surge has solved the chicken vs egg question related to the manufacturing of EV battery plants.
So far every question related to the building of giga batteries plant was met with the question of demand as for any large plant to be viable there has to be minimum demand of 4/5 GW and now we are standing at the inflection point where this is very much plausible.
Hence the decision to extend custom duty benefits for manufacturing of Li-On cells is a very good step as the increased volume will see capacity expansion on the domestic side which so far has been more import-driven due to low volumes.
This will result in huge domestic expansion as well as lead to innovation in the battery space where new battery packs will be more aligned to Indian conditions than global settings which will ultimately make EV vehicles, safer, cheaper, and better.”
Arjun Sinha Roy, Co-Founder, iRasus Technologies: “The budget has taken Green Growth as one of the Pillars of the economy for the coming financial year. Programs for green fuel, energy, mobility, and equipment have been announced. These initiatives will help create new Investments and Jobs in the Clean Energy sector, of which the EV sector is an important part.
The outlay to the National Green Hydrogen Mission for 19700 crores is also a step in the right direction as it helps create the eco-system for a completely new Green Energy paradigm.
The announcement of Viability Gap Funding for Battery Energy Storage is a recognition of the criticality of Energy Storage as a core Infrastructure.
Custom duty exemption has been extended to the capital goods and machinery required to manufacture lithium-ion cells in EV batteries. This is going to be a big push for enabling the localization of Cell Manufacturing.
We also see other initiatives like incentivizing Municipal Bonds and the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), which will help create new Urban Infrastructure, of which Clean Mobility Infrastructure will be a crucial part.
We would like to see more being offered in terms of incentives for the entire EV Infrastructure sector. As I have said, India could quickly become the global Hub for EV, and we would have liked to see more incentives to encourage domestic manufacturing in the sector”.
Anika Parashar, Founder, and CEO of The Woman’s Company: “The union budget is truly revolutionary and especially beneficial for women. Ensuring financial growth for women, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the setting up of a new, one-time savings scheme for women and girls. This will be called the Mahila Samman Bachat Patra and will have a deposit facility of up to ₹2 lakh for women. The savings schemes will provide a fixed interstate rate to the beneficiaries at 7.5% per annum and will be valid for two years up to March 2025. It will also allow for a partial withdrawal option.
This endeavor will help in creating better financial literacy and support for women.”
Banwari Lal Sharma, CEO, Consumer Business, CarTrade Tech Ltd: “The Union Budget 2023-2024 announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is progressive, prudent and growth-led, with an eye to provide impetus on the savings of the public. It is a ‘green budget’ for the automotive and mobility sectors. The sustainability measures taken through announcements on green hydrogen and other energy sectors will help in furthering the government’s target of carbon neutrality by 2070. The increased Capex outlay on energy transition is likely to spur investments and skill development in a green economy.
The viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems is also likely to create critical infrastructure, while custom duty reduction on capital goods for Lithium batteries manufacturing will facilitate faster adoption of EVs.
Increase in spending on infrastructure, setting up of 50 new airports and heliports, creation of 100 transport infrastructure projects are welcome moves, in addition to the central support for replacing old vehicles. All of these should drive consumption and overall demand of vehicles.”
Neeraj Tyagi, Co-Founder and CEO, We Founder Circle: “Post-pandemic a lot of startups were struggling for survival and still are. The announcement of the extension of tax benefits on the incorporation of startups, and additional 3 years to carry forward the losses to set off against future profits will serve as lifeboats to many. Additionally, what is not realized yet is that ease of compliance plays a major role for any business. More so for new businesses and young entrepreneurs. More than 39,000 compliances have been reduced which will offer great convenience to startups and encourage aspiring ones. The Agri Accelerator Fund set up by the government will not only encourage entrepreneurs but also attract investors to invest in Agri startups aggressively. The good thing is that we have some of the most exciting agri startups like Hesa, Anveshan and Growit.”
Kaushik Das, CEO & Founder, AAONXT: “In the Union Budget 2023 announcement today led by esteemed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, we were anticipating positive developments for the Media, Entertainment, and OTT sectors. But two of our core expectations of the government slashing movie ticket prices and OTT subscription plan costs to boost customer spending on digital and television content have not been addressed directly. We were expecting direct reliefs, but what we got were some indirect reliefs. The relief has come in the form of custom duty cuts on the production and sale of various tangible commodities essential for viewing television media on the big screens and digital content on OTT platforms. These include the reduction of custom duty on cars, smartphones, TVs, lithium-ion batteries, and other electric and technological goods. As reiterated earlier, these are not direct reliefs for the entertainment sector but they are measures that might give an indirect impetus to the public consuming media content through different mediums. A slash in TV and smartphone prices can make it easier for people to purchase a TV or smartphone that could’ve been outside their budget before. Or it could mean getting their ideal TV or smartphone from their choice of brand at a lesser price, leaving them more money for buying subscription plans to their favourite OTT channels and applications. This shouldn’t be a problem for most national OTT platforms given that their cost is already priced affordably. But it would definitely mean good news for subscribing to global OTT platforms like Netflix or Apple TV that charge their users on the higher spectrum.
As of 2021, the contribution of the media & entertainment sector was valued at around 1.6 trillion. According to IAMAI, there is going to be a rise in the number of internet users to 900 million by 2025. And according to a FICCI-EY report, TV is expected to bring in a revenue of around 847 billion by 2023. Given the immense contribution of the media & entertainment sector to India’s economy and GDP, these new tax changes will only boost the contribution of this sector further. However, we hope that the government recognizes the contribution of our sector and delivers a more precise and direct relief in the next budget.“
Atulya Kaushik, Co-founder & CEO of PrepInsta: “The Budget seems to give more push to employability readiness in youths. Direct Benefit Transfer under a pan India national apprenticeship scheme which will impact 47 lakh youths seems promising. Setting up 100 Labs in engineering institutions will help graduates be ready to build applications on India’s 5G stack. Focus on smart classrooms will also help us take advantage of the metaverse and immersive learning. Overall it should help India to release its demographic dividend for inclusive development. We applaud the government’s decision to establish a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescence to facilitate access to high-quality books on any device. The finance minister’s decision to expand Eklavya model schools for tribal students is another step forward in promoting digital literacy. Furthermore, by proposing 30 Skill India International centers across various states, Surely, this year’s budget clearly emphasizes the importance of closing the skill gap in youth across India.”
Vinod Shankar, Co-founder & Partner, Java Capital: “The biggest highlight of the budget has been the strong focus on going green and sustainable, which augurs well for the planet, the country and the startup ecosystem. There has been renewed progress over the last 12 months in investing in climate startups, this trend has been kept alive with focus of the budget on green growth.
The broad horizontal directionacross green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment is unprecedented if executed well.
The schemes announced align well with the net zero target by 2070. With this positive direction we should expect more startups and increased venture capital funding in green startups like ePlane, newtrace.
Encouraging behavioural change for carbon footprint reduction is a new paradigm for the people. This has the potential to change individual and societal behaviour with the Green credit programme, PM-PRANAM and MISHTI.”
Sagar Agarvwal, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Beams Fintech: “This year’s budget has been fairly positive for the startup ecosystem. The extension in time-limit of incorporation for IT incentives gives an additional push to the Indian Startup ecosystem. More importantly, the extension of carry forward period on change in shareholding from 7 years to 10 years makes startup acquistions more attractive, supporting consolidation in the industry and hence enabling exit opportunities for founders and investors. Announcements around PAN being the common business identifier and expansion of Digilocker’s scope will further lead to some reduction in compliance cost for Banks, NBFCs and fintechs. Given that multiple startups today are focusing on SMEs, we are also excited about the Rs. 9,000 Cr revamped credit guarantee scheme. Access to low cost finance will help SMEs grow faster, which will create immense value for the startup ecosystem that exists around it.
However, we were also expecting to see a few more changes specific to the PE/VC investment industry, hoping to get favorable changes around LTCG, carried interest etc. We are hopeful that the Indian Government would follow-up with some relaxations for investors in the coming financial year.”
Kishan Tiwari, Co-Founder and CEO, TSAW Drones: “The Hon’ble Finance Minister’s announcement in the Union Budget 23-24 to revitalize 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones is a landmark decision. This will jumpstart the fourth industrialization by effectively utilizing drone technology for automation in logistics, transportation, infrastructure, and rural development, as well as create new-age jobs for the nation’s youngsters. TSAW is committed to supporting the government’s mission by assembling state-of-the-art ‘Made in India’ drones and DRONECO is committed to providing end-to-end drone services for internal sovereignty, last-mile connectivity, agriculture, healthcare and others. The announcement of the Agri Accelerator Fund by the government will encourage more entrepreneurs to serve Indian rich and heritage agriculture Industry. Being a Drone manufacturer, TSAW sees a big opportunity of collaborating with Agri start-ups to serve and show a real case of Drones in the Agriculture industry.”
Aashisha Chakraborty, bestselling author, columnist, poet: “Being the last full budget before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, a lot of pressure on fiscal resources will have to be balanced with maintaining a feel-good factor among the people. The worst affected group by the recession in the West would be women and the youth with diminishing job opportunities and exports. It will be a challenge to orchestrate and promote opportunities for the youth, women, artisans, the working middle class, the rural and the unorganized sectors. All in all, an enormous responsibility lies on the government’s shoulders to make the economy robust.”
Volga Benjamin Fernandez, Director (India) of eye square: “The Union budget 2023-24 announced today has been a welcoming step towards young and budding entrepreneurs especially those in the IT sector. The honorable FM also announced implementation of AI for three centers of excellence which includes health for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ and the further enhancement of new age skills like Robotics, AI, and IoT will accelerate the emergence of end to end 360-degree technology service providers in the country. The announcement of opening 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services in engineering institutions will create opportunities for young entrepreneurs to build their businesses.”
Rajat Jain, co-founder of Pataa Navigation: “We welcome the Union Budget 2023 by the Indian Government which is positively focused on a tech-driven economy. To begin, setting up 100 labs for effectively developing 5G services will enhance the overall UX of the mobile applications. Also, the initiative of setting up Centers of Excellence for artificial intelligence in top educational institutions will help in conducting interdisciplinary research and creating applications.
Additionally, the National Data Governance Policy unleashes innovation and research by startups and Academia to access anonymized data from both government and private entities for research and innovation in order to boost development in the country. Here at Pataa, we are excited about these developments as with these policies, we can also become an aid for the quest of a Digital India. Our advanced addressing system can complement a few of the services proposed, such as in the 5G sector, intelligent transportation systems can be integrated with our smart addressing system to make it even more efficient and effective. In terms of artificial intelligence, Pataa’s location based predictive proximity location intelligence system can greatly aid agriculture and healthcare services with precision location and digital addresses that can be used to provide services. Additionally, Pataa can be integrated into the advanced digilocker technology for provision of geotagged and verified addresses. We are all set to launch applications for enterprises and organizations based on location intelligence and augmented reality to help in operational efficiency and excellence.”
Yatin Gupte, Chairman & Managing Director, Wardwizard Innovations & Mobility Ltd: “We welcome the forward-looking budget presented by our Hon’ble Finance Minister. The budget has rightly been referred to as the vision of Amrit Kaal. This year’s budget brings a big boost to the India’s economy by covering all the verticals for the holistic development of the nation. The sanctioning of Rs. 35,000 crores for energy transition is a significant step toward India’s net zero goals and will undoubtedly provide a much-needed push to a sustainable tomorrow. Tax exemptions on capital goods, lithium-ion batteries, and further reduction of customs duty will accelerate green mobility and rapid transition towards electric vehicles, making the sector stronger than before. We are eagerly looking forward to the government’s ambitious vision for upgrading the EV infrastructure ecosystem. Further relaxation on personal taxes and push for the job creation will bring sustainability in the market and increase purchasing power. Domestic consumption is a prime driving force for the economy. With the infrastructure boost and effective capital expenditure, the industry is optimistic that this budget will definitely augur well for the economic recovery and overall growth of the country.”
Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Cofounder and Managing Director of Venture Catalysts: “This budget is focused on harnessing technology in each and every sector to boost entrepreneurship and creating more job opportunities. The brief but concise budget announcement delivered by the finance minister marks a milestone moment in the development of India’s startup ecosystem. To start with, the initiative to develop a digital public infrastructure for agriculture is a step in the right direction, which will prove vital for the growth of India’s emerging AgriTech sector. The foresight displayed with the establishment of an Agriculture Accelerator Fund to support startups and entrepreneurs in the country is striking, and will go on to further strengthen India’s largest industry. Moreover, the emphasis to promote on-job training, industry partnerships, and alignment of courses with the various needs of respective industries under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 reflects a progressive and resourceful outlook for encouraging and developing India’s resplendent startup ecosystem. The importance given to the development of Artificial Intelligence ecosystem through Make AI In India and Make AI Work For India, along with the transformative measures for ease of doing business and boost for urban infrastructure, all will convene to ameliorate India’s global status as the leader in economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and will promote the startup culture to produce companies of the future. With the new budget, prospects of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem seem bright and inexorable.”
Pramod Kathuria, Founder & CEO, Easiloan: “Union budget 2023-24 reflects that the government is profoundly embraced the digital revolution in the fintech sector and promoting the use of digi locker for documentation. The collection and retrieval of relevant document for customer verification and identification is a key area we as Digital home loan marketplace Easiloan are looking to optimize. We are glad that the government’s new budget is a push in the same direction. Expansion of Digi locker services to the Fintech sector will be a great boost for individuals, banks and financial institutions to store and share data online in a secured and faster manner
Additionally, The decision of the government to set up 100 labs in engineering institutes for developing apps using 5G services will usher in new opportunities unlocking various possibilities.”
Rajagopal Menon, Vice President, WazirX: “It’s a fantastic project since it makes life easier for the average person. DigiLocker can help firms ease the KYC (Know Your Customer) process by offering a secure, electronic version of personal papers that can be easily shared. This eliminates the requirement for physical document submission and verification, making the process more efficient and comfortable for both the customer and the enterprise. Furthermore, the DigiLocker application’s one-stop solution for identity and address updates can ease the process of changing personal information, decreasing the time and effort required to make these modifications across numerous businesses.
It’s a big step to abandon the “one size fits all” approach to Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. It can help by enabling for a more tailored and risk-based approach to client identification and verification. By decreasing the quantity of extraneous information and documents needed, this can lead to a more efficient and effective KYC process, as well as a better customer experience. Furthermore, adapting the KYC process to the individual risks posed by each customer can help to improve the business’s overall security and compliance.”
Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO, Garuda Aerospace: “The Union Budget announced will certainly prove to be beneficial. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement has highlighted many points for the scope and development of the start-up economy. Garuda Areospace’s virtual skilling and training universities will aim to empower 1 lakh youth by providing them with training and skilling for becoming drone pilots. Alongside this, Garuda will also provide them with job opportunities. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence used in drones will help in monitoring soil and crop yield. DGCA-approved Garuda Kisan Drones will provide data that will help farmers enhance their crop production. Garuda’s Seed dropping drones are already helping the government plant seeds, rejuvenate the forest. Till date, they have planted 75,000 seeds. These drones will further support the government’s Misti scheme. The UBI-approved Kisan loan will help the agriculture accelerator fund and encourage agritech startups by helping young entrepreneurs in rural areas by distributing various agrochemicals thus further scaling it. Garuda drones will help government labs develop 5g enabled applications. Last year’s budget helped Kisan Drone Loans and subsidies and it set up a platform for India to become a Global Drone Hub by 2030. This transformation will be centred around precision Made in India drones in the Agri Sector with helping the youth. The Agri tech startups will be funded. With this, farmers will be able to get subsidies and ensure Affordable precision agri technology is contributing towards enhancing food crop production and increasing yield which will directly contribute to increasing India’s GDP.”
Namit Chugh, Investment Lead, W Health Ventures: “This year’s budget highlights the government’s continued push toward improving access to quality healthcare for all. We are particularly excited about the announcement to open 3 inter-disciplinary AI research and development centres to “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India.” AI in Healthcare has already shown immense promise across the globe in improving care. We have seen use cases across diagnostics where AI tools are bettering accuracy, speed and also enabling early diagnosis, mental health where AI chatbots can be used as the first line of treatment, etc. Given the potential to create large healthcare data sets in India used to train AI and the pool of highly qualified tech talent, this move by the government makes us more ready than ever to make AI in Healthcare a trillion-dollar opportunity.
Healthcare continues to be a space where professionals like doctors, nurses, etc. have unequal influence over any individual’s care journey. Additional investment in developing and upskilling healthcare personnel like nurses and technicians was one of our key expectations from the budget. We welcome the announcement to set up 157 new nursing colleges in the country, a move that will be pivotal not only to healthcare but also employment.”
Dewang Neralla, CEO, NTT DATA Payment Services India: “The ‘Saptarshi’ Budget has laid stronger fiscal support for building digital public infrastructure in 2023-24, which will give further impetus to India’s financial technology stack, including UPI and other digital payment solutions. UPI has witnessed a great boost in recent years by registering a growth of 76 per cent in transactions and 91 per cent in value terms which shows, India is outpacing digital payments in the world and the industry is enhancing its contribution towards nation-building. The inclusion of digital payment systems in Prime Minister Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman is a major step towards strengthening the ‘Digital India’ initiative. The first budget in ‘Amrit Kaal’ combines both growth and consumption. Simplification of KYC methods for digital payments and increased options to keep personal and financial documents in digi-lockers will strengthen the entire digital payments ecosystem. Focus on benefits for individual taxpayers will help in creating increased disposable income, consumptions, savings, etc. all adding to the growth of digital transactions.”
Uday Narang, Founder and Chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility: “The government’s forward looking vision in promoting environment and sustainability in the recent Union Budget 2023, will prove to be an accelerator for the EV Industry. Extension of customs duty exemption for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries and removal of customs duty on imported machinery used for manufacturing Li-ion batteries are welcome initiatives as these will help in boosting the demand for EV’s.
The policy on the replacement of old polluting vehicles should accelerate the transition towards electric vehicles. Overall, we are happy with the budget as it is inclusive, and progressive and will encourage investments in the EV sector in a big way.”
Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital: “The Union Budget rightly builds incentives to support low carbon development pathways with the focus on Green Growth among the Saptarishi priorities. Catalyzing sustainable growth in India will require incentives to drive investments in technology and innovation, to ensure that we do not have to make trade-offs between people and planet. We welcome the increased outlay towards energy transition, and particularly for Green Hydrogen and waste-to-energy, which will boost energy independence. The PRANAM scheme and bio-inputs centres shall incentivize adoption of sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices. The Green Credit programme will channel much needed capital to support the transition to a sustainable economy. Concessional duties on Li-ion batteries will provide further boost to the EV sector and help decarbonize the transport and logistics sectors. The measures announced in Budget 2023 will further strengthen India’s position as a global climate leader, and catalyze sustainable, inclusive development.”
Rahul Raj, Founder & CEO, FloBiz: “Several budget 2023 announcements demonstrate the government’s intent to give a boost to the positive growth momentum of Indian MSMEs. It prioritises the goal of promoting women entrepreneurs’ representation in the MSME sector in India by extending raw materials supply and better marketing avenues to them. Vivad se Vishwas reliefs for MSMEs to resolve their existing and future disputes with government undertakings is another effort among the host of measures announced for ease of doing business in India. Adequate access to working capital remains a constraint for MSMEs in India; thus, the revamped Credit Guarantee Scheme and setting up of the National Financial Information Registry and entity DigiLocker will further alleviate the credit-supply concerns of the sector. The cascading effect of macroeconomic measures, such as a hike in capital expenditure, a huge increase in allocation for PM Awaas Yojana and a reduction in personal income taxes, will also create favourable opportunities in the MSME sector. The level of importance dedicated to MSMEs in this budget indicates the key role MSMEs will play as economic drivers in this Amrit Kaal for India.”
Ankur Shrivastava, Founder & Managing Partner, Momentum Capital: “The government took a slew of measures in Union Budget 2023 to boost the startup ecosystem. The increase in benefit of carrying forward losses for startups to 10 years is a welcome move. The agriculture accelerator fund for rural agritech startups will also provide a thrust to higher technology participation in the core agri sector. And the National Data Governance Policy will provide access to anonymized data, helping create globally competitive data startups. Having said this, the absence of some long-awaited measures was a bit disappointing for startups & venture investors, especially on ESOPs tax reforms, capital gains tax rationalization with public equities, and overhauling IMB certifications. Also the extension of angel tax to foreign investment risks dampening the foreign investor sentiment a little. Overall, it was a mixed bag for the startup ecosystem that could have benefitted from a bigger boost in the ongoing funding crunch.”
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.”
Neha Singh, Co-founder, Tracxn: “India has evolved to be the third-largest startup ecosystem globally and is one of the leading countries in terms of funding among middle-income countries. The Indian government has been actively working to support the growth of startups in the country. It all began in 2016 with the introduction of “Startup India,” which was followed by numerous other initiatives of a similar nature, including the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS), etc. By streamlining procedures and regulations, these initiatives made it easier to do business and to access financing.
Multiple helpful policies have been implemented into the current budget to support the nation’s startup ecosystem in light of the continuing inflation and funding slowdown. One of the key points announced by the finance minister is the extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups from FY23 to FY24. In addition, the government has stated that startups will be able to carry forward their losses for up to 10 years. To accelerate the development of AgriTech firms, an agriculture accelerator fund will be established. The creation of a national data governance policy will make anonymized data available for a range of applications, creating a plethora of business opportunities. These are a few of the significant measures that have been announced this year among many more that will all aim to improve the nation’s overall startup ecosystem“
Ankit Mittal, Co-founder and CEO of Sheru: “For clean energy and e-mobility, Budget 2023 has several benefits that carry forward the momentum. Electric vehicles need further cost declines in battery and electronics to increase consumer uptake. The custom duty reduction on the import of capital goods and machinery for li-ion battery manufacturing and subsidy on the import of lithium-ion cells being extended by another year will ensure that this cost decline continues.
While clean energy has been rising rapidly in recent years, lack of storage and outdated transmission infrastructure has been slowing its growth. The budget addresses these through a large CAPEX allocation for modernising and strengthening the green power infrastructure. In addition to this, there is also viability gap funding for battery storage and 35,000 crores allocated towards green energy transition.
India’s mobility and energy sectors are witnessing rapid transformations and moving towards a zero-carbon future. Budget ’23 has provided a boost to aid that“.
Pratik Kamdar, Co-Founder Neuron Energy: “The Government’s fidelity to reduce carbon footprint in the country has been re-assuring in the Union Budget 2023. The push towards green mobility will propel the growth of the EV sector in India and will encourage further investments. To usher in a green industrial and economic transition, India is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. With its focus on green growth and push for green mobility, this budget provides the much-needed impetus to the sector.
The Customs Duty exemption on capital goods and machinery to manufacture li-ion will be a facilitator for the country to transition to sustainable and eco-friendly mobility. The exemption will have a domino effect on the overall sector with the over substantial decrease in the overall cost of the finished products wherein the battery packs are likely to reduce by 5% coupled with lower initial investments. Additionally, the vehicle scrapping policy will also be beneficial if the old vehicles are replaced by electric vehicles. This will further aid in the country’s vision of mass EV adoption by 2030.
The sector also holds immense potential with regards to providing entrepreneurship opportunities and job creation. With decreased capital investments to manufacture ancillary supplies like li-ion batteries, it will provide a platform for new age businesses and entrepreneurs to venture into the space.
