The past two years have been very difficult for all in general. The new normal in a world where Covid-19, unfortunately, has become part of our life and will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life. The Union Budget 2022 -23 is being keenly watched by many sectors. The 3rd & 4th quarters of 2021 did see the economy looking up, the third wave or Omnicron which hit us in mid-December was the dampener.
The Startup India was launched in 2016 and recently the Honourable PM announced January 16th as the “National Start-up Day”, this sector is looking at the budget with hope in giving the sector the necessary boost after a trying 2 years.
Amit Relan, Director & Co-Founder, mFilterIt: “The start-up ecosystem in India has already emerged as the third-largest in the global market, which highlights the massive growth of the sector in the recent years. Moving ahead, the ecosystem requires a more focused approach in terms of access to capital, allocation of more funds by the government, policy reforms for ease of doing business and creating a more supportive ecosystem in view of the pandemic’s impact.
About the Indian ad-tech industry, it’s likely to cross $10 billion in revenue by 2030, making it one of the key contributors in terms of growth, job creation, and export of services. In the global as well as Indian market, we can observe increasing ad spending over digital platforms which is likely to reach 60% of total advertising spends in 2022. Even the Indian government’s overall spending on digital advertising – including national and state governments – has already topped 3000 crores per annum, which involves outreach, promotion, and adverts. At the same time, today the techniques and tricks used by the bad actors in the value chain -pose a greater threat to advertisers’ reputations through Brand Safety and Brand Infringement issues, leading to about 7-8% wastage of the overall digital spends.
In this view, one of our key recommendations for the upcoming budget would be that the government should subject digital advertising expenditures to auditing in the same way that it subjects other expenditures, which goes beyond determining if procedural regulations were followed and include auditing for results as well.
The government, with a vision of a $1 trillion digital economy and the massive shift to digitalization in recent years, should also pay attention to the ad-tech industry and take financial steps to help India’s existing ecosystem chart progress that will not only make India Atmanirbhar in the domain but also globally. Moreover, launching unique output-linked initiatives for the sector is crucial for India to position itself as a worldwide leader.”
Ratan Deep Singh, India CEO, SkillUp Online: “We would really hope and expect the Indian Govt. to step up investments & focus on Digital infrastructure especially in the rural & semi-urban areas of India. A larger focus and stepped-up investments will help fast track the digital skilling of rural and semi-urban populations in India, thereby solving multiple issues of unemployment, the massive upcoming gap in demand & supply of future jobs, making India a global hub for digital investments.
Additionally, to promote and encourage digital skilling in India, we would hope that the GST rates could be reduced to 5% given that pricing is definitely a concern especially for students, unemployed & underprivileged communities.
Moreover, we would welcome and appreciate any GOI initiatives and subsidies to promote digital learning for learners and edtech companies working in this space”.
Roshan Farhan- Founder and CEO, Gobillion: “This year’s budget will be an important one to watch out for – given the Government’s focus in promoting start-ups and entrepreneurship in the country. We look forward to a startup-friendly budget – with a focus on making starting a company easier, streamlined compliance mechanisms, and avenues for access to capital for early-stage start-ups. We look forward to the Budget providing incentives to startups in tier 2+ towns to promote a more inclusive start-up ecosystem. Start-ups in India will contribute strongly to realize our vision of a $5 trillion economy in the next few years.”
Siddharth Kukatlapalli, Co-Founder and CBO, Syntizen: “India, together, has moved towards the ‘e’ world. Whether it is commerce, finance, agriculture, education and learning, corporate, or any other industry you pick, technology and the Internet have reached all households in the country, in some way or the other. With the pandemic hitting the economy, the Internet and technology infrastructure held the country and its people up and functioning. Keeping all this in mind, we must acknowledge that the ‘Digital Way’ is the way for the present and the future. As we move closer to the budget announcements, we are eagerly waiting to know what is new and upcoming for this year for all digital businesses – big, medium, and small. With the adequate infrastructure, right audience (which already exists in the country), and ample support, Digital Businesses can flourish and support the people and the economy in all ways possible”.
While we talk about our expectations from the budget, as the founder of a digital startup, we are always looking forward to the support that the government brings for us every year. Today, India stands third globally, after China and the USA, with the most number of unicorn startups. We are the future and we are making a better future. The startup ecosystem together has always been supported by the government and looks forward to the same in the year that is waiting ahead of us.
Shalu Jha, Co-founder & Director, PRandit Solution: “At a time when the Covid-19 threat is still looming large on the Indian economy, the upcoming Union Budget should focus on enabling collective economic growth and supportive aid for various industry sectors, including the services sector and the media sector. At the same time, I would also like to see a focused push and incentivization for digital media platforms and start-ups in the media and communications industry in order to allow them to prosper. Especially given that the accelerated adoption of digital and social media networks has now given more power in the hands of the nation’s consumers, some stimulus packages and futuristic policy moves focusing on digital infrastructure building and media-tech will be furthermore welcome and encouraging.”
Mangesh Panditrao, CEO & Co-Founder, Shoptimize: “Relaxation in GST for D2C brands: The GST rate for services is higher than and the products these brands sell. Usually, the GST credit takes time to be refunded, impacting their liquidity and cash flow. A reduction in GST can thus play a critical role in business continuity.
Reduce duties on oil: Tier 2 & 3 cities are contributing to eCommerce sales in a big way and to boost the sales further, a reduction in transportation costs will help companies save costs”.
Pranav Dangi, Founder of Hosteller: The prolonged effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the overall hospitality sector has created a burden on small to medium scale players to service their debt obligations. On-going pressure on such players to maintain high operational standards, as required in the hospitality industry, has pushed them towards higher operational costs and thereby leading to inability to service their debts. We feel, in the 2022-23 budget, the GoI shall create provisions to create liquidity for the travel & tourism industry, provide directions to the central bank to roll out low interest working capital loan schemes and expedite the paperwork process. This shall navigate the industry through the difficulties imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.