GST relief for the SMEs and MSMEs: There should be rationalization of GST rates on various goods and services which are used by SMEs and MSMEs. e.g., Supply Chain Management Service, HR services, Services of Chartered accountants, Under Construction property as well as on Passenger and Commercial Vehicles etc. The new rule that restricts use of input tax credit (ITC) for discharging GST liability to 99 % effective January 1, 2021 should also be relaxed in the budget, as this will make more cash available in the hands of MSMEs to fund their growth and increase their working capital. Especially as most of them have had very rough 2020
Incentivising digitization for smaller players :The E-invoicing regime is about to start for >5 crore turnover companies from 1st April 2021. This will be a great push for digitization for SMEs. However, the Budget should make special provisions for SMEs to help them adopt E-invoicing via certain incentives such as providing free (or special priced) E-invoicing applications for such SMEs.
Incentivising the lending sector: The key is to make CKYC and NBFC-AA validated bank credentialized KYC as sufficient for any lender to assume KYC done. This is especially for MSME’s.
Providing benefits to lending players beyond banks : Banks will continue to grow at customary 1.5 x of GDP, The opportunity and need is to scale lending 10x for unbanked/lightly banked, which can be helped by fintechs and non banks, anything that helps this cause in the budget will be welcome, as it opens the door to credit for a larger audience.
Also, the borrower downloaded credit reports (digitally signed by the rating agency) should be considered as good enough rather than lending institutions retrieving credit rating reports and downgrading the credit score of the borrower. The former does not result in downgrade.”
Mr.Ram Iyer, Founder & CEO,Vayana Network.
“The startup ecosystem suffered setbacks in various forms owing to the pandemic in the past year and hence we are expecting some positive support from the Budget 2021. This year’s budget must focus on recreating a conducive business environment that can help the startups and small businesses to recover from the last years’ damages.
2020 was the year of the pandemic, and also the year of accelerated digitalization for most industries, including the BFSI industry. Video-KYC, automation and AI-led transformations proved to be key enablers of business continuity as well as continued growth of the banks and financial institutions. Fintech startups and ecosystems played a role in driving a majority of these transformations. As such, policy incentives such as tax benefits for companies supporting the BFSI sector with digital infrastructure would be a big welcome.
We are hopeful that this year’s budget prioritizes growth opportunities and incentives for AI and technology-led companies. Encouraging collaboration would help make our products easily available. Initiatives like ‘Make in India’ have helped put Indian tech companies at the forefront and drove international visibility. A continued support from the government in future will enable continued growth for several home-grown brands with global ambitions.”
– Ankit Ratan, cofounder of Signzy.
“The budget this year is notable for several reasons but more so, because it’s coming in the backdrop of a pandemic. While every sector has been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or the other, the maximum shock has been felt by SMBs (small and medium businesses). As business came to a standstill, many had to shut shop. It’s natural that all these eyes will be glued to TV when Nirmala Sitharaman reads out this year’s budget.
One of the biggest issues for SMBs has been lack of capital. And thanks to the pandemic, this problem has become more acute. The government should tap into digital channels for better distribution of credit. Today, a lot of SMBs have come online and OKCredit itself has a reach across 2800 locations. The startups working with SMBs can not only execute with speed but will also implement last mile delivery.
Last year, the government announced a stimulus package for MSMEs. We expect the government to sustain it through this year, given how vital SMBs are to the economy.
The increased impetus on “Aatmanirbhar” and loss of jobs has meant that individuals will be looking to start small businesses. The government should encourage them by empowering them with capital and by making it easier to start a business. As migration happened during the pandemic, SMBs have also been struggling with manpower crunch. It’s an opportunity for the government to bring a formal structure to this form of employment, along with social security benefits. This will not only benefit the SMBs but the industry at large.”
–Mr Gaurav Kumar, co-founder and CPO of OkCredit
“India’s public healthcare spending today remains below the government’s own target of 2.5% of GDP. The pandemic further exposed the gaps in our healthcare infrastructure. My hope is that the upcoming budget will accelerate the move towards the target and increase the allocation to healthcare expenditure to strengthen the public health infrastructure and improve the accessibility and affordability of healthcare for the masses” –
Sanjay Joshi, Regional Managing Principal and Head – Asia, ZS Associates.