Overall, we are confident that this Budget will aid in the country’s adoption to electric mobility significantly.”
Mahek Mody, co-founder Up :“The 2023 Budget has indeed witnessed the government make conscious efforts to better the state of Indian entrepreneurship and MSMEs. In a world moving towards Smart and Connected Homes which are technology-led, the governments’ focus on AI, Robotics and other Engineering education across sectors is much appreciated. However, the limited scope of reduced custom duties and subsidies to mature industries such as Fintech, Electric Vehicles, and Mobile Phones, may hinder the growth of nascent sectors.
The $30 billion consumer appliance industry has immense potential and could be dominated by Indian companies with the appropriate support. We acknowledge the centers’ steps on reduced tax slabs and the extended loss carry-over period, but hope that startups in new and emerging industries will receive greater attention in the future. Our goal is to establish India as a leading exporter of modern and smart appliances, for which government support is a must”
Dr. Jagadish Hiremath, Chairman at AASRA Hospitals: “Although the budget does cover some of the important aspects of healthcare, it has not touched on surgical robotics which will be playing an important role in upgrading Indian medical infrastructure to higher standards going forward. Considering the fact that the number of surgeries done in India is spiking up constantly and the integration of surgical robotics has been on rise especially post pandemic, it would have been wiser to allocate a budget to encourage robotic surgeries. There was a huge expectation that the government would continue giving budgetary allocations for medical tourism which would boost the private healthcare players to thrive in current times of economic uncertainties. Over everything the much needed policy changes to make it easier for the public to claim insurance for robotic surgeries too has not been touched upon during the current budget. However in short I would say the current budget has stayed far away from what was expected.”
Sayeed Anjum, Co-founder & CTO, greytHR: “The government has taken an excellent initiative by establishing three centers of excellence in top educational institutions to nurture quality human resources in AI. A national education policy will undoubtedly facilitate job creation at large scale, and the Skill India Digital platform will allow HR service providers and employers to offer desirable jobs to skilled candidates. Also, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 scheme is an exceptional project to expand skill training in areas like coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, and soft skills. While 30 new skill India International centres will not only help professionals from varied sectors but also MSMEs and start-ups who look for relevant candidates to do the work. The credit guarantee scheme will work as a cushion for growing companies to stay sustainable in difficult times. All in all, the entire economy will benefit on a large scale giving numerous scaling opportunities on various levels.”
Krishna Veer Singh Co-Founder and CEO, Lissun: “It was evident during the lockdown that mental health has remained an ignored area and demands immediate attention. In the last budget, Hon’ble FM announced the launch of a Tele Mental Health service. This year, the budget has encompassed the needs of healthcare professionals by announcing 157 new nursing colleges. All this together will serve the purpose of adding fuel to the healthcare infrastructure, and it is the only way it will make complete sense. Also, there has been a significant increase in the budget allocation towards the Healthcare Ministry which indicates the government’s attention toward health standards in the country.”
Nageen Kommu, CEO, Digitap: “The Union budget announced by FM holds great significance for the Fintech sector, as it lays down the roadmap for further growth and development in the industry. Recommendations on adopting a risk based approach for KYC and a system that is amenable to meet the needs of Digital India will ensure measures taken to control potential financial crimes are in line with the risks identified.
Additionally, extending incorporation benefits for startups to 10 years will further boost sentiment and encourage entrepreneurship in the country. This will also make startups more attractive to investors since a lower tax burden means better income and returns on investment.
Lastly, provisions to boost R&D and innovation for financial inclusion, and create innovative financial products by expanding the ambit of the Digilocker facility and using 5G, AI and other technologies will help bridge existing gaps in the system and auger a positive impact to the country as a whole in the long run.“
Jyotirmoy Chakravorty, Founder and CEO of Ubona Technologies: “As MSMEs are now coming through the pandemic’s big blow, the revamped collateral-free credit guarantee scheme will definitely prove to be a big boost for MSMEs. This would spur a great growth of MSME through the financial year 2023-24. In fact collateral free credit enables not only a guaranteed loan but also this removes a great deal of hassles in the process of availing the loan. This is a laudable move by the union government as it not only boosts the growth of MSMEs but also creates a huge number of jobs for youths across the country.
Also it is a great initiative for the government to establish centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence. This would give a huge push for automation space as this initiative would create a huge skilled talent pool.”
Pramod Gummaraj, CEO of Aprecomm: “This budget’s focus on boosting use of artificial intelligence through centers of excellence and the initiative towards setting up 100 labs for app development using 5g services are indeed a great move and a great boost to the respective sectors. In fact ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ are much needed initiatives in present times when artificial intelligence is spreading its arms wide across all the sectors. Had its scope been extended to the telecom sector along with the other three sectors the initiative would have been more fruitful.
While there are initiatives towards promoting Artificial Intelligence and 5G through dedicated budgetary allocations, the current budget has not taken into account the necessity of supporting telecom tech. With telecom players in India and abroad increasingly preferring to integrate various new age technologies developed by Indian players to ease their business in the current market scenario, the current budget could have given the much expected budgetary allocation to boost telecom tech players in the country. Budgetary allocations and policy support would have enabled India to stand atop of the world with Indian telecom tech players leading global markets.”
Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby: “It is extremely heartening to see ‘inclusive development’ and ‘reaching the last mile’ being amongst the seven pillars for Budget 2023-24, as it will lay the foundation for faster financial inclusion and a more equitable society. The government’s commitment to economically empowering women in rural areas will go a long way in making India an inclusive nation. The National Rural Livelihood Mission has achieved remarkable success by mobilizing rural women into 81 lakh Self Help Groups, and we are committed to take this initiative ahead. Through our association with UPSRLM, we have onboarded 10,000 women as BC-Sakhis and upskilled them to offer financial and digital services to their communities and help bridge the urban-rural divide. We are hoping to accomplish this nation-building initiative through more women members of society.
Additionally, to make MSMEs more resilient and competitive, the ₹9000 crores infusion in the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) will help shield them from the rising interest rate burden. This measure will ensure the continued handholding of MSMEs, which account for more than 30% of India’s GDP and remains an important engine of economic growth, job creation, income generation and livelihood support.
The Government’s vision for the Amrit Kaal includes a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with elements like the Data Governance Policy and Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. With PAN as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies, inter-department data sharing between various government organizations will help in better overall administration and ease of doing business. Further, the use of DigiLocker and Aadhaar will help establish personal identities and smoothen current KYC hurdles. With our PAN Card services, we are happy to extend this service to citizens at a nearby store and provide them with a valid proof of identity, thus helping bring all at the last mile into the formal financial fold.
We are happy that over the past few years, we were able to focus on Aspirational Districts and deliver on one of the key aspects of financial inclusion. Going forward, we will continue deepening on the Aspirational Blocks Program to further the Government’s vision of making all financial services accessible to the underserved segments of the society. During Amrit Kaal, in line with our government’s aims to achieve the vision for India@100 with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, we at PayNearby, pledge to walk hand-in-hand in making India a digitally and financially inclusive nation with our moto of Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.”
Sujata Pawar, Co-Founder & CEO at Avni: “We applaud the initiatives declared in the Union Budget 2023-24 by Honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget strikes an appropriate balance between confronting the key foundations of Health & Well-being, Inclusive Development, Human Capital, Innovation, and R&D, as well as laying the groundwork for a prosperous economy by investing heavily in infrastructure. The government’s intention to empower women entrepreneurs through self-help clusters focused on raw material supply, product branding, and marketing is also a very unique and sensible step given that community impact plays a major role with women in India. Furthermore, the announcement of 157 new nursing colleges will further aid strengthen India’s primary healthcare system.”
Siya Seth, Founder and CMD of Skoodos: “The Budget has many announcements that will bolster the digital economy, which is a big positive for the EdTech sector. The introduction of the National Digital Library and the setup of District Institutes of Education and Training will take the Indian startup culture to the next level. We have less than two decades to capitalize on India’s demographic dividend, which will peak in 2041. This can only be achieved by increasing enrolments and improving outcomes, as well as providing online upskilling opportunities at scale.
The government is expected to continue acting upon the liberating reforms of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which treats school education as a continuum with the ultimate aim of empowering a child for life.”
Nitin Pahuja, Co-Founder, Push Sports: “The budget’s focus on the long-term vision for the economy is a refreshing change from past populist budgets before elections. Startups and industry will find confidence that the government is committed to its vision for India @100, making the policy trajectory predictable for the next 25 years.
The increase in capital expenditure will create new markets and deepen existing ones, as seen in the high growth during the Vajpayee era and UPA decade. The budget will outline a similar growth roadmap for the economy.
Maintaining the fiscal deficit reduction trajectory will attract foreign investment and insulate the currency from economic challenges.
The budget’s aim to increase disposable income for the lower middle class by raising tax exemptions will stimulate demand. The INR 35,000 crore stimulus could be a game-changer for D2C startups targeting this cohort.
The budget’s focus on improving employability through skill centers and apprenticeships is a positive step for startups seeking quality talent. The AI labs initiative could transform the startup industry as a public good.
Support for e-mobility and green energy offers a clear roadmap for startups in those sectors, with tax and duty rationalization to enhance competitiveness.
Expanding credit growth for MSMEs and reducing the cost of credit is a welcome move to support small enterprises recovering from the pandemic shock.“
Pawan Gupta, Director, PP Jewellers by Pawan Gupta: “In recent years, the sector has faced several challenges, including a decline in consumer demand and a decrease in exports. Despite these challenges, the year 2023 holds promise for India’s jewellery sector. We, therefore, expect government’s support & some tax relief from this budget.
“The government also needs to understand the negative impact of higher import duty on the jewellery business such as the rise in smuggling & corruption cases. Higher import duty will also subsequently make it further difficult for a small pocket household to purchase gold.
We were hoping that government would propose duty reduction which is the need of the hour to make both trade and consumption of gold and silver easy and fair.
We are happy to hear some reduction in the taxes levied, people could now have more money to spend, which in turn would give the economy the boost it needs. India’s growing middle class is expected to drive demand for jewellery. With a growing population of young, urban consumers, the jewellery sector is poised to benefit from an increase in disposable income and a desire for luxury items.
The Indian government has announced to encourage the indigenous production of lab-grown diamonds, a research and development grant is to be provided to one of the IITs for five years, the policy is expected to address issues such as quality control, branding and marketing, and the development of human resources.”
Dr. Ganesh Nikam, Managing Director and CEO of Biojobz: “We had bucketed our expectations before the budget into several categories, and it is encouraging to see that the government checked at least some of them. The pharmaceutical industry’s request to incentivise and encourage R&D investments has finally been granted. The new Centers of Excellence programme, aimed to promote pharmaceutical research and innovation, will encourage investment opportunities that will directly fuel the sector expansion and jobs. It will begin to unleash the high innovation potential of rich Indian scientific talent. Also on the direct taxes, the increase in the Income tax rebate limit is a very welcoming step. Overall budget has met a lot of expectations.”
Sudhakar Raja – Founder and CEO – TRST Score: “The two new slabs that have been formed for income tax reasons would benefit salaried professionals. For all salaried professionals, the increase in the income tax rebate from 5 lakhs to 7 lakhs is a pleasant change. A new tax band at the 20% tax rate is being implemented, and it ranges from 12 lakhs to 15 lakhs. Students will have the opportunity to learn and find employment based on the new skill centres, AI-driven hubs and data being provided for analysis by start-ups. The new national data governance policy will open up new opportunities and insights that can drive businesses.
Numerous people will find work as a result of the new nursing schools, and the pharmaceutical sector will benefit from incentives to support R&D by having more options for employment and skill development. The government’s effort to improve R&D in the pharmaceutical industry ought to be applauded. The boost in capital spending will create jobs for many people and help tide the downturn brought about by the western economies. Another intriguing project that has the potential to revolutionise the IT sector is artificial intelligence.
