Startup’s response on Budget 2019

By Srikanth
16 Min Read
Budget 2019

Post the announcement of Budget 2019 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman … Here are the responses from Startups community


Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures

This Budget has been a good budget for the startup community. FM announced doing away with Angel tax. This has been a long-standing demand of the industry and we welcome this move.  Apart from Angel tax, 2 other good areas to broad base and foster spirit of entrepreneurship in tier 2 and 3 cities by launching ASPIRE incubators in tier 2 and 3 cities.

Overall push to the digital economy by removing charges on digital transactions and putting a surcharge on companies withdrawing more than a crore every year will have a positive impact on accelerating the digital economy and bring more transparency in transactional data.

Bharat Net focus on tier 2 and 3 cities will also boost the digital economy. I think 2 aspects that may have gone unnoticed is the Social stock exchange through which social entrepreneurs will be able to raise money and global investors meet which the govt is planning will obviously boost early stage investment ecosystem here.

Anand Naik, Co-founder CEO, Sequretek

Really appreciate the continued attention given by this government to startups and SME sector. The startup initiatives outlined in this budget are very encouraging and will further foster the innovation environment in India. Ease in accounting for Angel tax, incubators and removal of charges for cashless transactions are all very positive steps to create more startups and thereby creating jobs in this sector.

Mr. Girirajan Murugan, Chief Executive Officer, 

This is the first Budget of the new government. There were expectations that a slew of policy measures would be announced that would help India to achieve a sustainable GDP growth rate of 8% per annum and become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 5 years.

The finance minister has provided a roadmap for the same. What is encouraging from our perspective is the fact that a lot of emphases has been given to deepen the capital markets. We are very excited with the proposals to increase retail participation in government debt, CPSE ETF offering under ELSS and increased retail ownership of Indian companies.

As India uses more digital means for financial transactions, we believe the financial distribution space would also mirror such a trend and eventually help bring down disintermediation costs. We look forward to the proposals related to the simplification of KYC norms as this has held back the growth of Digital platforms.

Gotama Gowda, Co- Founder and CEO, Openapp.

It is encouraging to see that the 2019 Budget has given prominence to the startup community. On a lighter note, the Startup TV channel is going to make Superstars out of Entrepreneurs, while there are a few now, there will be a lot more as the country is moving towards celebrating Entrepreneurship, which is a good move. The most awaited announcement was the ease of angel tax regulations, where the govt. has not just heeded to what the industry was gunning for, but has got in the right set of checkpoints to ensure the right kind of money is coming in. 

Bharat Net is a great push and the fact that it is going to be a PPP model is much better than the government itself taking it forward. Unlike the last term, there is prominence and the only expectation is that this time around, the right partners are found to enable connectivity and is actioned as soon as possible.

Rapid urbanisation, Insurance and Infrastructure, especially in the housing sector with reduced home loan rates, will increase the need for enhanced safety & security. The 100% FDI in insurance intermediaries, will give rise to more players in the segment eventually bringing in competitive rates, which is healthy for the industry. As for a company in security and surveillance, Insurance is an industry that goes hand in hand. This will improve the investor focus in the sector, and will also improve the wave of strategic foreign investors.

Pravin Agarwala, Co- Founder and CEO, BetterPlace

“Creating more jobs is the need of hour. Skilling people to meet the industrial needs and at the same time creating local jobs by promoting local entrepreneurs in agri and related fields will definitely boost the opportunity for people. I think we should also keep promoting SME’s with better access to credit and keep growing the startup ecosystem which is actually creating lot of new jobs. Well done. Looking forward to the execution now.”

Durgesh Nandan, Head of Community and Growth of Ithaka

“With India set to become a $3 trillion economy, this year’s Budget seems to have a clear focus on the all-round growth of the economy. With the allocation of a sum of hundred lakh crores for the rapid growth of infrastructure, the focus on electric mobility, the increase of turnover of companies that can avail of 25% tax slab to 400 crores, it seems like India can envision to become a $5 trillion economy in coming years. I particularly welcome the resolution of the long-pending issue of angel tax and incentives for women entrepreneurs; this will certainly increase the number of startups.

Having said that, the government could have also focused on the ease of compliance and filing of documentation.I am glad that the Finance Minister has paid heed to the tourism sector and 17 iconic tourism sites are soon to turn into world-class tourist destinations. This move is sure to make a difference and catapult India to the status of a desirable tourist destination if executed and promoted well.

Also, extending the pension program to 30 million retail traders is an encouraging move, not to forget that the Indian retail space is still majorly driven by small business owners and traders. I will wait to see how the labor laws will be modified for the New Indian workforce”, Durgesh Nandan, Head of Community and Growth at Ithaka has been quoted as saying. “

Rajesh Gupta, Founder, Cash Suvidha

We are glad that the Budget 2019 continues with the approach set in the interim budget, which offered exemptions to taxpayers, support to farmers and encouraging digitalisation. We welcome the government’s initiative to set up a new channel for startups to disseminate information in the industry. This will provide a great platform for companies like us to discuss and resolve the key issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurs today. The match-making with venture capitalists over this channel will boost investments in the startups space.  Further, in the wake of liquidity crisis in non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), I believe the government’s move to allow Foreign Institutional and Portfolio Investors to invest in debt securities offered by NBFC will certainly help them to raise funds.

