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Union Budget 2023: Key takeaways for IT sector

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her 5th straight budget for 2023-24 today. This is also the last the full budget of the Modi 2.0 govt before the next parliamentary elections in 2024.

This year’s budget proposals rested on six broad pillars

  1. Inclusive development
  2. Reaching the last mile
  3. Infra & investment
  4. Unleashing the potential
  5. Green growth
  6. Youth power
  7. Financial sector

Budget highlights of the IT sector.

-To set up 100 labs to develop 5g APPS

-To set up 3 CoE for AI

-National data governance policy will be brought out

-Use of Digilocker Aadahar as a one-stop solution for  address

Industry reactions:

Aarul Malviya, Founder of Zamt said, the 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 has introduced the National Data Governance policy which will enable access to anonymised 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

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 the wherewithal to get access to data. The ability to have access to anonymised data will be a phenomenal capability that really should help overall AIML research, outcomes, solutions, and companies, everything becomes significantly better. This is how some of our neighboring 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.  

  1. 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 talent.
  1. Data governance policy – it is high time that we had it while the data privacy act is waiting for 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 of 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 policy to be an enabler to the mass utilisation and consumption of AI in various fields.

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”

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, ProcessIT Global 

The Union Budget 2023 is forward-thinking and has a positive tone. The budget is pro-MSMEs and startups, especially knowing India is home to the third largest startup companies in the world.  It certainly provides further growth opportunities to these organisations, especially in the technology sector. The relief provided to the MSMEs and including them as part of the unified Skill India Digital Platform is encouraging.

The introduction of Entity DigiLocker providing online security to all organisations is a much-needed one, in these times of growing cybercrimes.

The National Data Governance Policy will benefit start-ups in a big way.

Dr. Tathagato Rai Dastidar, SigTuple, Founder & CEO

Addressing the health care announcements made by the honorable FM today he stated, “The newly announced focus on screening and eradicating sickle cell anemia in the country is a step in the right direction. Anaemias and other hematological disorders are endemic in tribal populations of the country. Use of advanced digital technologies can help vastly increase the scale of screening than what is possible today.”

 

He also added “The proposed National Data Governance Policy, which provides access to anonymized data, will go a long way in supporting the stated mission of making AI work in India.” as he addressed the AI focus stated in the budget.

Gokul Tandon, Group Executive Chairman, Cloudconnect Communications
Establishing a quality AI ecosystem and nurturing quality human resources in the industry is one of the key announcements in the Union Budget 2023-24. The finance minister’s vision to “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India” comes as a positive step towards building a progressive environment in the sector. The goal through the same is to make an efficient Indian AI ecosystem that will be stimulated through skilled workers. With the introduction of 5G services last year, the sector saw substantial growth and investment avenues. Now announcing the establishment of 100 labs for 5G service development will facilitate promising transformation in the telecom sector that will, in turn, also revamp the setup of private networks in the country. However, we did expect the budget to address the tax relaxation concerns in the telecom sector. Hopefully, we will see eventual measures from the government in this regard.

 Rachit Poddar, IVY Growth Associates, Co-Founder

 “India’s last budget laid a strong foundation for the world and the economic growth has been recognised across the globe for its world-class digital infrastructure, unparalleled pandemic mitigation, and achieving sustainable development goals. The current budget will act as an imperative blueprint to spearhead the next phase of growth on 7 pillars i.e. Green Growth, Youth Power, Inclusive Development, Reaching the Last Mile, Infrastructure and Investment, Digitalisation, and Unleashing the potential. The GDP of India heavily relies on Education, Agriculture, Healthcare & Industry, and the government demonstrates a continued interest to serve these areas with significant policies and schemes. A focus on technological advancements with investments in AI centers and Data reforms is a testimony of India’s goal to be the forefront of technology adaptation. This will unlock India to build on several emerging Industries and sectors with high employment-generating capability. This budget will empower financial literacy in rural areas, Industry 4.0, job creation, seamless compliance windows and capital expenditures. The macroeconomic policies and consolidation will ensure India’s growth in a sustainable manner promoting entrepreneurs to take a big leap in contributing to the growth of our country.”

 

Karan Aggarwal,  Elever, Chief Investment Officer

It is a brave budget considering that Finance Minister is presenting the last full budget before the elections.

Instead of loosening purse strings, she ends up setting an aggressive target to reduce the fiscal deficit from 6.4% to 4.5% in 3 years which bodes well for markets and the economy in the long term.