The removal of 3400 legislative requirements and 39,000 compliances will make doing business in India easier. Green growth has been given sectoral importance which is a welcome move.”
Satish Kataria, Founder – Fandora.app: “It seems that the government has not given heed to potential demand of rationalising taxation on the virtual digital assets in this budget. I would like to reiterate that while Crypto Currencies as such could be speculative instruments, and hence demanding a higher taxation perspective – not all digital assets should be made part of this category. Again, while the government has issued its clarity of digital tokens underlying real time assets – but then, Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) representing underlying art and content IP – are still dappling under the uncertain regime. I hope that the government realises that such NFTs and Web3 assets can actually help our content industry multifold – through adding additional monetisation layers to their existing content and enabling audiences to engage with their favourite creators in a more active, significant manner. I believe that the government should encourage Content based NFTs and bring them under the category of real asset based tokens – thus providing essential incentivisation for Indian content creators to create even a better global impact.”
Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures: “As expected the current budget has something for all. The Hon FM has touched every aspect of the society. The focus has been on supporting growth and continuing the expenditure on infra building. While the budget seems populist but this has been possible only due to the strong performance of the economy in general. Some of the key impact for startups in the budget which will also help the investment momentum are:
- Provision for agri accelerator will certainly help interest in investment in agri tech and in general in agri business. The accelerator will help working on innovative ideas and may help on packaged food, which will not only help in increasing productivity but also farmer income.
- Setting up of 157 medical colleges will not only help in improving health infra but will also help promote medi-tech startups as they will have more avenues and close to their place then depending on few hospitals for testing their innovation. This will certainly help in promoting health-tech and medi-tech startups
- Special initiative in setting up 3 centres for AI, will help building better startups in AI space and it will help in building resources and testing of innovation.
- FM laid special mention on converting Manhole to Machine-hole. This will certainly help companies like Genrobotic which has built a robotic product to eliminate manual scavenging and help in rehabilitation of people involved in cleaning manual holes. This kind of direct involvement also encourages investors to support startups in the space. Unicorn took the early bet and is glad to have faith in new innovative products in this space. We expect many more development in this space
- While many may think the setting of 50 new airports is a normal announcement, the fact is, it will help in developing the economy in those cities. This will not only help in uplifting of cities but will also help in tourism and also mushrooming of startups and access to cities will be easy. This will also help in lot of job creation
- FM has also given special attention to MSME and startups. Announcements like easing KYC, making PAN as uniform identification for business will go a long way in setting up new businesses especially in the Fintech and Insuretech segment. Increasing the tax relief period from 7 years to 10 years is a big announcement and will help startups redeploy earnings on growth of the business. Also tax rebate to MSME earning upto Rs 3 crore will also help companies to have ease of cash flow.”
Pankit Desai, CEO & Co-founder Sequretek: “On AI in India and Data governance policy:
1. AI Machine Learning (AI ML) is a big area and future of every single industry. The big challenge with AIML however is access to data, for you to be able to run algorithms and validate the outcomes, you need humongous amounts of data, be it in the medical field, cybersecurity or banking.
For startups in this space you do not have wherewithal to get access to data. Ability to have access to anonymised data will be a phenomenal capability that really should help overall AIML research, outcomes, solutions, companies, everything becomes significantly better. This is how some of our neighbouring and developed economies have been able to do and having a formal policy in place now will ensure that you are not running afoul of data privacy norms.
2. We have a problem of talent. ML & data science is what you need even to understand AI and the traditional courses do not do justice to the requirements of the industry. We really hope that you with these institutions as incubators will not only give access to the right pool of talent but all have carried out research as part of the curriculum so that we get industry ready talnt.
3. Data governance policy – it is high time that we had it while the data privacy act is waiting for the parliamentary approval, there is a need to have an overall Data Governance policy framework defining the do’s and don’ts of data consumption for research, education and commercial needs. Again in the context what is needed in the ML without a proper data governance policy it will be very difficult to create a viable business proposition. Just like we liberalised services export regime by SEZs and the telecom policy for communication, we see a proper data governance plocyt to be an enabler to mass utilization and consumption if AI in various fields.”
Satya Vyas, Founder & CEO, projecthero: “The government’s continued push for infrastructure development is gratifying. The government aims to establish an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) with an expected budget allocation of ₹10,000 crore per annum to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. They also plan to incentivize private investment in infrastructure development. These are welcome moves that should prove to be a huge boost to the real estate and construction sectors and will massively aid job creation.”
Dhananjaya Bharadwaj, Co-founder and CEO, ParkMate: “The Budget 23-24 addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reinforces the excellence of the Budget introduced last year. The Union budget correctly emphasised the need for a greater accentuation on innovation, research, and development, which are vital to India’s ambitious goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy. A special proposal to establish three AI centres will motivate entrepreneurs aiming to launch AI startups. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the planned infrastructure target is aligned with broader environmental and social goals. Like the rest of the startup community, we fully embrace the Budget 2023.”
Dharmarajan Sankara Subrahmanian, Founder Director & CEO, Impactsure Technologies: “It is a positive Budget overall with a good thrust on Data and AI. Factors Such as National Data Governance Policy, setting up of Centers of Excellence for AI research in top educational institutions and setting up of 100 labs for app development using 5G in engineering institutions, will accelerate the research paradigm in the area of AI in the country. The budgetary policies will ensure job creation in high-tech industries. It will encourage investments that will spur innovation and development in highly skilled sectors.”“Also the Minister proposed to simplify the Know Your Consumer (KYC) process. KYC is the first step to making financial investments into mutual funds and insurance and opening bank accounts or updating personal details. A risk-based process and KYC requirement would be established using the government-offered digital locker infrastructure, which could store critical documents such as the PAN and AADHAR. The Finance Minister further proposed that a one-stop solution would be set up to update the identification documents for the government-based digital lockers. This is a big boost to the Fintech sector that would help in the onboarding process quickly and seamlessly and provide better customer experience. This expands the scope of documents stored in digilocker and careful access helps in providing quicker solutions to customers”.
Mukesh Taneja – Co founder & CEO, GT Force: “Auto sector in India has been struggling for way too long. It was expected that the foray of EVs will give a new life to the players, however, the sector continues to suffer from initial ownership costs and other factors. The penetration of EV brands and the adoption of the new technology seems to be taking time. Amidst this, the announcement by Hon’ble FM to replace old government vehicles will certainly play a game changer for the sector. Additionally, an Indirect tax proposal can certainly fuel the exports which will lift the auto economy immediately, as manufacturing here is competitive on the global stage. Furthermore, manufacturing lithium-ion battery has been a challenge for EV players, and it was the first ask of EV players to have customs duty exemptions on the import of capital goods and machinery required for lithium-ion batteries. Overall the budget has certainly taken steps to revive the sector.”
Saahil Goel, Co-Founder & CEO, of Shiprocket: “The government’s focus on empowering the MSME sector with the revamped credit guarantee scheme is admirable. We’re also glad to witness infrastructure & reaching the last mile being included in the 7 priorities of this year’s budget. The budget’s focus on transportation and infra projects with the Urban Infra Development Fund will surely give a boost to the logistics sector. The revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs and the Rs 9,000 crore infusion amount in the corpus would further push the entrepreneurial spirit of the country.”
Mridu Mahendra Das, Co-founder and CEO, Automovill: “Auto and auto service sector have been facing various challenges. In the current scenario when new age entrepreneurs are trying to explore businesses in unorganised sectors like auto services or similar, it becomes difficult to follow procedures of traditional business, as it comes at a cost, and you only have so much bandwidth in terms of resources. Therefore, we value a lot that the budget has taken the same into consideration and by reducing more than 39,000 compliance it has made an effort to add to the ease of doing business in India. Additionally, the tax benefits on their incorporation is being extended by another year and the carry forward of losses to set off against future profits will now be allowed for 10 years instead of 7 years, which is going to provide a lot of relief to startups.”
Nikhil Kurhe, Co-founder & CEO, Finarkein Analytics:
“Budget 2023 has articulated the seven pillars that will be key to India’s economic development, with financial services being amongst them. The measures proposed for GIFT IFSC have made it even more attractive for fund managers. The single window clearance for all approvals, making IFSCA the authority for all SEZ compliances, allowing acquisition financing and enabling arbitration will truly make GIFT an International Financial Services Centre.
The announcement of a thorough review of all financial services regulations in the country through public consultation is warmly welcomed. The existing restrictions must be rationalised and modernized in order for Indian investors to become globally competitive.
One missed opportunity was that the rationalization…
The year of Digital Public Infrastructure
The first five minutes of the budget mentioned Digital Public Infrastructure like Aadhar, UPI, and CoWIN. I think that set the tone perfectly for what to expect from the Finance Minister for the next ninety minutes, and the budget has definitely delivered on all the right fronts.
The focus remained on a people-centric world order combined with sustainable development. To facilitate ample opportunities for citizens to fulfill their aspirations, a strong impetus for growth and job creation was a core focus of the budget. Additionally, the government’s fiscal discipline and sticking to deficit targets is commendable and puts India on a path of strong macroeconomic stability. While the reaction to the last 15 minutes and changes to the personal tax under the new regime was palpable and expected, I strongly believe that there were a few foundational pieces that have been set in motion in this budget that will have a multiplier effect in the coming years.
The first big winning theme on the DPI front I believe has been DigiLocker. DigiLocker has had a slow start over the years but has rapidly been activated with strong core utility and anchor use cases. DigiLocker + Aadhar is a robust identity and document layer and will play a key role in facilitating risk-based KYC. PAN as a common identifier for businesses will again be a central focal point, although I’m a little disappointed that Udyog Aadhar wasn’t promoted as highly in tandem with PAN. The scope and depth of documentation that will be available through DigiLocker is expanding and I expect usage and uptick will naturally follow. A one stop solution/centralized IT system was another recurring theme around KYC with a single window for identity and address updates will also be built on existing identity DPIs.
The second core theme which I feel has a lot of scope and can move the needle significantly for the Indian economy is the Agristack. A Digital Public Infrastructure focused on the agriculture domain that will be open source, based on interoperable open standards will be a game changer. As more data is made available for relevant decisioning, ancillary services which can drive growth and revenues for agriculture will flow seamlessly. I expect new credit and insurance products around agriculture to be built exclusively around the Agristack in the coming year. Furthermore, the budget mentioned a fund for agritech startups and initiatives which is yet another impetus for this sector to pick up and set us on a multiyear path.
Lastly, the third core highlight which I believe will fly under the radar is the National Data Governance Policy. This is absolutely massive. Cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence that we see today like ChatGPT, Google’s LAMBDA and other AI models are largely following similar architecture. Difference in their experience and utility is a function of the datasets they are trained on like Wikipedia edit history, social media, and other publicly available datasets are used to train these Large Language Models. India with our Open Finance (Account Aggregator) and Open Health (Ayushmann Bharat Digital Health Mission) initiatives will be uniquely positioned with datasets having such wide breadth and depth in the quantity and quality of data available in finance and health domain. Combined with the right policies, anonymised and de-identified datasets can be made available to researchers, think tanks, and other relevant entities to build cutting edge AI in these domains. In a year or two the AgriStack will provide a steady stream of data to build novel AgriAI models as well. Having a robust National Data Governance policy will be key to ensure there’s no compromise on privacy and security of data principles though. Additionally, the value that will be created from this policy will naturally accrue to the nation and have far reaching implications beyond Indian borders as well.
I would say the budget was very foundational in nature with benefits and initiatives that will continue to deliver dividends not only for the coming fiscal, but beyond as well.”
