Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #14

Here we have more business leaders who have shared their reactions on the Budget 2022 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Business leaders across India and across industries are keen on sharing their thoughts on the 2022 budget presented on February 01, 2022. Thought Habitat is more than happy to recognize all their thoughts on the budget.

Nasir Shaikh- CEO- Lexicon group of Institutes & Multifit

This is a progressive budget for the Education sector and so is the intent of the government. This is elucidated by the plan to start ‘200 One Class One TV Channels under e-VIDYA to provide supplementary education in regional language from Class I to XII’ thus to make affordable Education accessible to the masses. 

At Higher Education level the government is looking forward to open world class Digital universities. This will certainly force existing institutions to raise the bar of quality of education at higher education levels. Those Indian universities already providing quality education would not lose much, but sub-quality education providers would be badly hit.

One way for such Institutions could be to collaborate in terms of providing contact-office Infrastructure to the incoming foreign universities and thus create a win-win situation.The increase in allocation of the education budget to Rs. 1.04 lakh crore from Rs. 93,224 crore last year in the union Budget 2022-2023 is a commendable step taken by the finance minister of our country. 

The impetus is also on STEM based learning which is exhibited when the government intends to set up ‘750 Virtual Labs in Science & Mathematics’ & ‘75 Skilling E-Labs for Simulated Learning Environment’. Opening of ‘Start-up to facilitate Drone Shakti to Drone – as – Service’ is an indicator of harnessing Technology to its best. The steps are focused on inclusion of people at large and provide economical & quality education at all levels.

Aashka Goradia Goble, Co-founder, RENEE Cosmetics

The Budget has granted the most popular wish of startups for extension of tax holiday. Now the Hon’ble FM has extended the startup tax holiday scheme to startups incorporated till March 31, 2023. This was also important as the last 2 years have been challenging for those who had just stepped into entrepreneurship and are struggling to keep their startup alive. Additionally, the surcharge on long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax has been capped at 15%. This will reduce the burden on startups in terms of ESOPs and other transactions too.

Apurv Agrawal, Co-Founder, Avni

The pandemic has unravelled a lot of loopholes in the Indian healthcare system. Certainly, health was to stay a priority in the budget. The Budget announced the launch of an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem . This will provide easy access to the available health facilities and health providers. Absence of the right information had created a ruckus during the first and second wave of covid. We are glad that the government took note of the same and has now resolved the challenge too,

Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote

Indeed the food & beverage industry in India was bleeding, and it required a lifeline to recover. Though the government certainly announced a number of steps for its resurgence, the Budget announcement of extension ECGL service for the sector will play a significant role to empower the vertical once again and get it up and running. Additionally, a slight consideration on the investors front on funding the F&B startups could have further accelerated the recovery of the industry. We further expect fundamental policies to revive the vertical in the country.

Rajiv Mathur, Founder and Executive Chairman of Critical Care Unified

The Union Budget 2022-23, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will establish the groundwork for India’s economic growth and progress over the following 25 years. The initiatives from last year’s Budget have made tremendous progress, and enough encouragement has been granted in this Budget. Everyone can see the nation’s health infrastructure being strengthened, the vaccine program being implemented quickly, and the nation’s resilient response to the current pandemic wave.

We commend the ‘Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission 51’ effort to create an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem. This includes health provider and digital facility registries, a unique health identity, a consent framework, and universal access to health facilities. This will aid in the development of a more inclusive and resilient medical society.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited

With respect to the MSME sector, we congratulate the Union Budget 2022 for the vision. MSMEs will be supported through an extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) through March 2023, which will increase the guarantee cover by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 5 lakh crore.

The ‘Effective Capital Expenditure’ which is estimated at INR 10.68 lakh crore will be about 4.1 percent of GDP implies that the Government is focused on strengthening domestic industry which will aid economic growth and job creation. This year’s Budget also emphasized on the startup ecosystem.

Furthermore, the focus on digitization will strengthen online marketplaces to reach a wider audience, thereby creating a path for strong growth. The tone of the Budget was clearly pointing toward the priority areas defined as engines of growth for becoming a 5 trillion economy. It was a genuine effort to meet the GDP target as envisaged in the Economic Survey; we wish to see the year as the ‘year of growth’.

Vivek K Singh, Co-founder, and CEO, Careerera

The education budget for 2022 emphasizes upskilling and digital learning, which would be a beneficial move. The announcement to launch a digital university in keeping with the current scenario could be a wonderful foresight move to expand education’s reach.

The push for regional education is commendable because it will allow individuals in rural areas to get high-quality education in their own languages. Virtual labs and e-labs, which would provide skill training online, could be a benefit for learners in a vast country like ours which lacks access to adequate physical lab facilities.

Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera

The Union budget 2022 has laid much needed focus on the education sector. From assuring funds for R&D, innovation, and growth, to emphasizing the need for digitization, the Government has taken a practical and contemporary view to benefit masses across the spectrum of elementary, secondary, and higher education.

The pandemic affected learning at numerous levels – from academic exposure to the medium of instruction to evaluation of the core course content and construct in some cases, education institutions, academicians, online platforms, and other key stakeholders have worked together in the past 2 years to innovate and offer solutions on the back of technology to keep the learning going. Enhancing e-content quality, launching a portal for upskilling, instituting digital universities, and easing operations of foreign universities will not only enhance a student / learner’s exposure but will seamlessly integrate offline and online modes of education to enhance learning outcomes.

We congratulate the Indian Government for presenting a progressive and promising budget that furthers the cause of digitization, governances and learning and growth for all. We are confident that the year 2022-23 will be a turning point in the history of Indian education as we move towards building an inclusive, digitally empowered and technologically advanced education system for all.

Surajit Chakrabartty, CFO, MedGenome

The 2022 healthcare budget in the third-year of the pandemic, provides a holistic outlook focusing on preventive healthcare, diagnosis and access to health facilities. One of key takeaways from the budget is digital technology which is going to play a significant role in ensuring Universal Health Coverage, with the announcement of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. Considering the rise of non-communicable and infectious diseases in the country, testing and screening is of paramount importance. A unified health registry will definitely bridge the gap between diagnostics centers and patient, as it will enable better overview into a patient’s health records further providing better treatment outcomes.

Amit Relan, Co-Producer, Woot Factor Events

The budget is focused towards wealth creation in the long term, as well as adapting technology in forums that weren’t identified or are newly introduced even at rural levels. The newly announced emphasis on entrepreneurship and digital skilling will help us proliferate our nexus to make operations more connected and hassle-free.

It will also lead to job employment opportunities and will create ‘work-ready’ taskforce for speedy development. It will eliminate labour costs in labour intensive sectors and will drastically bring down logistic costs. The RAMP programme can revitalize the MSME sector although we are not sure if 6,000 crore can suffice the ecosystem whole-meal.

This is the encouraging story that emerges but we would have expected the entertainment and events industry to get some breathing room from the Govt which is lacking in this budget. While the Union Budget 2022 has shown some degree of consideration towards the MSMEs, it has missed emphasis on immediate relief measures to the sectors that were decelerated because of the lockdown.

Having said that, we believe that opportunities with this magnitude of investments in a developing India definitely has the potential to reorient future endeavours to our businesses and the increased focus on digitalization and broadband connectivity has the power to open us to an enormous untapped audience base.

Sameer Nigam, CEO and CoFounder, Stratbeans

Through the Union Budget 2022, the government has addressed the importance of youth skilling in our country, just as we had predicted. By launching the DESH-Stack ePortal, the government is focusing on upskilling and reskilling individuals through online training, which is a critical need. By encouraging individuals to find suitable employment and providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities, this initiative will prove to be the right step in propelling the country to greater heights.

More initiatives like this are needed to promote ongoing skill development, sustainability, and increased employee productivity and performance. To prepare India’s workforce to contribute more to GDP per capita, we must maintain this momentum by digitizing processes and promoting skill development.

Himanshu Arya, Founder and CEO, Grapes

The Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 has set the stage with an invigorated focus on ramping up the process of the digital revolution. The government’s focus on the digital ecosystem is a progressive move to render an inclusive landscape for job openings and entrepreneurial opportunities. The extension of tax incentives for startups for one more year will give a slight relief to the industry. I hope that the cash flow improves in the market. The Union Budget has various encouraging initiatives and is directed towards a more viable and flexible business ecosystem that completely aligns with the ideologies of Make in India.

Rajesh Bhatia, Group President (Finance & Accounts) & CFO at UFlex Ltd

The 2022 budget echoes India’s mission to becoming Atmanirbhar Bharat which is encouraging for organizations like ours that have always been at the forefront to highlight Indian talent and generate growth for the economy from international markets through our businesses and manufacturing plants abroad.

The measures that will be undertaken hereon will be beneficial for our economy in the long term, and will also help growth of the manufacturing sector in India. By incentivizing exports, India is enabling expansion in the export sector and promoting locally produced and sourced components which is a positive step forward.

Prashanto Das, Founder, Hyperstate Technologies

This is the Big Tech Push budget- A recognition of breakthrough tech and all that it contributes to the growing digital consumption economy. Nocode tech platforms like Kappa that democratise tech for a larger mass can help the larger population  become more tech savvy in a shorter time, creating new employment opportunities.