Giving Start-ups the Impetus To Be Nature-Positive Is My Wish For Union Budget 2021’
“The world is swiftly moving towards a nature-positive economy. Looking into the future, my expectation from this budget is a significant drive towards making start-ups nature-positive from day 1. We rightly push for old-economy conglomerates to reduce their carbon footprint, why can’t we frame policies under the startup initiative/ program to incentivize companies to implement nature-positive processes from ground zero? In India, the start-up world is still at a nascent stage.
The right impetus from the Centre can help us move towards a sustainable future and eventually help us achieve our 2030 goals.”
As we step into this decade, we are faced with multiple challenges. From our energy consumption to our over-reliance on plastics – there lies an opportunity for us to turn towards nature. We need to focus on nature-based solutions for start-up businesses. The budgetary allocations towards fighting climate change begin at the grassroots level.
Large corporations continue to be under-fire for their enormous ecological footprint. It is much-needed. And we also need strong corrective measures to ensure that we aren’t doing the same for those setting up new businesses. The budgetary allocations towards a nature-positive economy can help in answering a lot of the above questions. It’s time for India to truly be a global leader for sustainability.
-Amit Banka, Founder & CEO, WeNaturalists
On Job Creation and Business opportunities
“Stimulus that drives “creation” and “recovery”; For example, infrastructure financing with downstream impact on various sectors including the unorganized labor and construction and manufacturing-oriented setups. The year has been tough for the retail and SMB segments. A lot of government programs are designed to be benefits-driven. However, with this budget, there can be some affirmative action around job creation, or business opportunity creation, (with dovetailed information and technology pathways).”
On Driving Financial Inclusion
“In addition to the financing programs and corpuses being created, we are looking forward to setting up and democratizing of more information and technology highways that drive financial inclusion and recovery of the bottom of the pyramid segments.”
On widening the AI adoption across sectors and country
“Focus on becoming an AI powerhouse – unlike the previous IT boom where we rode the tailwinds through outsourcing and labour cost arbitrage, we should be focused on leading the AI pack through investments in rural and semi-urban transformative use-cases, building enabling infrastructure, AI parks (on the line of IT parks), beneficial tax regimes, etc.”
On Opportunities for Startups
“Reforms – Single window for startup compliances – from labour laws to state and central compliances, shop and establishment acts, digital contracting, payment and dispute settlement system, patents, IPRs, copyrights, trademarks – a small company deals with multiple authorities and spends a non-trivial amount of time being compliant. If we want youngsters to innovate for the nation, we need to make it easy for them to do so.”
On Government Compliances and New Age Innovations
“Startup investments – the investment corpuses being laid out are generous, but their deployment needs to be brought into focus this time around. The process of enabling young entrepreneurial talent through investments, support, regulatory sandboxes that allow for innovation. We believe there are enough people out there that want to make a difference, but most of them are scared of dealing with the government. Less governance, more innovation.”
–Amit Das, Co-founder and CEO of Think360.ai,
“Digital India – Pandemic in 2020 has already pushed people to be more digital so Internet connectivity and smartphone penetration (digital infrastructure) to Tier 2 / 3 cities in India to have more penetration for the Digital India initiatives.
We would like to see a speed up and incentivise adoption of regulatory sandboxes and central initiatives like the CKYC / Account Aggregator.
For example, this could create new value in customer experiences and core operations for the Banking and Financial Services industry. The government can also encourage more roundtables and discussions with relevant regulators, allowing us to discuss pain points and opportunities. Considering the transparency, we bring, such efforts to engage the industry would be a net positive for banks and financial services.
The measures to be rolled out towards accelerating full recovery of key sectors such as MSME, businesses are expecting further relief to their working capital crisis. It also encourages self-employment, lowering the pressure on the government to create job opportunities.”
By Praveen Paulose, MD and CEO, Celusion Technologies
Many tech start-ups have developed or are working on Assistive Technology (AT). Even the government under its Accessible India Campaign has been supporting technological innovations in this regard. Thus, we hope for more continued government support especially towards the research and development for making Technology more accessible to persons with disabilities (PwD). The pandemic has been tough for all of us but it was far more taxing for the disabled persons.