Muzammil Riyaz, Founder, EVeium Smart Mobility: “In the last year alone, EV Sector has seen many ups and downs. At present, EVs contribute to only 2 per cent of the total auto sales in India and extensive support from the government is required to chalk out sustainable growth of the sector. To achieve the ambitious mission of e-mobility in India, initiatives announced in the Union Budget this year including – Customs Duty reduction from 21% to 13% on capital goods and machinery for Lithium Batteries, and an extension of the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year are going to help. These will certainly encourage each EV manufacturer to contribute to the industry initiatives to achieve mass EV adoption by 2030.”
Nitish Mittersain, Founder, CEO & Joint Managing Director of Nazara Technologies: “The Union Budget 2023 has given prominence to digital infrastructure. The intent is not only on developing but building an ecosystem. The budget makes digitisation an integrated aspect of all sectors. AI is the next level in technology innovation and enterprise creation. The creation of three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ will be a game changer in streamlining AI further. The budget also emphasizes developing applications under 5G as the country makes way for it.
While focusing on new pillars of growth, the budget has also given start-ups their due credit. Establishing a National Data Governance Policy to enable access to anonymized data and extending the date of incorporation for income tax benefits to start-ups will be a game changer. In addition, removing the minimum threshold of Rs 10,000/- for TDS and clarifying taxability relating to online gaming is one of the key takeaways.
The proposed Union Budget also reflects the proactive approach by the government in streamlining the tax system and promoting fairness in the industry.”
Pooja Mehta, Chief Investment Officer, JITO Angel Network: “The government’s announcement of a National Data Governance Policy is a landmark moment for India’s start-ups and academic community. With India being recognised as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world and a leader in innovation quality, it’s a powerful testament to the entrepreneurial spirit in the country. The Focus on R&D and AI Execution to move India more towards Digitisation. Also, extension of tax benefits and the relaxation of the conditions for carry-forward of losses for start-ups is a positive step forward. This shows that the government is again fully committed to support, promote, entrepreneurship and Technology development which will drive economic growth and development in India.”
Harini Ramachandran, Co-Creator of Excellence Installations Technology and Co-founder of Antano & Harini, Legacy Accelerators: “The Union Budget 2023 is positively addressing the rural & economic weaker sections and also the aspirational businesses of India. Furthermore, empowering women entrepreneurs, especially through skill development and through investments in branding & marketing is a favorable move, meant to promote niche and driven businesses in India.
As the government continues to invest on mental health and skill development, I believe it’s also time that we prioritize Capability Building for India’s burgeoning entrepreneurs and workforce. Capabilities like to be able to model and learn from the geniuses around, to disassociate and bring creative, out-of-the-box ideas, capabilities of emotional resilience and mastery. Because capabilities are for life and naturally grows and evolves the current capacity an individual has to accelerate their success, launch a unique legacy, and create B!G Impact in the world.
My hope after this year’s budget announcement is that the people will leverage the increased tax exemption and ease of compliance to invest in themselves, in building superior capabilities of world leaders that will enable them, furthermore, to create a big impact in the world.”
Hari Subramaniam, Founder & Director, LifeSigns: “The budget for 2023–24 is a significant step forward for the health-tech sector. With a focus on strengthening the research infrastructure and investment in digitalization through 5G, it sets a positive trajectory for companies like ours. The establishment of new nursing colleges and the allocation of resources for medical research and pharmaceutical innovation demonstrate a commitment to improving healthcare access and outcomes.
At LifeSigns, we’re particularly encouraged by the dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices and the support for medical research in select ICMR labs. These initiatives will foster a dynamic environment for collaboration and more access to new technology in healthcare, skilling the manpower, and encouraging companies like ours to contribute to the growth of the sector and the improvement of healthcare for all citizens.”
Nishant Patel(Founder & CTO, Contentstack): “I am grateful that the honorable FM has provided continued attention to greater digital enablement for startups in India. It is heartening to note that entrepreneurship is getting continued attention at the policy level. Among other announcements, I will call out the expansion of scope DigiLocker, which is an excellent initiative toward paperless governance. The expansion in scope will facilitate greater record-keeping and quicker exchange of information with various authorities, regulators, banks, and enterprises as necessary. The objective of eliminating or minimizing the use of physical documents in itself will greatly enhance the effectiveness of service delivery wherever individuals and companies need document-based decision-making and authentication. Esp. for entrepreneurs and startups, it will be a very important initiative so that they could meet compliances and find quick access to financial services.”
Kapil Shelke, Founder & CEO, TORK Motors: “The changes in the Income tax slab structure has enhanced the purchasing power of the populace. This move will encourage the adoption of cleaner, cost effective means of travel for their daily commute and the availability of FAME-II subsidy will further boost the sales of electric vehicles in the coming fiscal. Additionally, the extension on customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery for developing lithium-ion cells would also enable EV manufacturers to localise their products in the long term, leading towards reduction in the cost of an electric vehicle for the consumer in the years to come, particularly for a brand like ours that are 95% indigenously manufactured in India.”
Rakesh Kilaru, Co-founder and CEO, Nourish You: “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that millets are the most utilized grains. Overall the Union Budget has an optimistic outlook for the agricultural sector. Nourish You is well aligned with the government’s vision of promoting millets as the healthiest grain. India currently stands as the largest producer and second-largest exporter of millets. With focus being placed on much needed research, it will work as a catalyst in boosting overall growth and consumption of millets as a whole. Nourish You’s extensive and focussed research and development over the past few years have enabled us to develop cutting-edge millet products that we aim to introduce in the market this year. The budget will help drive the millet revolution in India and create a dominant place for it in the agri sector.”
Gaurav VK Singhvi, Co-Founder of We Founder Circle: “For any startup to grow smoothly, easier compliance plays a major role. A lot of decisions of the entrepreneurs and investors depend on the same. In this budget, more than 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions have been decriminalized, indicating that even the government sees the startup ecosystem contributing greatly to the future of India. Simultaneously, investors have remained enticed by the agriculture sector in India, and always encourage any innovation that offers support to the largest industry. The announcement of the Agri Accelerator Fund by the government will not only encourage entrepreneurs but also strengthen the agri supply chain which has been struggling for way too long. We have been bullish and investing in Agri startups and have 3 companies in our portfolio, I believe this initiative by the government will see a boost across the entire value chain in the agriculture industry and we definitely see a lot of startups emerging and potentially becoming unicorns from the Agri startup community.
Carrying forward Digital India, and the now renowned IndiaStack or BharatStack of digital solutions for financial inclusion, compliances, governance, and public services, the Honorable FM has announced the launch of various other digital programs such as a digital platform for agriculture, Digital National Library, AI Center for Excellence, extension of eCourts, Unified Skill India Digital Platform, Tourism App, Central Financial Data Repository, Unified Filling Platform, thrust on BharatStack viz. Digilocker, Video KYC, etc.
This is commendable and takes India higher in the tech sphereariousv. Especially, the unified filling platform, if done properly, can simplify the multiple compliances that companies have to currently do for various regulations through a common digital filling of data/forms.”
Raghav Gupta, Managing Director – India and APAC, Coursera: “We welcome the Union Budget’s focus on providing critical skills to India’s youth. The revamped Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a step in the right direction as it aims to impart new-age skills such as AI, robotics and 3D printing, offering young Indians a wide range of career opportunities globally. This focus will be crucial in helping India stay competitive in the fast-changing technology landscape,” said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera. “The emphasis on demand-based formal skilling and linking with employers, along with access to entrepreneurship schemes, will play a critical role in boosting India’s competitiveness in the global market. Such progressive skilling policies shall propel India’s drive to establish itself as a source for top talent, globally.”
Varun Gupta, Founder & CEO, Boult Audio: “Budget 2023–24 seems promising for the consumer electronics sector. The Indian government plans to set up three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence with the goal of conducting research and developing practical AI applications in various sectors. Realizing the vision of “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work in India” will enhance the paths towards success for the consumer electronics sector, thereby increasing opportunities and production with cutting-edge technology. Enhanced limits for micro-enterprises and professionals to take advantage of presumptive taxation have opened many opportunities for the industry. Furthermore, the key point that a deduction on a payment made to an MSME will be permitted if the payment is made has removed many obstacles. Because the Indian consumer electronics market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate, the country provides a global opportunity for average consumer spending. And with the budget announcement regarding the new tax regime to be extended to INR 7 lakh instead of INR 5 lakh as the previous year, middle-class consumers will increase spending on electronics and gadgets. The extended cash withdrawal for cooperative societies—up to INR 3 crores—is an addition to the set of relief aids for the industry.”
Pankaj Balwani, Founder, of Xplore Lifestyle: “As far as keeping macroeconomic stability is concerned, the budget has definitely ticked all the boxes. The setting up of multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions as well as the provision for new-age courses under PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana such as coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, etc would definitely have a multiplier effect while also giving an impetus to the skilling and upskilling of MedTech professionals in the country. Relatedly, the promotion of pharma research through sharing of research at ICMR labs and centers of excellence will also help in this endeavor. However, even as we wait for the fine print, as a MedTech solutions provider, we would have expected the government to announce reductions on customs duties and GST on medical devices. Also, the government could have expanded the scope and budget for PLI programs for medical devices in today’s budget.”
Aarul Malviya, Founder of ZAMIT: “Union budget 2023-24 reflects that the government is profoundly interested in bringing a digital revolution in the education sector and promoting the use of artificial intelligence in education. We are glad that the government’s new budget is in line with India’s ed-tech sector. With the government’s announcement of establishing a National Digital Library for children and adolescents, the ed-tech sector will definitely get a boost; it will create a digital ecosystem in the education sector and encourage digital education. It will largely benefit the students who are lagging behind due to the pandemic. This budget has also highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence in the education sector by announcing the establishment of 3 ‘Centres of Excellence’ for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’. This step is going to encourage ed-tech companies and start-ups on an enormous scale. The government have introduced the National Data Governance policy which will enable access to anonymized data. The decision of the government to set up 100 labs in engineering institutes for developing apps using 5G services will bring new opportunities in enhancing the concept of smart classrooms and enabling extensive reach of education. However, even as we still wait for the fine print to come out, perhaps the government could have also announced a reduction of taxes on online learning programs as well as incentives for those providing digital education and skilling programs in the private sector.”
Akshit Bansal, Founder & CEO of, Statiq: “The union budget for 2023-24 will pave the way for the green empowerment of the country and reflects the progressive attitude of the government toward sustainable development. We welcome the vision of the government of India in establishing and boosting the focus on green growth. As India’s new budget envisions 7 priorities, green growth is among the top priorities of it. In its budget, the government has announced a large sum of Rs 35,000 crore to be allocated towards achieving the net zero goal and energy transition. The government has set its target to reach green hydrogen production of 5 MMT by 2030. This will encourage the private sector involved in green renewable energy-based products to expand their business and invest more in the business of green energy. The government’s green growth efforts will help in reducing carbon impact, promote green alternatives and create space for employment. It will enable the use of green-based products at a larger scale among the common public. The government’s green signal to green growth will give an edge to companies like electric vehicle manufacturers to market their products and enhance the opportunities for industry players to cater to their target audiences. This will also help in meeting the carbon offset program of various companies in the green sector.”
Nikhil Agarwal, President-CJ Darcl Logistics: “This is the first Budget of Amrit Kaal, and we believe that this is a budget aimed at fostering growth. We are sure that the huge rise in capital expenditure by 33% will have an incremental effect on the overall growth of the economy. Infrastructure sector is the backbone of any economy, and the government has been pushing for the sector’s growth for its multiplier effect and linkage effects in terms of job creation. Infrastructure and development are among the seven priorities of the Budget 2023. The newly announced one hundred critical transport infrastructure projects will help the country to ensure energy and food security as these are critical for India as it targets to become the third largest economy in the world in the next 6-8 years. The government has also decided to inject 2.40 lakh crore in railways in order to derive the positive outcome on environment sustainability.