Further, we see many opportunities esp with humanisation of assets that can help small businesses grow exponentially in building duniya ki apni dukan without a significant expense in infrastructure. For a country hungry to grow quickly, the FM’s words resonate with our outlook.

Ambarish Ray, Co-founder and CEO, Digital Dogs Content and Media 

This is a balanced Budget with announced intent to encourage digital and digitalised commerce, industry and finance. The Blockchain enabled digital rupee and focus on digitally taught and transmitted education is laudable. We have significant exposure as a services venture in these two segments and we are excited and hopeful that this intent will now translate into real, positive opportunities. 

Nishit Nanda, CEO youlry.com

With e-commerce exports in jewellery now recognised and to be simplified, I am looking forward to seeing accelerated growth in our businesses as well as opening up of new markets and marketable opportunities. I also applaud the proposal to tax the import of imitation jewellery and hope this will truly now disincentivise their undervalued import.

Vikram Agarwal, Managing Director, Cornitos

The Union Budget 2022-23 is a progressive budget, our Government is concentrating on infrastructure, employment generation, and future developments. This appears to be a growth-oriented budget as efforts are being made to reduce compliance burdens and improve ease of doing business. The Budget has given an extension of the ECLGS Scheme which would provide much-needed help to the MSME sector especially the hospitality and related food processing segments. The past few years have been tumultuous for the hospitality segment and I am hopeful that this initiative gives the industry a much-needed boost.

Rajesh Ranjan, Founder, Krishify

Union Budget 2022 is a great development, it was very exciting to hear the government taking interest in digital services, digital records, etc but I am keen to see what steps they are going to take to bring these initiatives to reality. As the founder of Agri-Tech startup, I was elated to hear about the digital distribution through the PPP model that we would be very interested in. Great initiatives have been taken to promote the involvement of gadgets and tech such as ‘farm drones’ for crop assessment and spraying of pesticides. Also, digitization records will bring more transparency to the agriculture sector. improved and quick banking services will help the farmers a lot to have a hold of their income and gained profit. 

The government’s willingness to promote organic and chemical-free farming is a great initiative to boost the sustainable agri-productivity and income of the farmers. the industry has waited a long time for schemes to deliver high-tech services to the rural farmers which is now over. ₹ 44,000 crores Ken-Betwa river linking project will also be a boon to a section of farmers. The promotion of Agri-Universities is another initiative that I am very excited about. The way young kids are excited about going to IITs, NITs or top medical colleges for their graduation, I hope the coming generation will be excited about going to agri-colleges.

The introduction of the Unified Logistics Interface Platform will enable data exchange amongst all-mode operators resulting in efficient movement of goods and reduced logistics costs and time, Railways will be seen to be a major part of this. The game-changer for the agriculture sector can be said to be the ₹ 2.37 lack crore direct payment of Minimum Support (MSP) value to farmers’ accounts and the facilitation of funds to start-ups for agriculture and rural enterprise, relevant for farm produce value chain start-ups will support FPO by NABARD.

Arthi Raguram, Founder of Deyga

The Union Budget is almost the corner, and the beauty industry survived through the pandemic, as the Indian cosmetics market is on the path to reaching 4.23% of CAGR from 2020 to 2025. With such an increased sensation rate on the horizon, it is clear that the beauty industry needs to be stressed on the union government’s list for the fiscal year of 2022-2023. Here are some of the beauty industry’s anticipations from the union budget meeting. The most noticeable trend that emerged from the two subsequent years of living in a pandemic is Digitalization. It led the world how several sectors could flourish anyway of that, even with challenging lockdowns and curfews. The virtual norms were primarily adequate to land products and benefits to the customers.

The beauty industry could adapt better via technology and the digital world. Inventions came into space when more people were open to view their social media platforms, promotions, and engaging online sales that gave frontage to the brand content. It enabled the beauty demand to keep up with the latest trends while testing unique products. For example, the products for eyes, lips, and facial types are selling the most. Consumers were able to engage better with the products in portable through its virtual try-on segment. Similarly, integrating Artificial Intelligence is the addition of technology that can help e-tallying skincare products brands. Most skincare brands have websites that demand constant customer service. AI technology such as Chatbots service provides personalized and focused customer assistance. 

Consumers have been tempted to natural, plant-based, and cruelty-free skin products. Also, the rise of natural products is good for the environment. Thus, they are getting additional attention from the buyers. The government can incentivize vegan and natural products to inspire other brands to opt for the course. Because there is a high inflation rate between natural and normal beauty products, constantly it prevents consumers from opting for better quality. The youth is welcoming the unique grooming trends and thereby changing the product consumption practices. Apart from self-grooming motives, customer consciousness suggests that people purchasing products are interested to understand the ingredients and how they impact the surroundings. People are avoiding chemical ingredients and leaning towards skin products that are paraben-free, organic, and vegan, directing companies to leave such methods that were a cost-cutting solution. With a reasonable budget set by the government, skincare and beauty product organizations will afford to make better quality products.