Sanjay Kaul, CEO, Sofyx

“The pension scheme announced by the Finance Minister for small retailers and shopkeepers is a game-changer. A big part of our economy depends on small trade and shops. Last few years have been very stressful for smaller retailers as they are disadvantaged against bigger tech-enabled giants and online retailers. I would urge the Government to also look into supporting the digitization of small businesses and launching initiatives to support that. Indeed, It is time India includes small retailers in its growth story. “

Kushal Nahata, CEO & Co-founder, FarEye

“The government’s focus on building a digital India is again highlighted with its willingness to train people on AI, IoT and Big Data. These are key technologies that will transform the supply chain and logistics industry. The initiative to invest 100 lakh crore in infrastructure will definitely have a positive impact on the nation’s logistics and transportation industry both from a business and connectivity perspective.”

Budget Reaction quotes from Fintech, MSME lending & Logistics Player.

Abhishek Gandhi, Co-Founder & CFO, RupeeCircle

The budget is on expected lines with a focus on reviving the economy. Efforts have been made to encourage NRIs to invest in India with steps taken to merge NRI portfolio route with FPI route and easing KYC norms for NRIs. Also, the budget is favorable for start-ups with exemptions on Angel tax and no scrutiny of funds from income tax department.

Another positive is promotion of digital economy and making digital transactions free for customers. That is the right step in boosting the digital economy. We also welcome the idea of the social stock exchange however, a bit disappointed that something with the impact potential of P2P was missed in the budget. Steps taken to promote P2P in any way would help the sector which has been driving financial inclusion and creating an alternate investment asset class.

Bhavin Patel, Co-Founder & CEO, LenDenClub

“I along with many startups had urged FM to simplify the angel tax issue. And here comes the move which we all would like. Provision of e-verification of such investment and declaration from startup/angel is good enough to stay away from angel tax scrutiny.”

Dewang Neralla, CEO, Atom Technologies

“The budget is set the strong tone for incentivising digital paynents. Inplementarion of low cost payment modes for business more than 50 cr turnover will definitely drive QR and low cost  options across organized retail and larger enterprises. However announcement of no MDR for customers and merchants would require clarity with respect to which instrument as well as mode.”

“We are glad to note that at the very outset there were specific references to boosting Digital India and Startups in the 10 point vision of Hon’ble Finance Minister. The multiple initiatives announced for improving transport, in terms of road corridor, port connectivity and UDAN scheme will boost domestic trade. The MSME centric steps are also very encouraging in terms of allocation of more resources for loans and the creation of a platform for filings bills. All this will go a long way in helping small businesses.

The increase of the turnover limit for the lesser corporate tax bracket is a measure which will massively benefit the industry. In terms of startups, the angel tax related steps and clarifications are welcome, along with the steps to reduce tax scrutiny. We are very enthused to note that the Hon’ble Minister emphasised on the need for a cash free economy. Initial steps have been initiated for encouraging digital payments.

However, the thresholds mentioned are quite high. This is a good start and we are certain to expect more incentives later on. Innovation is the backbone of the startup sector and for boosting industry in general. We are also very glad to note the boost being given to centers of higher learning to encourage research. Overall we think this was a well balanced budget which has balanced the aspirations of both urban and rural India.”

Piyush Khaitan, Founder &MD, NeoGrowth

“The Union Budget announcement on scaling up the Indian economy from USD 2.7 trillion to USD 3 trillion in FY20 and further targeting USD 5 trillion by 2024-25 is a strong roadmap for economic growth which will boost business activities in country. Our customers i.e MSMEs are facing a consumption economy.

With the encouraging measures for boosting GDP driven by consumptions and investments, it ushers in positivity for our line of business. Overall Govt. measures announced for road, port connectivity, foreign flows into debt instruments, construction of 9.5 Crore houses in next 3 years and other tax measures will boost the Indian economy.

Moreover, the Govt. has acknowledged NBFCs as a major contributor to GDP growth with adequate measures for supporting their liquidity requirements, lowered tax rates and Guarantee facilities for raising competitive funds.”

Abhishek Chakraborty, Executive Director, DTDC Express Ltd

“The logistics sectors plays a very crucial role in propelling India to become a trillion dollar economy. With some key measures like Ease of Doing Business, simplification of e-way bills, UDAN, Bharatmala, Jal Marg Vikas etc., it will only improve the overall logistics sector and also reduce the cost of transportation.

The budget also specifically mentioned on the Government’s vision to focus on rivers for cargo transportation which help in increasing the freight movement whilst making it cost effective.

The proposals made in the budget look very conducive to improve the sector’s competencies. The budget announcement has made special emphasis on the ‘Ease of Living’ thus making it very citizen friendly. The only thing now is execution which remains key and be watched for.” 

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