Budget Reactions from Various Business Leaders | #7

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 today. Thought Habitat is more than happy to recognize all their thoughts on the budget.

Chandan Garg, Chairman & MD, Innovana thinklabs

In this budget a lot of emphasis is on creating a digital India as every project announced is all about making use of technology. From e-passports to digital currency, India is well on its way to become a nation driven by the most advanced technologies.

With the provision for blockchain technologies, we can witness many new sectors coming up and start-ups getting a new direction. The focus on domestic manufacturing will also have a direct impact on the tech industry reducing costs and facilitating smooth running of business. As IT industry will be a major game changer in this financial year, we were expecting direct relaxation on the import duty of technology from this budget.

Harsh Verma – CEO – Tourventory Innovation Travel Pvt Ltd

With the expansion and the extension of ECLGS, it will definitely empower our  hospitality sector especially in overcoming “easily-convertible-to-cash assets”.  Cash-inflow was extremely choked to death with no travel at all forcing small Travel Agents and Tour Operators to eventually shut down. Thank you to our FM for being a rescuer by announcing this monetary extension support.

Amit Shah, Founder & CEO, A3 Tech

The finance minister has announced spending of ₹200 billion for road and 400 new trains in addition to a slew of initiatives in infrastructure,  manufacturing and logistics. We know that capex in infrastructure is key govt policy in fueling economic growth. China has proved that in the past and US is in the process of approving big infrastructure spending. I believe infrastructure initiatives announced in the budget is going to be major reason that, we will not only emerge out of pandemic but grow GDP by 8% or more.

Rupesh Jain – Founder and CEO, Candere by Kalyan Jewellers

The decrease of Customs Duty from 7.5% to 5% might help remove the blockages and tie-ups in the legalized channels of diamond imports. The decrease in customs duties will help Indian e-commerce brands expand to overseas markets and cater to the vast and growing demand.

Furthermore, the positive uptake to this is the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure which will allow e-commerce businesses to improve access and reach out to the interior sectors of the Indian market. This development decision gives us a broader audience base and prospective markets.

Not just that, it will create a ripple effect, as with the recent changes to accessibility, more people will become used to digitization with the use of online shopping and online payments. As one of the objectives of Budget 2022 is to increase digital penetration and adaption in India.

Atul Goel, MD, Goel Ganga Developments

In the backdrop of dropping Coronavirus cases, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman presented an enabling, positive and futuristic Union Budget 2022-23. The real estate sector has faced severe headwinds in the recent past but is hopeful of a solid recovery with several key budget announcements. With a focus on the construction of over 80 lakh affordable houses by the year 2023, focus on urban development via the concept of mega cities and enhanced focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cites will provide the much-needed impetus to the real estate sector.

As steel is the backbone of the construction sector, the budget announcements have extended the budget scrap duty by another year. It is in addition to the scrapping of the anti-dumping duty on stainless steel. Reduction in corporate tax for co-operative societies from 18 percent at present to 15 percent will reduce burden on the ancillary support industries related to construction and real estate sector. Overall, this is a progressive, supportive, and budget with increased focus on infrastructure development.

Sajal Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, Civils Daily

The government’s plan of developing a digital university in line with ISTE standards shows its commitment towards improving digital infrastructure to support online education. The allocated budget for education must be used to provide high-speed broadband connectivity in rural areas, Tier 2 and 3 cities as well. Online education is the only way to counter the loss of learning due to the pandemic and by increasing the number of TV channels from 12 to 200 in its PM eVidya program, the government is bridging the digital divide by making online education accessible and affordable for all masses.

The government must not, however, forget to support this with quality teacher training certification programs to help the staff make the transition from offline to the online route. Vacancies must be created for online trained tutors and mentors well. With digital payments gaining momentum in the edtech space, a part of the budget must be utilized to ensure cybersecurity to prevent cybercrimes. We hope Budget 2022 has the key elements to make online education accessible, acceptable, affordable and adaptable by both students and teachers.

Akhil Gupta, CEO, Shine.com

Encouraging move from Indian Government that will further strengthen the positive outlook towards growth. This should inspire both large manufacturing setups and D2C startups alike to invest more into capacity building and generate more employment opportunities. Shine.com views this as an opportunity to innovate further and connect more employers & employees, providing right set of recruitment services.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra

The budget truly echoes India’s vision towards inclusive development and building a truly ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by providing a blueprint for the economy over ‘Amrit Kal’ from India at 75 to India at 100. FM’s key announcements on blockchain and setting up e-passports with futuristic technologies are a step in the right direction to help India emerge as a global technology leader.