Hence, transformations in technology that can help people with disability to live a more independent life is the need of the hour. Innovations like devices converting text to braille, smart walking sticks that alerts about the nearby obstacles and even intelligent Bluetooth speakers have been a great help in this sector. In the past two years, there have been a significant increase in investment towards AT and many start-ups are working to make a difference. We hope the Indian tech start up sector, brimming with potential can spear head this novel sector of Assistive Technology.
Sameer Garg Founder & CEO, Billionables.
“Start-ups will play a key role in the Indian economy, but the COVID-19 crisis has been a hard time and is literally challenging their survival, and surely has limited the growth. It is becoming clear that if the powers don’t support start-ups at this critical stage then many of them will flee to other shores in search for what they need to survive and grow. No matter what we hear, fact is that start-ups are facing an enormous challenge in terms of financial stability & growth. The broad classification that the government has taken on start-ups may have held true before the pandemic but now it really does not meet the needs of the micro or small enterprises many of whom have either shut shop or have precious little time left.
As we approach the Union Budget we hope that this is recognised and special initiatives are kicked off to ensure survival of the micro and small enterprises, many of whom are bootstrapping and will need more time to raise funds to support themselves. Government must provide on ground support in terms of extending short term liquidity and availability of funding. This needs to be more action oriented than what it has been so far! They must focus on removing barriers & providing incentives to start-ups who have the potential to grow.
A Start Up takes anywhere from a year to 3 years to transition out from a seed stage to a growing company. The number of compliances needed are often unreal and totally unnecessary. For Example: A seed Start up that is yet not generating a revenue, is still expected to follow compliances that a medium or large company is expected to do. This is totally unreal and puts unnecessary burden on possibly the founder or the core team to manage the compliances or adds cost if outsourced. This needs to be made simple as it diverts energy from the core focus to non-value adding activities.
Till date there is an over communication of government programs, but details are always not clear and if a start-up needs help or assistance there is a process of – discovery, then understanding, and then maybe implementation. Instead of this lengthy process, it would really help if there is a proactive attempt to help start-ups and small businesses by educating them more intensely and supporting them on the ground in real terms by putting manpower on the front to do this. It would help more start-ups to survive and grow. Today real on ground assistance and support is absent!
Basically, the government needs to realise the difference between a start-up, a small business, and a large company, not enough has been done on this front to enable start-ups to flourish. Instead, at the moment, it feels as if they are punished when they register & comply through fines, and processes are such that divert their focus from their core to administrative and compliance tasks!
The Budget needs to address these points and while they may not be significant compared to other challenges the government is facing, but they surely are critical to ensure that more people are encouraged to launch companies and provide employment instead of being burdened by taxation & compliances that take away valuable time and resources!”
This has been an unprecedented year for businesses and for all of us. The government has a great challenge at hand to help the businesses cope with the after effects of the pandemic, scale up employment and improve the macro economic growth factors to put back the economy on growth path of 5 Trillion target.
Start-up ecosystem is going to be the biggest contributor and greatest enabler to tackle unemployment and economic growth.
Pandemic has considerably helped the digital adoption across lengths and breaths of the country. We have a much more digital ready consumer ecosystem than before. Adoption of digital payment solutions, media consumption, communication, ecommerce, tele medicine, education and just about every business. Indian consumers are now digital ready and growing. The businesses have to cope to the sudden change in business environment and reach out to the digital consumers. To make the government Mission of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” a reality it’s important we have our own home grown solutions and entrepreneurs catering to this market demand.
A lot of innovative business solutions, partnerships and collaborations are emerging. Young entrepreneurs aligning themselves to the business need and coming up with practical business solutions. However, to make it a sustainable effort it’s important that these innovations are rightly capitalised. “Atmanirbhar Bharat” would be not be possible without timely infusion of seed funds to these emerging business solutions. Budget should specifically cater to catapult the start-up ecosystem at the centre stage of the Atma Nirbhar economic growth.