The government continued to propel the shift towards an infrastructure-led development model by increasing capital investment outlay to INR 10 Lakh crore, a 33% increase over last year and a 200% increase since 2019.

Rail infra would get an allocation of INR 2.40 Lakh crore which is 9x that of FY 2014.

These investments can have long-term positive impacts on manufacturing exports, demand, and incomes. While there is something for every sector and section in the budget including some elusive concessions on income tax under the new tax regime, instead of concessions, the government has banked on rising incomes in coming years to boost private consumption and demand. It is a big political gamble but markets would relish it.

Rohit Manglik, Founder & CEO, EduGorilla

“The Union Budget 2023 has accorded priority to education through progressive measures such as strengthening capacity building in Eklavya model schools. Skill development amid the evolving job landscape is the need of the hour, and it is heartening that the Budget has taken due cognisance of it. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, 4.0, and the establishment of 30 Skill India international centers will provide a roadmap for skill development. Moreover, the direct benefit transfer scheme to the youth will incentivise more youth to take up apprenticeships to make themselves job-ready. Initiatives such as the National digital library and AI centers of excellence will go a long way in redefining learning outcomes. “

 Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures says

As expected the current budget has something for all. The Hon FM has touched every aspect of 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 impacts 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 agribusiness. The accelerator will help work on innovative ideas and may help on packaged food, which will not only help in increasing productivity but also farmer income.
  • Setting up 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 be close to their place than depending on a few hospitals for testing their innovation. This will certainly help in promoting health-tech and medi-tech startups
  • A special initiative in setting up 3 centers for AI, will help to build better startups in the AI space and it will help in building resources and testing 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 the 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 much 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 cities but will also help in tourism and also mushrooming of startups and access to cities will be easy. This will also help in a lot of job creation
  • FM has also given special attention to MSMEs and startups. Announcements like easing KYC, and making PAN a uniform identification for business will go a long way in setting up new businesses, especially in the Fintech and Insuretech segments. Increasing the tax relief period from 7 years to 10 years is a big announcement and will help startups redeploy earnings on the growth of the business. Also, tax rebates to MSMEs earning upto Rs 3 crore will also help companies to have ease of cash flow

Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp, India, and Middle East

The Union Budget 2023-24 by FM today has announced attractive incentives and rebates. The Income limit for a rebate of Income Tax increased from 5 Lakhs to 7 Lakhs is a welcome note for the employee base. The budget includes renovations in the digital framework of the nation focusing on increasing the accessibility of these services for rural and tribal areas. We highly support the government’s initiatives to create jobs and are keen on contributing towards the projected employment generation initiatives.

We are excited to witness the development of a tech-driven economy while contributing towards the same and enabling the growth-bound MSMEs sector, which will be infused with Rs 9,000 crore in revamped credit guarantee scheme, with our affordable, seamlessly integrated, secure Email & Collaboration solutions to effectively communicate and collaborate towards the growth path.

It certainly boosts our morale when we noticed that investment and job creation continue to be the government’s top priority as they announce capital investment outlay being increased by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3 percent of GDP. The announcement of the National Data Governance policy is also a positive move to protect data privacy.

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.”

Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India

Successes in the previous budget and our transformation into the ‘AmrutKal’ were highlighted today by the Honorable Financial Minister.

It’s encouraging to see continued support for digital payment systems, digital document integration, and the creation of a digital public infrastructure for agritech and Fintech. The introduction of Digital lockers, Digital Library, E-Courts, and the promise of one hundred research labs to create applications for 5G were the landmark announcements.

Empowering youth with 30 Skill India Centers imparting skills like Coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, IoT, 3D printing, and drones with other NextGen cutting-edge technologies will make them economically independent.

Establishing three Institutes of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence Development is a major step forward for our country and will help to create AI in India and make AI work for India.

Summarizing, the budget makes it abundantly clear that 2023 will be the year of digitalization, with demands for digitalization rising throughout the year. As an Interconnection Platform, DE-CIX India is pleased to shoulder the duty of ensuring the long-term viability of India’s Digital Infrastructure as “We Make Interconnection Easy. Anywhere”.

Pramod Gummaraj, CEO of Aprecomm 

“This budget’s focus on boosting the 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 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.”