Navneet Ravikar, Chairman & Managing Director, Leads Connect Services

Knowing that agriculture is the backbone of our economy, it’s revitalizing to see that the budget prioritized agritech, especially with the push on DeepTech like AI and geospatial systems. They will go a long way towards making the industry sustainable and bringing it into the 21st century.

A more positive aspect was monitoring agriculture with Kisan Drones as well as digitizing land records. They will be the biggest leap towards the adoption of technology, bringing change at a national level. Another much-welcomed part of the budget was the promotion of chemical-free and natural farming in the country. Taken together, all these measures will drive the sector and get the ball rolling towards higher growth.

I also expect the effort to increase the production of oilseeds will provide states like UP with high impetus, which, in turn, will help increase farmers’ income. This, along with the announcement of public-private partnership (PPP) to deliver emerging digital services to farmers, will truly bring a ground-level change to agriculture, not only modernizing it but creating plenty of employment opportunities.

Milan Ganatra, Founder & CEO, 1SilverBullet

Firstly, I would like to express my appreciation and welcome the Budget presented by the government, which has been tremendously encouraging for India’s startup ecosystem. Bringing in the unlisted equity taxation at par to the listed, will encourage more Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in India, allowing a substantial quantity of wealth to flow into the pockets of founders and investors, bettering the appeal for investors to invest in unlisted equities or startups in the country. The administration is also proposing to form a committee to develop a framework for attracting more investments and monitoring regulations, which is a wonderful step forward from the eyes of the Fintech startup entrepreneur. 

Finally, opening various things at the Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) will allow it to become a worldwide financial services centre, fueling a slew of Fintech-related operations. The government has been extremely pro-infrastructure, and they have granted industry data centres status, which is a great move with multiple benefits. Overall, the government has recognised the importance of technology, startups and has assured that there will be adequate and more entrepreneurial opportunities, which will be backed up by government assistance.

Pallavi Agarwal – Founder & CEO, goSTOPS

The Budget 2022 announcement aimed at spurring public investment and spending to modernize infrastructure and support growth is a welcome move. Being one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic, it plays an important role in the economy’s revival. Along with the government’s strong focus on hospitality in the proposed Budget, we are now in a better position to accelerate the recovery of India towards higher growth.

a) The extended guarantee cover under ECLGS with an additional allocation for hospitality, increased investment towards boosting the transport infrastructure through PM’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan, and introduction of the National Ropeways Development Programme are promising measures. These will empower the struggling MSMEs in hospitality, ensure further sustainable pickup in domestic travel and expand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth.

b) Further, the government’s push towards promoting skilling initiatives, providing extended tax benefits, and rolling out measures like ePassports to enhance seamless travel, will provide the much-needed impetus for the revival of travel and hospitality.

c) Thirdly, focusing on productivity enhancement, inclusive development, boosting digital infrastructure, and promoting tech-enabled development, will lay the right roadmap and aid in rebooting the industry on a stronger and more sustainable footing.

While the pandemic has resulted in highly volatile consumer confidence towards travel and a drastic shift in consumer priorities, the Budget is sure to aid inbound revival and act as a stimulant to get the sector back on its feet. This will equally harness its impact towards GDP contribution, employment generation, and skill development – much needed as the country heads towards recovery, revival, and growth.

Prithviraj Kothari, Managing Director of RiddiSiddhi Bullions Limited

Union Budget 2022 came up with only one change of Custom duty cut on Diamonds from 7.5% to 5% for the Bullion Industry. There were few expectations from the industry in this budget from approval of setting up of Bullion bank to tax breaks on income from the sale of old gold and on earnings from sovereign-gold bonds, from the removal of CTT to the reduction of GST rate on making handcrafted jewellery and job work changes and much more. I hope all these expectations are met in the near future to develop a transparent and encouraging gold ecosystem in our country.

Nandini Taneja, Vice President, Reach Pro Group

The Union Budget demonstrates a strong commitment to urban growth via sustainable living and better governance. The establishment of a high-level committee for urban planning is a crucial move in the FY22-23 budget to define the future urban settings in terms of transportation, employment, health, education, and living. The budget is progressive, particularly in its emphasis on infrastructural development for the country. The emphasis on sustainable living with opportunities for all, including women and youth steers a positive approach for a sustainable tomorrow.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

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