The focus on innovation and R&D (Research and Development) with an emphasis on strengthening talent capacity through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) universities and skilling courses in IIT’s will enable India to become a global hub for skilled talent. Overall, Budget 2022 promises to provide the much-needed impetus to sustain India’s economic and digital growth.

Rajiv Bhalla, MD, Barco India

The emphasis on growth, digitization and being future ready outlines the government’s commitment to cohesive development and ‘Make in India’. Focus on Gati Shakti masterplan, youth, women, job creation, technology and infrastructure development among others will drive India’s Amrit Kal, journey from 75 to 100 years as a democracy. India has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure centre, and the Budget has provided enough impetus to propel the same. In addition, we expect the digital ecosystem for skilling will boost human capital and empower industries significantly.

A Gururaj, MD, Optiemus Electronics Ltd

The industry has been completely galvanized under the pioneering initiative of PLI scheme, with Hon’ble FM today stating that it has potential to create 60 Lakh new jobs and additional production of 30 lakh crores. This is also a clarion call to the industry to work much harder in the years to come to make it a reality.

On a macro level, the scheme around design-led manufacturing as part of the PLI scheme would fasten the development of the ecosystem, and also changes in customs duty will drive greater domestic value addition in Electronics manufacturing in the country, which has grown rapidly in the last few years.

Basil Ali – Co-Founder & COO – Edumpus

The Union Budget 2022 is a positive one with a key focus on bridging the gap induced by the pandemic through the right infrastructure for digital education. It is also a demonstration of strong commitment to a digital future. Initiatives like the Digital University and the Digital DESH-Stack skilling e-portal will strengthen the education ecosystem in the country and will provide students with better prospects.

The golden opportunity given to world class universities to offer finance, science and technology related courses in the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) city brings the necessary global exposure to Indian students, building their Glo-cal outlook.

Ankit Himatsingka, CFO at Toffee Insurance

The focus of the Government on improving accessibility, affordability via financial inclusions is commendable. The health of the ‘mother & child’ through Nari Shakti programs is a great initiative.

Impetus on the farm sector through finance startups focused on the rural economy will improve the self-sufficiency of the farmers. We believe it will be a huge positive on the tractor sales. Also, a push on the EV sector through policies enabling battery swapping enabled policies is a welcome move. Overall, the actions of the government machinery driven by this budget will improve the quality of life and boost the livelihood of a wider base of society.

It is the right mix of short-term growth impetus and laying down the foundation for the next decade. EV, livelihood vehicles, health are impact areas of great focus for Toffee and we welcome the budget. For insurtech startups like ours, this is a great alignment in mission.

Romita Mazumdar, Founder, Foxtale

This budget is reflective of the role startups are playing in the growth of the Indian ecosystem. Now is the time for us to incentivize the economy in a way that promotes more startups to foster in the Indian market. Taxes have played a critical role in geographic allocation of investor money.

The effective reduction on long term capital gains is great news and will have a positive impact in the movement of funds. The government’s proposal to extend the tax redemption period also comes as good news to early Founders. At a time when Founders need to focus on investing in a company’s growth – the government policies that help them conserve the company’s cash can play a crucial role in their decision making process.

Goldy Nagdev, Managing Director, Hari Darshan Sevashram Pvt. Ltd

Turbulent times need consistency and balance and this budget has achieved that. The fact that India has had the highest growth rate amongst major economies shows the acumen of policymakers and enterprises. No changes in tax slabs were the need of the hour. I appreciate the rapid digitalization strategy be it digital rupee or e-passports. Taxation on transfer digital assets like NFT and cryptocurrency is a step forward in their recognition and wide usage.

Pooja Nagdev, Aromatherapist, Cosmetologist and Founder of Inatur

I would like to congratulate the Hon Finance Minister for a precise and sharp budget.
The budget clearly shows the resolve our government has towards Atmn Nirbhar Bharat and all-around growths. The economic growth compared to global economies is an indicator of this effort.

Keeping the tax rates unchanged will render stability to the economy. The launch of three schemes to provide integrated development of women & children under Nari Shakti is commendable along with upgrading 2 lac Anganwadi for improving Child Health. Renewed commitment to Ease of Doing Business reflects in reducing compliances by 75k and repealing 1486 union laws.

I am looking forward to launching the Next phase of ease of doing business, ease of living. It is heartening to see that focus on natural, zero-budget & organic farming, and modern-day agriculture in revised syllabi of agricultural universities. Natural farming being promoted along the Ganga river corridor is a nice touch. Financial support proposed for farmers to take up agro-forestry solves multiple purposes.  Proposal to finance agriculture and rural startups through NABARD will bolster the farm produce supply and value chain.