As Budget 2023 focuses on promoting coastal shipping, it will play a critical role in the economy’s competitiveness, expansion, and long-term sustainability, which is an under tapped sector at the moment. Also, the announcement of 100 Labs for developing applications using 5G services will bring in changes across the transport sector including increasingly smart and efficient logistics and improved urban transportation with the implementation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms. The Budget 2023 has demonstrated a good balance between today’s needs and the future’s demand.”
Jaisimha Rao, Founder & CEO, TartanSense: “In the past technology and farming were viewed as independent silos. The 2023 budget , for the first time , plans to converge and marry contemporary technologies with farming, to provide cost effective solutions to the farmer, through initiatives like setting up of The Agriculture Accelerator Fund and research labs. We as an Ag-Tech robotics start-up are thrilled with these steps of the government and commend the government for taking such bold steps. All in all, we not only welcome budget 2022 but appreciate it as well.”
Niraj Hutheesing, MD & Founder at Cygnet Infotech: “The Budget has been a step in the right direction for strengthening GST compliance eco-system without levying additional burden on the taxpayers. There have been several taxpayer friendly steps such as allowing composition dealers to supply goods through e-comm operators, restricting filing of returns after a certain period to enforce compliance, decriminalising certain offences and raising the monetary threshold for launching prosecution. The amendments to clarify the intend of the law in certain cases is also a welcome step. The consent-based GST returns, e-invoice and e-way bill data has been allowed by inserting Section 158A to allow flow-based lending. This will enable the new age fintech companies to use such data and analytics to disrupt the traditional forms of doing business, target niche markets and orient their products to maximize consumer satisfaction.”
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.”
Jeetender Sharma, Managing Director & Founder, Okinawa Autotech: “Okinawa Autotech welcomes the government’s focus on sustainable growth under the spirit of Amrit Kaal. The elaborate focus on capital expenditure, infrastructure development, green growth, rural development health, education and skilling will support the nation to play a dominant role in the new world. We compliment Finance Minister for providing a big boost to green mobility. The exemption on custom duties on the import of capital goods and machinery required for the manufacture of lithium-ion cells will lead to faster adoption of electric vehicles in the country. This will further aid the development of an efficient EV ecosystem. Further, the push for the scrappage policy will support the overall growth of the entire automobile sector. The budget outlays the strong foundation for India’s long-term vision under ‘panchamrit’ and net-zero carbon emission goals for 2070 to usher in a green industrial and economic transition. We also believe that the relief in personal income tax will improve the consumer confidence & purchasing power in the country.”
Vishal Mehta, Managing Director, Infibeam Avenues Ltd: “Overall, all sector has been positively addressed by the Honourable Finance Minister. The best part is incentivizing the foreign data Centres players to set up their base at GIFT City. It’s a smart move by the government to address the concerns of the foreign data centre or cloud data centre players, as they were apprehensive or concerned about domestic law applicability on their operations.
Now, by offering Data Embassy at GIFT City for foreign data centre companies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has solved their concerns. Gujarat International Finance Tech-city (GIFT) is India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), and in the SEZ zone, the domestic law is not applicable, as SEZ zones are deemed foreign territory.
The way there is a separate regulation for Aircraft leasing at GIFT city; similarly, for other business verticals, in the same way, there will be foreign data centre-specific regulation for global players easing off their concerns. It seems this move of offering Data Embassy to the foreign data centres is to address their concern, which is an excellent move by the government.
Now there is a twin advantage. First, this move will attract global cloud data players to set up their base at GIFT city as a preparation towards complying with the Indian laws on data centres, which are expected to come up soon. Thus, the migration of large data centre businesses to India will start. Second, this will take care of data onshore, addressing the government’s needs or concerns, as now the data will not leave India’s shore, and yet it is equivalent to a global location (SEZ) where global players with ease can operate.
Infibeam Avenues Ltd also has its state-of-the-art data centre facility at GIFT city, and we believe the Data Embassy offer will also open the opportunity for us to collaborate with foreign data centre players.”
Vishwas Patel, Executive Director, Infibeam Avenues Ltd and Chairman, Payment Council of India: “The budget has given a digital boost for supporting and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country for the coming generations.
By recognizing the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and spotting the vital role that AI is going to play in the economy, corporate, defence, healthcare and society in future, it has been a futuristic preparatory move where the government has shown its political will.
Even though the government has already provided an increase of incentive amount of Rs 2600 crore under the scheme for promotion of RuPay Debit card and UPI for banks and fintech players, it would have been much supportive if the government could have accommodated the payment industry demand of Rs 8000 crore incentive.
The increase from 7 years to 10 years for carrying forward losses by startups is a commendable step taken by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, along with tax reliefs given to the middle class and service class public by reducing the tax liability.”
Archit Garg, Co-founder of Glamyo Health: “Widening the infrastructure pan India is the primary need when it comes to strengthening the healthcare structure. And to do so we need skilled talent and thicker allocation. Last year, Hon’ble FM had announced AI intervention in health, and NDHM, which had fueled the infrastructure aspect, while this year the budget has included the wish for more talent by announcing 157 new nursing colleges in co-location with 157 medical colleges. Simultaneously, the new entrepreneurs that came forward to contribute to the healthcare ecosystem can now enjoy the ease of compliance too. It is a holistic approach for healthcare spread over two year if one sees it together.”
Gaurav Rastogi, CEO and Co- Founder at Kuvera: “A centralised solution for identity reconciliation and address reconciliation, with Digilocker and Aadhaar as the backbone, is a welcome step. This combined with PAN as a common identifier across all government systems should reduce friction in undergoing KYC every time a new financial relationship is established by an individual. However the devil will be in the details on how this gets implemented. A centralised KYC has been in place for some time but still hasn’t reduced the KYC burden on digital India.”
Sudhindra Reddy, Co-founder, Turno: “We are happy to see systemic measures from the government for a faster adoption of electric vehicles. The Budget has extended customs duty exemption for the import of capital goods and machinery required for manufacturing lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles. This will help lower the landed cost of EVs for end consumers. Furthermore, the budget has laid emphasis on the vehicle scrapping policy with additional funds being allocated for replacement of old vehicles. This will largely benefit the commercial vehicle segment by advancing the aid for sustainable and affordable options for EV transition.
Through the ‘green power initiative’, the government aims to move towards renewable energy alternatives which will further reduce the emissions from EVs on the road sourcing electricity from conventional sources. All these efforts will help our country achieve various SDGs such as combating air pollution, enhancing renewable energy and more.”
Danish Ahmed, Founder at HealthTrip: “The Union Budget 2023 is a step towards making India one of the top healthcare destinations in the world. Initiatives like 50 new tourist destinations, 100 new nursing colleges, new R&D centers in healthcare by ramping up facilities in select ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) labs, are in the right direction to boost medical tourism as India will not only have quality healthcare workers but also better diagnosis of diseases and ailments. The announcements of 50 tourist destinations will be selected through challenge mode to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism. This could be an interesting step towards developing religion-based medical tourism. Destinations such as Bodh Gaya, Ayodhya, Amritsar and Ajmer attract millions of tourists who could also benefit from India’s high quality healthcare services. Besides, 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions which will help in realising a new range of opportunities, business models & employment generation,” Danish Ahmed, Cofounder, HealthTrip.”
Bhavik Vasa, Founder & CEO, GetVantage: “It’s great to see the government broaden its support for the MSME sector by focusing its efforts on deepening its commitment to expand financial access, encourage foreign investment, and streamline processes to catalyse growth. This is the second year in a row that the government is focused on reviving small businesses post pandemic and helping them to bounce-back and thrive with the fresh capital injection of INR 9000 crore (taking the total corpus to 2 lakh crore) into the credit guarantee scheme. This helps in underlining the importance of collateral-free credit for growing businesses, which is a great validation for alternative finance solutions like Revenue-Based Funding for new-age SMBs. Also, this is reassuring news for the entire startup, fintech, and alternate finance sector that has been laser-focused on expanding access to more inclusive capital for new economy businesses of India. In addition, the extension of tax benefits for companies relocating to GIFT City will serve as another catalyst in boosting the confidence of international investors to bring capital into India in the coming years. Lastly, it is encouraging that the budget highlights that policy-makers will proactively relook at existing regulations to ensure they are not only updated but forward-looking and regulators will also implement more defined timelines for regulatory license approvals which will help with ease of doing business.”
Varun Arora, CEO and Co-Founder of Ekostay: “Union Budget 2023 – Post-budget note for the Travel & Tourism sector
The Union Budget 2023 led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came with several great propositions and opportunities for the travel and tourism sector this year. The government identified their lack of concrete monetary support to the sector in the previous budget and took steps to rectify that. The FM addressed the immense importance of the travel and tourism industry in India’s GDP and the ample job opportunities and economic growth potential it holds. To boost the inflow of tourism from domestic and international tourists, some of the steps taken by the government are impressive. For instance, the selection of 50 tourist destinations in the country to be developed as a whole package and the revamp of 50 airports, helicopters, and aerodromes for improving regional air connectivity and boosting the influx of domestic and international tourists will improve the tourism infrastructure tremendously. The railway sector is also receiving a capital outlay of ₹ 2.40 lakh crores, which will improve travel accessibility for the low-income sectors and, in turn, boost tourism. To ease the stay of international and domestic tourists, the government will also look into improving the standards of food safety, tourist security, and physical and virtual connectivity, which we find commendable. As a positive side-effect, we will also see more job opportunities for the public, especially the youth. On the capital outlay front, we think that the infusion of the Credit Guarantee Scheme with ₹ 9000 crores and the provision of ₹ 2 lakh crores collateral to MSMEs in a bid to boost fund flow to the MSME sector will encourage startups and small businesses in the travel and tourism industry to expand their operations and witness an increase in revenue. It will give confidence to MSMEs and startup owners to approach banks for loans and ease the burden on banks to lend funds to MSMEs without collateral. However, unfortunately there was no relaxation on the GST front which was much anticipated from the government. But overall unlike the last budget, these are some concrete developments that will aid in promoting and boosting the tourism industry by a decently fair margin.”
Vishal Mangal, Co-Founder at FightRight: “The vision of a natively digital infrastructure for the judicial system as outlined in the E-Courts Phase 3 project is indeed a game-changer. By enabling litigants and lawyers to file cases from anywhere, at any time, the project aims to increase access to justice and reduce barriers to entry in the court system. This can lead to greater efficiency, convenience, and improved services for all parties involved in court proceedings. Additionally, the digitization of processes will enhance transparency and accountability, while also reducing the time and cost associated with court proceedings. The implementation of this infrastructure will mark a significant shift towards a more modern, efficient, and technology-driven justice system, which can have a lasting impact on the legal industry and wider economy. Further, the tax incentives proposed like extending the sunset clause and carrying forward losses will for startups provide a huge impetus to the economy as envisaged by the Government.”
Vikas D Nahar, Founder and CEO, Happilo: “We notice several supportive policies for startups in this year’s budget by the Finance Minister that will give the much needed boost to the startup sector. Extending the tax incentive period for one more year for start-ups will further encourage the thriving start-up ecosystem in our country. The sector has been demanding multiple reforms and the government’s assurance to form an expert panel to encourage venture capital and private equity investments will bring in stabilisation for the sector. Also, the government has taken multiple steps to promote startups in the country by providing capital at various stages of the business cycle of a company. The focus of budget on capital expenditure & providing capital to start ups at lower interest rates, will help new start up to emerge, grow and scale. This will also help in boosting the economy, create employment and will eventually contribute to nation’s growth.”
Amitabh Saran- Founder and CEO Altigreen: “We welcome Budget 2023-24 and the government’s dedication to promoting environmental sustainability, as stressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The announcement of the extension of subsidies on Electric Vehicle batteries for 1 more year coupled with the decision to continue the concessional duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for another year is helpful; however, we look to the government to extend these for 3 years to provide a stable policy environment for the industry.”