Arun Balasubramanian, Vice President & Managing Director, India & South Asia, UiPath

“We are glad that in this year’s budget, a greater focus has been given to Digital India where technology is an enabler for the economic and overall development of the nation. For India to adopt and implement emerging technologies, a robust skilled workforce is needed. And the provision of the Skill India Digital Platform is the right step in making a highly skilled workforce. It will unify and enable demand-based formal skilling, which has been much needed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. With the Skill India Digital Platform and the proposed National Digital Library, we are confident that young Indians will have the resources to upskill in areas like AI, automation, and robotics, which will in turn make Digital India a reality. With the launch of The National Data Governance Policy, Indian users and companies can now access anonymized data, which will provide greater opportunities for innovation. These are exciting times for a tech-enabled India, and soon the country will become a talent powerhouse for the world.”

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 great growth of MSME through the financial year 2023-24.  In fact, collateral-free credit enables not only a guaranteed loan but also removes a lot of hassles in the process of availing of 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 centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence. This would give a huge push for automation space as this initiative would create a huge skilled talent pool.

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com & Makaan.com – Real Estate & PropTech

The Budget has given a major push to the startup ecosystem in the country by extending the benefit of carry forward of losses from the current 7 years to 10 years from the date of incorporation of the firm.  

The Budget has described MSMEs as growth engines of the economy and has proposed enhanced limits for micro-enterprises and certain professionals for availing of the benefit of presumptive taxation. To support MSMEs in timely receipt of payments, the Budget allows a deduction for expenditure incurred on payments made to them only when payment is actually made. These steps will go a long way in opening new vistas of growth for new businesses.

With over 39,000 compliances being reduced and more than 3,400 legal provisions decriminalised, India will become a more conducive economy for businesses in general and startups in particular. The plan to set up an Entity DigiLocker for use by MSMEs, large businesses and charitable trusts for storing and sharing documents online securely will unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia. Announcements like the setting up of 3 centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence also come as a major push to tech-based startups like us.

Yagnesh Sanghrajka, Co-Founder and CFO, 100X.VC

“This year’s budget comes with several key reforms for the Indian economy. The startups definitely received a light touch with the extension of carry forward losses, Agri-tech accelerator fund, IT benefits for new startups, the new National Data Governance Policy, and an overall infrastructure sector led and capital outlay of Rs 10 lac crores will help select startups building for India. However, some key issues that didn’t get attention are No changes to GST Rates for registered startups, ESOP taxation, tax parity in base rates for unlisted shares, and tax benefits for angel investors taking up high-risk investing, which might adversely affect the startup’s growth that our country needs in order to become world’s innovation hub, this may prolong the funding winter.

Shashank Pandey, Co-founder, ConveGenius – Edtech 

Investing in AI is the way forward to make #Digital India a reality for all. Simple technologies like Conversational AI are changing the EdTech game by delivering the right information, data, and content to the right user at the right time. 

Sakshi Vij, Founder, Myles Cars – EV & Auto

The Budget presented is positive and growth focussed. The focus on Green Energy adoption through the Green Credit program will be a welcome move. If this program is able to assist EV financing, we see this as being a significant boost to accessibility in Electric vehicles for a variety of mobility solutions. The increase in Capex budgets by 33% along with Rs. 35000 crore proposal for Energy transition are both welcome steps for the mobility space enabling greater scope for innovation and growth.

Nihar Sripad Madkaiker, Co- Founder iXR Labs
“In the budget 2023-24, we are happy to see a significant inclination towards start-ups and skill development. The government is providing an advantage to the start-ups by offering tax benefits by extending until March 31, 2024. This year we also see the demand for workers with digital skills is increasing in a wide range of industries.

We are delighted to see that the government has focussed on developing hundred labs applications using 5G services that will be set up in engineering institutes. To make this more efficient, it is important to train and upskill workers, learners, and educators and this step will encourage employment.

As technology in education continues to advance and becomes more relevant, we anticipated that the government would bring an approach that is more substantial in the education / edtech sector.”

Sanjay Lodha , CEO of Netweb Technologies

Government focus on AI and setting up 3 centers of excellence is a good beginning to see the adoption of AI in government use. We are excited as this beginning will further enhance going forward and it will have an impact on the consumption of Electronics and to use of the huge amount of data that India is now able to generate. Ai excellence center will help in exploring the data easily and insights that could help in delivering govt model applications.  

It is exciting to see Govt. push on 5G and private 5G, Government has also identified some important use cases As stated a total of 100 labs will be set up in engineering colleges in partnership with various authorities, regulators, banks, and other organisations.