A few expectations from the government in this year’s budget would be:
1. The government should set up Innovation fund for each sector.
2. Create PPP institutions to upskill the small and micro business owners to be able to take their businesses from offline to online mode.
3. Open up the capital market to the Startup and SME sector.
4. GST waiver or reduced tariff for early stage start up on set up costs
“The government has started realizing the importance of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and has even called Data as the new oil in the previous Budget 2020 . According to a recent NASSCOM report, Deep-tech and new start-up hubs will continue to grow at 40-45% CAGR. It also stated that investments are expected to return to 2019 levels,after seeing a dip in 2020 (if not exceed in 2021).
The pandemic has been a huge boost to Edtech, AgriTech, FinTech, HRtech and HealthTech startups. So, we expect to see decisions to fuel the growth of cloud data storage, big data and AI technologies in several domains. The work from home trend due to the pandemic has seen a lot of investment being made in Tier II and Tier III cities and the trend is supposed to continue. Reforms are expected to support and enable these start-ups as they can have a huge long term impact.”
Gaurav Shinh, Founder & CEO DAAS Labs.
“The pandemic has brought to fore an opportunity for immense innovation by startups and new-age technology companies and it is quite evident that the trend will only pick up in the year 2021. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, we hope, through this union budget, the government brings game-changing reforms, new policies, and regulations that will offer relief and tax sops to MSMEs and the startup ecosystem.
To talk about the Fintech industry particularly, the market has been largely expanding with new-age businesses emerging in the market opening up broader avenues to lending to high-risk and new-to-credit borrowers. The sector is on the cusp of a technological revolution; with the pandemic only accelerating the pace of tech adoption. The government must back this growth with favorable policies and encourage digitalisation to provide a further boost and expand financial inclusion across nooks and corners of the country”.2.Narasimhan Raghavan, Director, Raag Technologies and Services Pvt Ltd (RTS), providing best-in-class logistics solutions to leadingmanufacturing and distribution companies.“As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. 2020 has been a game-changing year for the logistics sector. As we await the Budget 2021, we are expecting that the government will take further steps to strengthen the sector with reforms related to GST, and most importantly accelerate the implementation of initiatives under the Sagarmala and Bharatmala projects. It must be noted that logistics is also one of the highest employment-generating sectors currently. Therefore, the government must look at creating a thriving ecosystem for logistics leading to the overall economic growth.”
Neel Juriasingani, CEO & Co-founder of Datacultr
“As India Inc. sets sights on the Budget 2021-2022, I would like to draw the attention of the honourable finance minister towards a few key pain points of the logistics industry that must be addressed in this year’s budget.
With logistics holding the economy together even during the COVID-19 pandemic and set to play an even more crucial role in current times, the government must look at providing the much-required financial and infrastructural support to the sector. With India’s aim to reduce the logistics cost from the current 14 per cent of GDP to less than 10 per cent, it is imperative for the government to bring about a groundbreaking transformation in the logistics sector that encapsulates an increased use of digital technologies and automation.
We urge the government to take dedicated measures to boost digitalisation so as to drive transparency and bring in the required predictability in logistics. Another key step that the government must take is to bring Fuel under the purview of GST as this could fundamentally transform the Indian logistics sector.
While goods are moved from one place to another, it is generally required for the transporter to carry a hard copy of the invoice, the government must also do away with this by way of e-way bill digitalisation. On the demand side, the government can look at driving the overall consumption which could be achieved by reducing personal income tax and GST on various goods, etc.”
Abhik Mitra, MD & CEO, Spoton Logistics
“We are optimistic that the upcoming budget will have policies and recommendations that will further strengthen the FDI ecosystem. The steps taken by the government in this direction are commendable, like enhanced FDI participation in more areas and higher participation in existing sectors. Considering the fact that India received the highest ever FDI in 2020, we hope that this year Government will further look on to strengthening the ease of doing business as it is a basic prerequisite for making investments. The upcoming budget also needs to be favourably allocated to various sectors such as manufacturing, electronics, automobiles, etc in order to boost foreign investments. There is room for demand-side measures in the budget as actions so far have been supply-centric. Therefore, we are hopefully looking forward to better times in 2021.”