Dipanjan Dean Dutta, Co-founder, Digicides: “This is an amazingly progressive step to infuse technology adoption on-ground. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies sitting with some amazing products struggling with adoption. It is also one of the most important steps towards achieving the goal of “Increasing the Farmer income by 2025”.
As we all understand, the farmer’s land-size is tangible, one of the primary ways that the farmer’s income can double itself is when production at the same farm increases radically. Tech adoption is the only way to achieve that. This comes in the form of modern hybrid seeds, better tools, better grading system, a modern way to disburse loans and other tech advancements.
This will help the entire agri sector and let smart startups do some good work.”
Dr Venkat Mattela, Founder & CEO, Ceremorphic: “The new Union Budget 2023 is well designed to unleash innovations in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space for India. Creating ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ learning infrastructures along with 3 centres of excellence in AI are brilliant initiatives and will go as landmark decisions when we look back in few decades”, said Dr. Venkat Mattela, Founder and CEO of Ceremorphic, Inc which develops AI training supercomputing chips from India.
“Setting up labs for 5G services in engineering institutions is a neat idea as it helps in getting experience in product development early on in educational process. These labs will produce applications which enables efficiency across multiple sectors. Capabilities and expertise in Industry 4.0 is key to the robust economic growth and life style enhancement in the future and the new Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 along with Skill India Digital platform will not only increase the skill set in various areas like AI coding, robotics, mechatronics, IoT, 3D printing but will also encourage more product development in Industry 4.0 going forward. Additionally, setting up of Central Data Processing Centre is a welcome act to create smoother and faster way of getting things done for enterprises.
Continued support for manufacturing is paramount and is well supported by the new targets for increased mobile phone production, reliefs on custom duties on critical parts needed to build peripheral AI interfaces. Low power engineering is the game to play in the next few decades and new architectures will be created where hybrid solutions will be created with lithium batteries along with new architectures that will enable overall energy savings for the total solution. Concessions on duties on the lithium-ion-cells is a key decision to encourage new product development in the industry 4.0. And last but not the least, in tandem with sustainability goals established at G20 summit and a global consensus on reducing carbon emissions, the National Green Hydrogen Mission will facilitate a transition in the economy to low carbon intensity and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports to drive sustainable growth in the manufacturing space. The Green Credit Programme will serve as a step towards accountability both, at the macro and micro levels.”
Anup Nayar, CEO-Domestic, In solution Global Ltd: “With the Finance Minister announcing reduction of 39000 compliances and decriminalizing more than 3400 legal provisions, the budget proposes a series of measures to unlock the potential of our economy and promoting businesses. New age start-ups and unicorns should also feel empowered with the Jan Vishwas bill that will amend 42 central acts to support organizations. In addition, the formulation of the National Information Financial Registry will serve as centralized source of financial information, which will not only empower industry players, but enhance the payments infrastructure as well.”
Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO of Cashaa: “While many crypto industry leaders had big expectations for the union budget 23-24 and requested some key reforms such as lowering the TDS rate from 1% to 0.01% and providing clarity on taxation, I, as the CEO of Cashaa, a neo-bank that provides services to hundreds of businesses in the crypto industry, honestly did not have lofty hopes from the Indian Government through this budget. I genuinely believe that it is best to wait until the Indian government fully comprehends what cryptocurrency is and the value it can bring to the Indian economy. Overall, this budget is very considerate knowing that the government is still trying to understand the crypto and is not saying anything about the crypto. So I appreciate that.”
Sachin Castelino, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, In solution Global LTD: “Promoting digital literacy and entrepreneurial skills among artisans is essential for them to step into the ecommerce ecosystem. With Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), the government’s alternative in India’s e-commerce market, coupled with the existing digital payment structures in place, small sellers can boost their productivity, increase connectivity with consumers and their potential income.”
Sarbojit Mallick, Co-Founder & CBO of Instahyre: “In terms of the overall budget, I think the Finance Minister did a fantastic job finding, a delicate balance between being fiscally responsible and encouraging growth, especially given that we have not yet fully escaped from the pandemic’s shadow. The budget has outlined a number of excellent policies that support infrastructure greatly, encourage manufacturing, and address important growth-promoting cohorts like MSMEs, youth, and even the startup scene. The budget has placed a lot of emphasis on capital spending and personal taxation, also a revamped loan guarantee programme for MSMEs with an infusion of Rs. 9000 crores would shield businesses from the burden of rising interest rates.
However, the budget includes a number of important reform proposals and budgetary measures that will promote social and economic progress.”
Arunabh Sinha, Founder, 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.
In addition the biggest relief for a common man in the form of lower taxation will be a big boost to the markets resulting in more disposable income in the hands of a consumer.
FM Sitharaman highlighted a number of initiatives to support the start-up ecosystem in India. Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) are launched as a part of the Startup India initiative to offer funding at different phases of a startup’s business cycle. The carry forward of losses to set off against future profits for 10 years (against the previous 7) is going to be a big boost for startups who are planning for future IPOs and other activities.
Reduction of 39,000+ compliances would only promote ease of doing business which will encourage more youngsters to take the startup route.
With PAN becoming the single identifier, the amount of complex paperwork required at state and central level would be redundant and startups/investors alike will be able to focus more on execution rather than waste precious time on compliances.
The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme received an allocation from the government of Rs 283.5 crore, which was more than the budget’s prior Revised Estimates of roughly Rs 100 crore. The Fund of Funds for Startups received a budget allocation of Rs 1,000 crore.
In order to encourage research and innovation, a National Data Governance Policy will also be released by universities, startups, and other organizations. This will help make anonymised data accessible to one and all.”
Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote: “The food and beverage Industry had high hopes for the Union Budget. In the last year, the sector has faced two major challenges: recovering from the aftereffects of COVID-19 and combating rising inflation and food prices. However, following the announcement, the food and beverage industry had a mixed reaction to whatever little was doled out as part of the Union Budget 23-24. Nonetheless, the industry is optimistic that consistent measures such as skill development and new investments will help the industry recover from the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Sagar Agarvwal, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Beams Fintech: “This year’s budget has been fairly positive for the startup ecosystem. The extension in time-limit of incorporation for IT incentives gives an additional push to the Indian Startup ecosystem. More importantly, the extension of carry forward period on change in shareholding from 7 years to 10 years makes startup acquistions more attractive, supporting consolidation in the industry and hence enabling exit opportunities for founders and investors. Announcements around PAN being the common business identifier and expansion of Digilocker’s scope will further lead to some reduction in compliance cost for Banks, NBFCs and fintechs. Given that multiple startups today are focusing on SMEs, we are also excited about the Rs. 9,000 Cr revamped credit guarantee scheme. Access to low cost finance will help SMEs grow faster, which will create immense value for the startup ecosystem that exists around it.
However, we were also expecting to see a few more changes specific to the PE/VC investment industry, hoping to get favorable changes around LTCG, carried interest etc. We are hopeful that the Indian Government would follow-up with some relaxations for investors in the coming financial year.”
Param Bhargava, Founder, The Ayurveda Co.: “The offerings of the Union Budget for 2023–24 are aimed at encouraging inclusive and sustainable growth across all crucial sectors, including healthcare and MSMEs. The government has allocated Rs 89,155 crores to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to strengthen the healthcare sector. Also, the revamping of the credit guarantee scheme, which was mooted last year, will go into action on April 1, 2023, thanks to an investment of Rs. 9,000 crores into the corpus. It allows an additional Rs. 2 lakh crore of collateral-free guaranteed loans. Since MSMEs are also the main drivers of economic growth in our country and contribute significantly to the healthcare sector, the enhanced limits of 3 crores for micro firms and 75 lakhs for certain professionals to avail the benefit of presumptive taxation will simplify tax filing more and relax all the MSMEs. The Finance Minister also proposes that the maximum surcharge rate be revised from 37 per cent to 25 per cent, which will undoubtedly relieve businesses from having to pay extra tax and be profitable for their firm. The government also plans to launch a brand-new pharmaceutical research and development programme. The programme will encourage the pharmaceutical industry to adopt novel technologies. All the ideas confirm that this year’s budget is balanced and can positively contribute to the nation’s overall growth.”
Mahesh Shukla, CEO & Founder, PayMe: “The Finance Minister has brought in several changes in the tax regime, which can be seen as a welcome move for the common people. The government has announced big incentives under the new tax regime and given a big push on the capex. The finance ministry has also brought revisions to the tax structure by reducing the number of tax slabs to 5 and increasing the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh. A low tax regime is always beneficial for the taxpayers since introducing tax cuts and giving more money in the hands of people will eventually boost the country’s economy. Another positive move by the government was increasing the capital investment outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which will account for 3,3 per cent of the GDP. Also, the new KYC PAN norms declared by the Finance Minister will be a win-win situation for both the government and the customers, since customers are linked to a single-digit number, which is the PAN – making banking easier.”
Kishan Karunakaran, Founder and CEO, Buyofuel: “The Budget for 2023-2024, just like the budgets of the past 5-6 years, has recognised the importance of renewable energy and biofuels and has some really big announcements for the biofuels sector and renewable energy at large. Specifically for biofuels, the announcement of Rs.35000 cr outlay for Initiatives towards Net-zero, the announcement of a green credit programme to incentivise Capex investments towards climate action by companies and the announcement of support for ‘waste to wealth’ plants under the GOBARdhan scheme will give a significant boost to the biofuels and waste to Fuels sector in India. With policies like these, it’s only a matter of time before India will be a global leader in biofuels and climate action. We at Buyofuel will ensure that we continue to put all our energy and time into ensuring that India achieves its net-zero goal much earlier than 2070.”
Priyanka Wadhwa, Co-Owner, Kapila Krishi Udyog Limited & Co founder, CommsCredible: “With the finance minister announcing the launch of an agriculture accelerator fund for young entrepreneurs, the agritech industry and startups will get a major boost in growth. Agro companies that are decades old will see increased productivity through the use of new-age technologies. Building a digital public infrastructure will also offer a host of farmer centric solutions which will assist farmers in improving their farm output as well as income. This will ultimately lead to economic empowerment, especially of rural women. Moreover, digitization of agriculture is also in line with the government’s objective of financial inclusion and creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
Anshuman Bapna, Founder, Terra.do: “India is on the cusp of a massive green transition, and the budget recognizes that opportunity. Now that policy and capital are getting unlocked, this historic transition could still falter at the bottleneck of talent. The budget is a bat signal for upgrading India’s green skills – whether corporates training their employees, investors increasing allocation to climate startups or edtech players like us teaching these skills to millions.”
Devanshu Bansal, Director, UK Realty: “Considering the prevalent domestic and international scenarios and keeping up with the growth achieved so far, the budget is holistic and growth-oriented. Increased tax rebates will definitely pump in more liquidity in the markets which will provide more disposable income to the lower end of the income spectrum. It may motivate individuals to purchase homes which would further enhance the growth of the real estate sector.” -Mr. Devanshu Bansal, Director, UK Realty”
Kunal Chandra – Co-Founder of Astro Motors: “We are pleased to see the Government’s continuing efforts to stay committed to green energy initiatives, making it one of the key points in this budget. The reduction of duties on lithium-ion cells from 21 percent to 13 percent will further boost the domestic manufacturing in India and make it cheaper for Indian consumers to own electric vehicles. The Monterey support in these growth sectors will definitely increase the adoption of electric vehicles at a faster pace and help us on our journey to achieve carbon neutrality”
Raja Debnath, Co-founder and CEO of Veefin: “The General Budget 2023-24 is clearly a concerted effort to push the Indian economy upwards from its current position of being the 5th largest in the world. And highlighting the role of the financial sector among the seven priorities in achieving this vision shows the government’s resolve in making financial access and inclusion pivotal to our economic growth.
There is a clear commitment towards the needs and priorities of India over the next 5 years with a robust capital investment outlay of Rs.10 lakh crore towards green mobility, financial inclusion, technology innovation, agriculture, education and skill development, public and digital infrastructure.