This is quite in line with the task we were aiming at as well. In order to create applications employing 5G services. The labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and healthcare applications, in order to realise the new range of options, business models, and job potential.

The building of applications increases the requirements of strong server connections, Data Storage, the hardware choices for embedded security wherein if we talk about the general impact, it will increase the businesses from Servers to IoT Manufacturers. These services would help in running various applications and radio access networks which will help in excelling 5G in the future. The purpose of these labs will be to present fresh opportunities, company ideas, and job prospects.

 Data Governance policy is going to give impetus to further helping in the adoption of digital technologies and will be instrumental in the growth of many more applications. Excellence centers will help in delivering govt schemes like adopted technology, blockchains, and other new applications.

Overall we believe that this will give positive growth and enhancement in the digital electronic, data localisation and usage that will boost the technology as a whole.

Deepak Agrawal, CIO-Debt, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company-

 

“The Minister has been able to do a fine balancing of increasing capital expenditure by 33%, while at the same time reducing the fiscal deficit from 6.4% to 5.9%. This step will further contribute to making the Indian economy more resilient. Investment in Capital Expenditure would result in boosting productivity over the medium term and help in bringing down inflation structurally. The budget 2023 nominal GDP growth rate and revenue growth estimates are credible.”

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.”

Anirban Mukherjee, CEO – PayU India.

“Budget 2023 is a great step towards supporting the long-term growth potential of India’s fintech ecosystem amidst increasing global headwinds. The new National Financial Information Registry, simplified KYC processes and adoption of PAN as the common business identifier will help streamline business operations for fintechs across India. The government’s strong focus on cutting-edge tech like AI & 5G will offer a much-needed growth impetus to our country’s digital infra at a grassroots level. We at PayU India welcome the policies laid out in Budget 2023 and are excited to contribute to driving financial inclusion through our digital payments & credit businesses.”

Ravindra Katti, Founder and Director of Techpartner Alliance shares his expectations from the Union Budget 2023

The Union Budget 2023-24 is reflecting the advancements made by the country’s digital technology sector, which also includes contributions from MSMEs and startups. By expanding the digital ecosystem for skilling and establishing 3 Centers of Excellence for AI in top educational institutions, the budget further stresses the importance of skill development. Such initiatives will provide immense benefits to businesses, which today are facing skill-shortage challenges.

Mainak Sarkar, Co-founder & CEO, Explorex

The Union Budget 2023, is a well-balanced and growth-focused effort by the Government of India to ensure greater emphasis on various sectors such as social sector schemes, and infrastructure creation, bringing in a great deal of relief to the middle class. It will assist India’s economy in moving closer to the goal of reaching $5 trillion in GDP by 2025–2026 and growing at 7% in the current year. The allocation of funds to bolster the growth of start-ups is a noteworthy decision undertaken in the 2023 budget.

The introduction of the National Data Governance Policy to unleash innovation by start-ups in the country will prove beneficial to many new-age start-ups. Further, the government digital certificate depository Digilocker services for the MSMEs and fintech sector will hasten the germination of more innovative fintech services and further allow fintech solutions in India to function smoothly using India’s digital public infrastructure, including Aadhaar, PM Jandhan Yojna, video KYC, India Stack, and UPI.  The budget will prove to be of immense help with regard to the start-up ecosystem through the proposal of the extension of the date of incorporation for income tax benefits from 31st March 2023 to 31st March 2024. 

Overall, Budget 2023 has successfully addressed the need of the hour by bringing in policies and regulations that are crucial for the growth of the country. We applaud Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman for taking all factors into account and presenting a budget focused on growth and the future in these trying times. 

 Parag Khurana, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India

“Cybersecurity has for long been a critical matter of concern, especially in light of rapid digitization. With the rollout of 5G and cloud migration, there has been a significant uptick in cyberattacks across the country. In 2022, we have seen the rise of ransomware against critical infrastructure, with education (15%), municipalities (12%), healthcare (12%), infrastructure (8%), and financial (6%) being the five key targeted industries according to research. The Union Budget announcement today paints a favorable picture for the sector with the introduction of the National Data Governance policy will help academia and start-ups gain access to anonymised data by the government.

Provisions like the establishment of three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions noting that ‘Make AI in India’ and to ‘Make AI work for India’ will support the creation of a stronger technology infrastructure in the country. This will further boost the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. That being said, Budget 2023 amply highlights the greater focus that the government has placed on string digital infrastructure and technology at large. And, we are hopeful that today’s announcement will have an inherently positive effect on the sector.”