Vishal Yadav, CEO, FDI India
“2021 can prove to be a revolutionary year for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. We have high hopes from the union budget this year and are optimistic that the government will continue to take the right steps to place India on the global EV map. With that said, we urge the finance minister to reconsider the current taxation framework applicable on raw material and the final product in case of EVs. While the GST input on raw material is 18%, the tax on outward supplies currently stands at 5%, leading to an implicit inverted duty structure for us (manufacturers). This move could help in optimizing the cash flows.”
He adds, “The central government’s recent move to extend the PLI scheme to the automobile sector including for manufacturing of Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC) is commendable. While this will definitely give a boost to local manufacturing, better yet, the government must also look at aggravating the domestic demand by further incentivising individual and commercial consumption of EV pan India. Such a holistic approach would create a thriving ecosystem for EVs and cement India’s position as a global EV hub offering abundant opportunities for growth and attracting huge investments for further innovation.”
“While eagerly waiting on the insights of this year’s budget, We hope that the finance minister and the government of India takes steps to position India as the IT epicentre of the world by creating advanced policies in favour of the Technology Industry. At the same time, the government must also create favourable tax policies for 100% owned & incorporated companies in India, which are playing a major role in giving employment and bringing foreign funds, and helping the economy. With that in mind, we urge that the government considers providing incentive in income tax for the companies which have been generating good employment with consistency.
Being one of the leading digital transformation companies, we believe that our compliance system should be favourable enough to encourage the organizations to keep their Head Offices in India instead of abroad. Even during the testing times, India’s IT Industry and the startup ecosystem have shown utmost resilience; adapting to the new normal deftly. The industry has been playing a significant role in transforming India’s image in providing world-class technology and business services. So, the expectations from this year’s budget are somewhat high”.7. TO THE NEWa leading digital technology company backed by 1400+ people globally. The companyis one of the few Global AWS Premier Consulting Partners. TO THE NEW’s Cloud Transformation practice consists of Cloud Consulting and Strategy, Migration, DevOps, 24×7 Incident Management, and Cloud Financial Management.
Saurabh Singh, Director of Appinventiv.
“The Indian IT and IT-enabled Services (IT & ITeS) sector has witnessed a complete turnaround and an unprecedented boost in the wake of COVID-19. Furthermore, the year 2021 promises to be a huge year for the sector fuelled by the growing need and adoption of digital technologies across the board. The sector has not only generated immense job opportunities but has also positioned India as one of the most preferred investment destinations globally. Given, the current business scenario, we expect a strong push towards policies promoting IT innovation by pushing business-critical and bold policy interventions to propel digital adoption across multiple industries. ‘Digital-first’ and ‘Data-centric’, should be the key focus areas for the Indian government in our view as we push for Digital innovation as an important building block for India’s future growth. We are more than excited about the opportunities that this year has to offer and eagerly look forward to this year’s Budget.”
Deepak Mittal, CEO & Co-founder, TO THE NEW.
“The Union Budget for FY 22 is one of the most anticipated socio-economic events for this year. As the Government and many other agencies have projected slower economic growth via the last financial year, there will be more emphasis on ‘ease of doing businesses. Needless to say, the general public and businesses are really hopeful for some major relief in the budget announcements. The Government has already taken a slew of measures to reduce the compliance burden upon businesses across industries. The Union Budget will also bring out more ways to ease liquidity for MSMEs.
The IT industry has been the backbone for Digital India and Startup India. Providing the right incentives to the industry will be the key for the country’s economic revival. One such incentive is to simplify the tax-related complexities to encourage global trade of software products from and to India. Some effort in this direction will help increase revenue for the exchequer that can flow back into the country for socio-economic welfare.
Another important area for improvement is to introduce measures that encourage corporates as well as individuals to pay taxes and contribute to the nation’s progress. This will also create a collaborative, nationwide effort towards building a great nation.”9.Please, find below the quote of Tarun Chugh, Founder of Shinysleep. One of the leading startup mattress brands in India. Quote: I am very eager and looking forward to this year’s budget. While 2020 brought testing times for everyone, India’s startup ecosystem has shown utmost resilience; adapting to the new normal deftly. The companies in the startup ecosystem play a significant role in transforming India’s image from being a slow-moving economy to a Nation of innovative players and entrepreneurs in providing world-class technology and business services.