Aptly termed the backbone of our economy – MSMEs stand to gain from the Rs.9000 crore infusion into the revamped credit guarantee scheme. The new scheme will bring financial relief to MSMEs by incentivising banks to go more aggressive on unsecured and priority sector lending and also provide credit to MSMEs at a lower cost. The current market size for Supply Chain Financing, a major beneficiary of which is the MSME sector, is estimated to be around Rs. 150,000cr. The new scheme effective April 1 2023 is likely to boost public and private sector banks to pursue SCF with vigour and increase access to formal credit channels in the MSME sector, which still averages around 8 per cent.
Additionally, the introduction of Digilocker for MSMEs will support them by easing the process of digital application of credit and digitizing the saving of documents. Some other key measures that will boost the confidence of the financial ecosystem and its players include the setting up of the National Financial Information Registry and the public consultation on regulation making and subsidiary directions.
Not just MSME credit, there is a strong commitment also towards Agri credit target of Rs.20 lakh crore, green credit and infrastructure investment – which creates tremendous opportunities for banks and financial institutions to innovate credit products and solutions through technology and scale financial access to support the socio-economic aspirations of the country.
The budget resonates with the aspirations of the citizens and the new India which is more visionary in its goals both domestically as well as globally.”
Gaurav Dahake, Founder & CEO, Bitbns: “The General Budget has been encouraging for the startup community in terms of the government’s vision for the country over the next couple of years. A slew of programs like Startup India, Digital India in the past have championed the startup ecosystem and helped it become the third largest in the world. With this budget, the government has yet again reinforced its commitment towards the startup community through measures like budgetary support for public digital infrastructure to enhance digital payments, extension of Digilocker services for the fintech sector, setting up of a New Financial Repository, Income Tax benefits and extensions and a consultative approach to optimum regulation in the financial sector for making regulations are together going to boost the startup community.
Another initiative to fuel India’s startup ecosystem is the initiative ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’. This clearly indicates that the country is committed to being a crucible to spur tech innovation by setting up three Centres of Excellences across the country and bringing the best of talent, industry and academia together. Efforts to build 30 skill India international centers for skill development and bring in new age courses on Coding, Robotics, Soft Skills among others are equally worth appreciating as it powers the youth of the country to be ready for jobs of the future and makes our future tech talent the best in class across the globe.
Moreover, the programs being initiated to increase sustainability and reduce carbon footprints will largely prove beneficial for a green economy in the future.”
Vishnu Prasath Devarajan, Founder, Supercluster Pi: “India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and the front-runner in bringing some of the most accessible and affordable technology solutions like UPI to the world. Further, building on India’s technology prowess, the Government of India has yet again taken an audacious resolve to ‘Make AI in India’ and ‘Make AI for India’ by committing to create 3 Centres of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions in the country. This is a seminal step in bringing academia and industry together to develop and hone India’s tech talent and gear it ahead of its time to build for a rapidly changing world. The budget has also accommodated a long term vision of upskilling the next generation of young talent by aligning school education with the jobs of tomorrow.
The announcement of PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is a step in this direction to skill lakhs of youth within the next 3 years in new age courses like coding, AI, robotics, soft skills as well as the setting up of 30 skill India international centers across different states. This will definitely level up Indian tech talent. Other key initiatives like setting up of Agritech Accelerator to develop technology companies and support techpreneurs reinforce India’s commitment to building its startup ecosystem. The budget has also made considerable room for startups to carry forward losses from seven to 10 years, providing relief for the startup ecosystem that is still emerging from funding winter.”
Samir Shah, Founder & CEO of Strategic Growth Advisors (SGA): “The Union budget 2023 is India’s blueprint for the coming decade and its burgeoning global economic dominance. A comprehensive growth oriented budget, with focus on large capital expenditure to boost employment and manufacturing credentials.”
Abhishek Banerjee, Founder & CEO, Lotusdew Wealth and Investment Advisors Pvt Ltd: “Today’s Union budget by India’s honourable finance minister is an inclusive and futuristic budget. With vision for Amrit Kaal which will focus on strong and stable macro-environment, financial sector has been included in the Saptarshi-7 priorities. Reforms in financial sector will lead to financial inclusion at scale, improve allied services and participation in financial markets. Disposable income will also rise as the income limit for rebate of income tax has been increased from Rs 5 Lac to Rs 7 Lac in the new regime reflecting a positive multiplier impact on discretionary spending. The tax exemption will directly benefit consumer discretionary sector and the confluence of focus on railways and tourism, we might see sectors like textiles, QSR, packaged foods, hotels etc benefiting directly. This is also expected to increase participation in the capital market investment products. It is a welcome move that financial sector regulators are requested to carry out a comprehensive review of existing regulations to streamline operations which will help all the players in the eco-system at large.”
Iesh Dixit, CEO and Co-founder of Powerplay: “The Union Budget of 2023 is an indicator that India is moving to become a global startup capital. The proposed budget is startup and MSMEs friendly with a focus on digitalisation. Also, with special initiatives and programmes for ‘green growth’, we are moving towards a more sustainable future. This certainly helps us grow with a more responsible outlook. This was a much-needed initiative by the government.
The announcement of 100 critical transport infra projects worth INR 75,000 will provide more opportunities for real estate businesses and startups, and accelerate the development of smart cities. And with the development of infra, there are high chances of job creation.”
Brijesh Damodaran, Co-founder & Chief Investment Officer of Auxano Capital: “The budget is talking about the increasing the consumption and adopting new tax regime. We believe the old tax regime could get phased out. On the part of the Aif’s – for the GIFT city, a single window clearance is a huge benefit and today with nearly 7 lakh crores being handled under the AiF’s is a huge benefit to expedite the process and getting more dollar money into India. The 3rd part again the KYC is going to be risk based instead of one size fits all. This is again a good sign to encourage, make the investing process easier across the financial instruments.”
Roshan Gupta, Chief Revenue Officer, BlueSemi: “There has been a global rise in the healthcare sector and India is a key player at the forefront. With the COVID-19 pandemic drastically transforming the health landscape across the globe, more and more people are recognising the need for effective and preventive healthcare solutions. The Union budget presented today announced the setting up of ‘Centres of Excellence’ for Artificial Intelligence that can boost development of health-tech products in India. As a leading homegrown health-tech startup with all our R&D and manufacturing within India, we were looking for a tax regime which promotes domestic manufacturing and exports and the Finance minister didn’t not disappoint us. The budget also paves way for new developments and innovations in the health-tech sector with the new programme where ICMR Labs being made available for research by public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams. The plan to support dedicated courses for medical devices in the institutions will ensure availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies and high end manufacturing. Measures to facilitate the ease of doing business will increase investments in health tech sector and enable the long-term growth.”
Anup Patil, Co-founder and CEO, Intangles: “India is emerging as a global startup hub, witnessing steady growth in emerging tech and digital companies. The Union Budget ’23 will pave the way for new opportunities across diverse sectors. With a special focus on data and AI, concrete efforts can be made to grow the ecosystem and materialise the vision of a $5 trillion economy by leveraging the power of technology. The initiatives taken by the government over the last few years have been pivotal in shaping the automotive sector, with tax reforms being directed towards green energy and mobility.”
Upasana Taku, Co-Founder & COO of the MobiKwik: “The upcoming budget will undoubtedly be geared towards augmenting the growth of the Indian economy, but it also needs to address the challenges faced by the common man and the salaried class as we recover from a global pandemic and tackle the ongoing global economic slowdown. People are especially pinning their hopes on the upcoming budget to address the issue of unemployment, control inflation, and make essential goods and services more affordable. The salaried class is looking for some cheer on the personal tax front, hoping that the annual basic exemption limit gets enhanced to Rs 5 lakhs from the existing Rs 2.5 lakhs.”
Tarun Joshi, CEO & Founder, Join Ventures and IGP.com: “At Join Ventures, we have always believed in the significance of traditional artisans and craftspeople in keeping our rich cultural heritage alive and provided them with a global platform to earn from their craft. We are thrilled to see the government’s recognition of India’s valued artisans and craftspeople through the PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman initiative, which will not only improve the quality, scale, and reach of their products but also integrate them with the MSME value chain. This is a proud moment for all of us who have been working towards preserving and promoting the timeless beauty of traditional Indian crafts.”
Saurabh Pandey, Co-founder and CEO of Eloelo:
For Salaried Professionals:
“The measures announced in the budget to simplify the personal income tax structure and increase exemptions for the middle class will provide much-needed relief to salaried professionals. This will also allow startups to retain talented employees by providing competitive salaries and benefits.”
For Creator Economy:
“At Eloelo, we’re happy that the country’s creator economy will get a boost due to the favorable policies by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharama. This year’s Union Budget has provided a relief in customs duty for the use of smartphone parts like camera lenses and batteries, and that will help keep smartphone prices down. A long-term focus on manufacturing smartphones in India will help in increasing digitisation of the country. We’re also happy that the country’s start-up ecosystem is getting a boost by the favorable policies on startup shareholding.”
Vikas Garg, Co-Founder & CEO, Paytail: “The government’s efforts to simplify the KYC process and adopt a risk-based approach will go a long way in streamlining the process for customers and fintech companies alike. We appreciate the focus on a digital-first approach and the use of technology to improve financial inclusion in India. The establishment of DigiLocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management is a game-changer for the fintech industry. This will simplify the process and save time for customers while also enhancing the security of their personal information.”
Padmanabhan Balasubramanian, Partner, Protium: “The use of PAN as a common business identifier for digital systems of specified government agencies will bring ease and consistency to the compliance process for businesses. This is a step towards a more efficient and streamlined system from both a cost and consumer protection standpoint for fintech companies to operate in. The measures announced in the budget aimed at promoting efficiency through integrated systems via a one-stop solution for reconciliation and updating of identity and address of individuals using DigiLocker service are commendable. These measures will help companies in the finance sector to further boost their efforts to deliver innovative solutions to customers and drive financial inclusion in India.”
Vineet Singh, Founder & CEO, Castler: “We are thrilled to see measures aimed at easing the compliance burden for businesses, PAN as a common business identifier, and promoting efficiency through integrated systems. The establishment of Digilocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management further demonstrates the government’s commitment to a digital-first approach. We look forward to leveraging these developments to enhance our services and support the growth of fintechs in India.”
Sousthav Chakrabarty, Co-Founder & CEO, Siply: “The establishment of Digilocker as a one-stop solution for reconciliation and identity management is a watershed moment for the fintech industry. This will enable us to streamline our processes and provide more secure and efficient services to our customers. The use of PAN as a common business identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies is a smart and efficient solution to simplify the compliance process for businesses. This will save time, reduce costs, and promote transparency, making it easier for Fintechs to thrive in India and is a major step forward in promoting financial inclusion in India. We are proud to be part of this transformation and are committed to working with the government to bring more digital financial services to the masses.”
Niranjan Vemulkar, Co-Founder & CEO of Yellow: “The eCourts project is a step in the right direction towards a better and more efficient administration of justice in India. With an outlay of Rs 7,000 crores and the combined efforts of the government and the judiciary, we can hope to see a revamp of the Indian j in sync with this digital era. This project has the potential to bring about much-needed change, provide citizens with efficient and time-bound judicial services and reduce the burden on our judiciary, which currently has 72,062 pending cases in the Supreme Court, 59,45,709 in the High Courts and 4,19,79,353 in District — which is alarming.”
Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder, QuoDeck: “We at QuoDeck believe that the increase of 33% in the capital expenditure in this year’s Union Budget will boost infrastructure development in the country, which ultimately leads to long-term job creation. Particularly in the light of what many say is an approaching global recession, this kind of cushion is extremely important to sustain employment in the country. It’s also a good thing that the government is continuing its focus on skilling and on-job training, particularly in new-age areas such as AI, robotics, drones and soft skills.”