Akshay Munjal, Founder, and CEO, Hero Vired. 

The government has undertaken a series of proactive steps for the education sector. While the education sector is supported by the National Education Policy (NEP), the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana 4.0 will further catalyse growth through upskilling of the workforce. Additionally, with the focus on skilling and reskilling, edtech players will get more opportunities to form industry alliances to bolster the sector and provide the right tools to learn. 

 

The initiatives like ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’ and ‘Make AI in India’ will promote India’s startups and the entrepreneurial spirit, and encourage youth to boost their knowledge through various skilling and reskilling programs. Bolstered by these initiatives, India has the potential to create a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy in the coming future.” said Akshay Munjal, Founder, and CEO, Hero Vired

Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India

“The Union Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister is growth-oriented and inclusive. The impetus for the ‘Digital India’ vision is clear from budgetary allocations across sectors like infrastructure, skill development, sustainability, MSME, and entrepreneurship.

This budget provides numerous growth opportunities for the technology industry by bringing digital solutions and innovation in legacy sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, education, railways, healthcare, financial services, and regulatory bodies to turn India into a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy. Also commendable is a clear intent and investment in making India a net zero carbon emission country by 2070 through National Green Hydrogen Mission.

Overall, the budget 2023 promises to sustain and catalyze India’s economic and digital growth with a strong role played by technology.” 

Ashish Singhal, CEO & Co-Founder at CoinSwitch.

“The Union Budget 2023 has unveiled several new policies and initiatives designed to foster growth through digital transformation. It’s great to see the financial sector as one of the seven priority sectors in the budget.

While we are still reading the fine print, the thrust to improve financial literacy and to build DigiLocker as a one-stop KYC solution are positives for the Wealth Tech Ecosystem. Being an early adopter of DigiLocker, its use has greatly helped us at CoinSwitch to implement more user-friendly KYC standards.

 The government’s continued focus on financial inclusion, building digital infrastructure, entrepreneurship, and up-skilling our youth will have a great impact on the economy.”

 Durgaprasad, Co-Founder, Director, and Group CEO, Bahwan CyberTek

“Budget 2023: Doubling down on digital, knowledge-based inclusive development for future well-being”

“The political will to invest in people and research for technology-driven growth is clear. The announcement of three centers of Artificial Intelligence and 100 labs for 5G apps to nurture R&D in India with the vision to Make AI in India and Make AI work for India will further strengthen India’s position vis-à-vis global counterparts. The 30 Skill India international centers focused on emerging technologies, with a strong focus on, on-the-job training, will contribute to the country’s expanding knowledge capital, positioning India as a strong digital contender.

The reduction of compliances to improve ease of doing business, the 33% hike in capital expenditure, along with the continuation of interest-free loans to state government will catalyse economic growth providing job opportunities. Budget 2023 is a progressive step towards building a stronger digital and green India.”

Mahankali Srinivas Rao (MSR), CEO, T-Hub, India’s leading innovation ecosystem of the Government of Telangana

Commenting on the Union Budget 2023-2024, Mahankali Srinivas Rao (MSR), CEO, T-Hub said, “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, the 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 about India’s economic growth this year and looking forward to start-ups playing a pivotal role”.

Debashis Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, LTIMindtree

“The Union Budget 2023 is forward-looking and offers something to every section of society without compromising on fiscal consolidation. It underscores the growing significance of cloud, data, artificial intelligence, and other new-age technologies in governance, while also taking a big step forward in simplifying processes and improving the ease of doing business. The budget’s emphasis on digitalization and trust-based governance will open new opportunities for the IT sector to leverage its globally acknowledged technology strengths to make a difference here.

One of the salient aspects of the budget is its continued emphasis on skills, employability, and industry-academia collaboration, which are critical to India’s competitiveness as a global hub of digital and Industry 4.0 skills. Unveiling avenues for leading industry players to partner with educational institutions in driving interdisciplinary research and cutting-edge AI and 5G applications will create a win-win proposition for both — a rich training ground for students involving real-world challenges and use cases, and greater opportunities for the industry to further strengthen the digital ecosystem in India. By building upon the earlier vision of a more structured development of Tier 2 and 3 cities, the budget will further enhance our ability to capitalize on an expanded talent pool, vital to the long-term sustainability and scalability of the IT services industry in India. Overall, the budget speaks to India’s potential to become a global benchmark in technology-led transformation.