We are optimistic that with this Union Budget 2021, the government will take steps to strengthen the regulatory & security framework for providing a secure cyberspace ecosystem and new advancing policy developments for the budding startups. At the same time, the government must also look at providing sufficient support – financial and infrastructural to new and budding startups under the Startup India program.
Sameer Nigam, CEO & Co-founder, Stratbeans
Since offline businesses are hit badly and every business owner is planning to go online, we expect the policies that make it easy for businesses to go online. This is also true for families who have to respond to education for children online. Small businesses don’t have the resources to meet tedious compliance requirements like GST. The government should ease rules and also offer support/exemptions to small and medium businesses from certain mandatory compliances. What a listed entity with armies of staff can do, a startup can’t be expected to do the same.
Overall the budget needs to facilitate easy access to capital to businesses that are reeling from the after-effects of COVID. Apart from this, there should be some relief for businesses that have suffered significant losses during the lockdown and thereafter.
Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures (Mumbai-based early-stage fund house)
As 2020 pushed businesses to adopt digital transformation, it was also a year of the highest number of cyber attacks on Indian companies and even some govt agencies. Indian startups are specially on the radar of some notorious threat actors. Union Budget would be the right platform to address the need for implementing cybersecurity mechanisms and if FM can announce an Indian cybersecurity mission that will help tech startups to adopt a cybersecurity policy with a defined framework.
WRT to business growth, Budget 2021 should make efforts for startups of Indian origin to get a preference in procurement, though there are certain guiding principles, they haven’t been enforced as yet. The startup community will be looking at the budget expecting means and mechanisms to attract the right investors, the right talent, and the right opportunities to script a new, safe chapter in the Indian business ecosystem.
‘The COVID induced Pandemic has shown a real need for implementing technology in education. Higher education needs it more than ever as it is related to the career and future of the students. 40 million students, teachers and all the stakeholders in the higher education ecosystem require quality access with affordability, which can be solved by leveraging technology. Bottoms up approach would be of great benefit for the students as they come close to finishing their formal education and look to upskill themselves for becoming industry-ready.
Specific to the education sector, NEP’s implementation would be closely watched by all the stakeholders. However, in this Budget, we would like the FM to extend some relief to the sector in terms of GST and subsidy on education loans given for both formal and skill-based learning. Govt should also look at launching an ed-tech focused fund of funds that will flow into the sector and help small and mid-size ed-tech companies and startups incubated inside campuses to raise the much-needed money for a faster scale-up and better experience using tech.
We would like to suggest designing a framework whereby some of our most prestigious institutes can collaborate with ed-tech companies in order to provide their students with an international level of exposure and learning because technology has the capability to connect Indian students with the best of the teachers anywhere in India and the world. A structured framework around this can help top universities offer such opportunities to their students’
Make In India Initiative: Make in India should not only be a movement but a real mark of authenticity backed by policy initiative in the form of tax rebates. For example, only brands that have a substantial portion of their supply chain based in the country should be able to use the “Make in India” logo and they should also get some GST rebate. An independent institute could be set up to audit and validate ‘made-in-India’ claims.
A faster-licensing process for beauty tech companies: As a customized Ayurveda brand that believes in driving product-level innovation through rigorous customer feedback, we would benefit from a licensing process that is transparent, is done online, and where new formulations are approved within an established time frame. This will help the industry launch and iterate products faster and further elevate Indian Ayurveda at an international level.
After a roller-coaster 2020, we expect 2021 to be the year of economic recovery, upbeat sentiments and demand revival, riding on newer technology and innovations. Going forward, industry across sectors need to be more self-reliant, efficient and attuned to technology to survive future adversities. Newer technologies like robotic and automation will be critical in driving the economy to pre-Covid levels and beyond. Budget 2021 should focus on enhancing productivity by incentivizing the use of technology to make India self-reliant and future-ready.
India has, so far, seen very low robot adoption compared to its regional and global peers. Timely policy interventions can accelerate robotic adoption in manufacturing and warehousing. Special focus should be on warehouse automation where we have seen an increase in customer traction.