Pramod Gummaraj, CEO, Aprecomm

This budget is a step in the direction of bridging the gap of digital divide of connectivity, access to e-services, communications and digital resources to residents of rural vs urban areas. Our Finance Minister has provided ample opportunity towards commercialization & promotion of Research & Development in the areas of affordable connectivity. And Finally, this budget has laid the foundation stones to bring 5G to reality. 5G is considered to be industry game changer and we are very happy to see enough support from the government to roll our 5G mobile services in the coming years.

Sayan Guha, Co-Founder, The Travel Book Online

The ECLGS scheme for the hospitality sector is very welcome move . However , the financial institutions should ease the process and conditions of availing the emergency credit facilities. It is so disappointing that even after creating millions of jobs and significant contributions to the GDP , the sector did not get any direct support. The sector can create huge employment opportunities and this was the right moment to provide direct support to promote the recovery of travel and tourism . 

1. No immediate direct support

2. ECLGS availing of funds should be made easy with relaxed conditions

3. No tax relief or reduction in GST given

4. The sector has the potential of creating millions of jobs and can support lot of allied sectors too, but needed direct support.

Atul Gandhi, Founder & CEO- Seva at Home

Setting up of the National Tele Mental Health program, National Digital Health Ecosystem is a very progressive step. One of the most progressive steps in the Union Budget has been the setting up of the National Tele Mental Health program. Stigma associated with mental health has been high in India and this initiative will not only help mainstream mental health and start healthy conversations around it, but also provide access to mental health counselling to citizens. The focus on delivery via teleconsultation will help to facilitate more conversations. 

Recognising the need for mental health support, Seva At Home has launched Seva Prime which has unlimited support from mental health counsellors delivered via teleconsultation. Furthermore, the Budget underscores the importance of Digital Health for increasing healthcare access. The Centre will roll out an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem. This will surely provide an impetus to Digital Health startups and enable different stakeholders to leverage technology and provide more accessible health services.

Rajit Mehta, MD and CEO, Antara

The interests of the seniors have often taken a back seat under government allocation, but unlike past years, there has been an increased focus from the government on the changing needs of seniors this year. 

Initiatives such as the national Tele Mental Health Programme, National Digital Health Ecosystem, and an increase in NPS tax exemption of 14% from the existing 10% for State Govt. employees give a strong signal that the government is proactively looking at measures to create a conducive ecosystem for seniors. We welcome these steps towards an emphasis on geriatric health and overall lifestyle for seniors.

Dilip Oommen, President, Indian Steel Association

It is a visionary budget that lays a blueprint for ‘Amrit Kaal’, supported by PM Gati Shakti Mission with multi-modal approach to boost transport & logistics. A significant increase of 35.4% in capital expenditure to Rs 7.50 lakh crore will also have a multiplier effect and provide impetus to drive growth, thus helping in steel demand creation. Increase in the domestic capital procurement budget for the Armed Forces’ equipment is yet another right step towards realising the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission. Focus on sustainability that emphasises on socio-economic development along with the circular economy is a positive move.

Gautam Dhar, Managing Director & CEO, Plantas

Global supply chains have faced considerable hurdles as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Multiple countrywide lockdowns continue to stifle, if not completely halt, the movement of raw materials and finished goods, causing manufacturers to suffer. Local startups have worked hard to stay up with the competition. We are relieved to see that the term of incorporation for startups has been extended by a year to 2023, allowing us to take advantage of tax benefits. As more Indians engage in Atmanirbhar bharat schemes, promoting drone startups and allowing companies an extension to set up production units till 2024 would undoubtedly boost the industry. The allocation of 60% of the R&D funding to Make In India reemphasizes the importance of connecting the growth of new entrepreneurs with the expanding Indian economy.

Himanshu Gautam, Co-founder and CEO, Safalta Education Pvt Ltd

The 2022 budget’s approach on aligning education with employability resonates with our vision. The National skill qualification framework will be of great help for right kind of talent creation for actual industry needs, on which Safalta contributes through its skill courses. We also aim to contribute to the government’s vision of providing supplementary education in regional languages for students of class 9-12th.

Safalta provides affordable, high-quality education through vernacular pedagogy for students of semi urban and rural India. Our commitment of creating an outcome-based learning Platform leading to employment will be magnified by the government’s push on creating a digital ecosystem through setting up of a digital university and DESH portal. We welcome the FM’s announcement to extend the period of co-operation up to 31st March’23 for tax incentive of Start-ups.

Harshwardhan Prasad, CEO, Tribeca Developer

The overall budget is positive which will act as a catalyst to many other industries. This will fuel growth and therefore indirectly help the real estate sector. In India, the real estate industry is among the key pillars of the economy. And though the 2022-23 budget identified 80 lakh households for the affordable housing scheme which has been extended by 1 year, we were expecting additional developments. We will wait for all details before we can comment further.

Keep watching this space for more updates!

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