Spurring consumption through a slew of measures — taxation benefits, an exclusive savings scheme for women, and enhanced investment limits for senior citizens, to name a few — will provide impetus to higher capital expenditure in the private sector as well.”

L C Singh, Director and Executive Vice Chairman of Nihilent.

“The forward-looking budget announced by the FM provides an impetus to key growth areas. Increasing the capex outlay to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development will enhance private investments to a great extent. Skilling is a current imperative for our talented youth; hence the announcement to set up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 is a step in the right direction to secure their future. To unleash the potential of our economy and simplify ease of doing business, eliminating 39000 compliances and 3400 legal provisions is a step in the right direction, which will also boost entrepreneurship. The FM’s significant amendment in direct tax announcements will lead to consumption-based growth and reverse brain drain, building a robust talent pool in India. Setting up Centres of Excellence to boost AI in India is yet another futuristic move that will propel India to greater heights in the technology space and cement our role in what is popularly described as the ‘techade.”

Amit Chadha, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services

“The Union Budget 2023 has shown a strong focus on boosting digital infrastructure and adoption, which is a positive sign for the technology industry. It was also encouraging to see Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman shares her vision of “making AI in India and making AI work for India”, further highlighting the importance of building a strong AI ecosystem in India. We welcome the government’s move towards developing three AI excellence centers and 100 5G labs, as well as introducing the National Data Governance Bill, which will open up a wide range of opportunities for business growth and employment generation. As a pure-play ER&D services provider, our belief is that such a mass-scale enablement of digital transformation and innovation will unlock the full potential of the Indian engineering and technology sector. It will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its strong hold as a global preferred destination for engineering services.”

Venkatraman Narayanan, MD & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies

“Digital has emerged as the hallmark of Union Budget announced today. Be it the setting up of AI-focused CoEs, or a Unified Digital Skilling platform, the role of digital technologies is empathetically at the forefront of India’s economic rise. It will be interesting to see how the paperless digital locker-based document storage and management for citizens shape up, as accordingly, it promises to open up a wave of opportunities in the domestic market related to cyber security, cloud, AI, and ML. While tax exceptions on exports are a welcome step, certain breathers on corporate tax would have complemented it well.

Overall, it is a sound and holistic budget devised to ensure upliftment, empowerment and inclusivity to all.”

Manish Mimani, Founder & CEO, Protectt.ai

“It is encouraging to see the government focus on building a digitally-driven nation in the Union Budget. By expanding innovative services in the fintech space, along with announcing the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India, we have a lot to look forward. Though not explicitly highlighted in the Budget, we can also expect to see the cybersecurity landscape evolve and benefit from increased use of AI in operations, products, and services. In addition, the government’s relief measures for startups in areas of tax benefits and setting off losses comes as a welcome move, and will go a long way in encouraging the Indian startup ecosystem to continue to innovate.”

Vishal Agrawal, MD, Avaya

“We appreciate the government’s continuous focus on the technology sector with the Budget 2023-24. The introduction of three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ is something to look forward to for the upcoming digital nation.

The initiatives outlined for skill development and research in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and 5G, among others are encouraging for the IT industry.

In line with the GoI’s initiative to strengthen the MSMEs, we look forward to supporting them in creating a user-friendly space and helping them further to scale up with the help of our robust and collaborative solutions.

The government’s initiative to set up 100 labs for 5G solutions across engineering colleges and the announcement around the National data governance framework will further empower the students, Indian start-ups, and researchers that will collectively help us achieve our collective vision for the 5 trillion economy.”

Aalok Kumar, President, and CEO, NEC Corporation India

“With a clear focus on inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development, and unlocking the nation’s potential, the Union Budget 2023-24 is comprehensive to fast-track growth. From strengthening India’s prowess in technology and AI and being future-ready to truly unleashing the potential of 5G, the budget is holistic in its approach and will certainly pave the way for tech-enabled growth for the country in the coming years. Coupled with a strategic focus on building infrastructure and connectivity in sectors including transportation and aviation will have a significant impact in making India a more agile economy, and in making the daily lives of citizens more convenient and efficient. We look forward to collaborating with the government to help shape India’s digital future.”

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1 Comment
  1. Bhaskar Sharma says

    Express Computer has gathered some fascinating thoughts from IT companies on the Union Budget 2023-2024. This article offers valuable insights into the industry’s perspective on key financial policies. A great read!

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