Interventions are required on multiple fronts – boosting demand, accelerating technology development and building a conducive ecosystem. Reduction of customs duty/IGST and providing tax breaks/incentives to robotics adopters can boost demand. For accelerating technology and R&D, setting up of robotics centres of excellence/incubation centres, continued research grants for robotics R&D and continuation of income tax deduction will be the key drivers. This will boost the confidence of technology-driven industry players and strengthen the government’s Make in India for Global & Atmanirbhar Bharat vision, besides making a remarkable contribution to employment generation and will make Indian industry more efficient and surpass the global standard.
‘To move out of troubled waters, we are going to need a mighty big push in the form of subsidies and incentives from the government.
The pandemic brought most businesses down to its knees by putting a halt to every kind of transport, be it delivery-based services, office commute, or supply chain management. There’s hardly any business that did not rely on one of those. However, we’re fortunate that this happened during an age that’s characterized by the Internet Of Things because it gives us the power to adapt and rise above the situation. If digitized, IoT-based services were crucial before, now they are absolutely imperative to get the economy back on track in a way that keeps us safe from Covid 19. It is necessary that we incentivise the path for new players to establish themselves so that we may together pull up the economy. All hands will be required on deck.
Incentives and subsidies for a) startups servicing the international market, b) startups working towards reducing carbon footprint, and c) startups in the IoT space will go a long way in getting the economy back on track.’
Srinivas Chitturi Co Founder MTAP Technologies
“With the upcoming union budget, we are looking forward to the government’s decision to elevate the startup ecosystem including the MSMEs, which are one of the biggest growth drivers of the economy. One of the major problematic areas for them is the availability of working capital. Thus, a framework which can mobilize funding for Startups and MSME will be a great initiative and will drive serious growth for both the sectors. In addition, we are anticipating the government to focus on extending credit facilities to MSMEs by re-leveling the banking and NBFCs to the same ground to ensure consumers get benefited.
Furthermore, we are also confident that an easy to maintain compliance agenda will provide the required impetus to various startups to stick to their homeland. We are also expecting the government to introduce new policy incentives that will accelerate the business growth of startups & MSMEs; thereby helping them to expand, hire resources, generate employment opportunities and contribute to the GDP.
In short, we feel a stronger and simpler framework for the Startups and credit / grants to the MSMEs should form a part of the Union Budget along with other usual announcements.”
Mr. Vikram Wadhawan, Founder & CEO, Vasitum
“This has been an unprecedented year for businesses as well as humankind. So, we expect the government to focus on helping businesses cope with the challenges and effects of the pandemic. Since offline businesses are hit badly and every business owner is planning to go online, we expect the policies that make it easy for businesses to go online and manage their online store and marketplaces. Not all businesses have resources to meet the tedious compliance requirements like GST or going with the paperwork needed for starting an online venture.
The government should ease rules and also offer support/exemptions to small and medium businesses from certain mandatory compliances. Overall the budget needs to facilitate easy access to capital to businesses that are reeling from after-effects of COVID. Apart from this, there should be some relief for businesses that have suffered significant losses during the lockdown and thereafter. “
Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Founder & CEO, StoreHippo
“The Indian economy is reeling from the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still far from being over. Amidst this, we have our eyes pinned on the forthcoming Union Budget. We expect the government to take proactive steps towards introducing schemes that promote the ease of doing businesses and allow easy access to working capital. Additionally, creating the right environment to boost the start-up & MSME ecosystem and facilitating quick finances for this segment should be a priority. Indigenous schemes promoting newer technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning should be initiated. Adopting measures for data and information security, devising privacy control framework and guidelines in India and increased access to net connectivity in rural areas should also be some areas of focus to fill crucial gaps in the tech space.
Apart from this, added policies that streamline and provide high utility value as per the changed lifestyle due to the prevalent WFH trend will also be beneficial in the long run. We also feel a continued focus on initiatives like ‘Vocal for Local’, “Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ will provide the right impetus to home grown businesses via localized bidding, localized public – private partnerships etc.
Furthermore, we are also hoping the government to invest in infrastructure policies in both rural and urban areas that will boost employment opportunities in the country.”