As the nation eagerly awaits Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of the Interim Budget 2024 in the Parliament on February 1, the tech industry leaders are bracing themselves for potential announcements that could shape the economic landscape ahead of the upcoming elections.
Here’s a breakdown of their perspectives:
Krishna Mohan Jha, Founder and CEO at Nine Triangles:
As we approach the Union Budget for 2024, the enablers of Digital India are brimming with expectations from the government. This burgeoning industry, a major employer with a footprint extending across creative, technological, media, and data domains, needs a well-defined industry identity and explicit government recognition.
Currently, the landscape of digital media enablers remains somewhat unorganized, often sharing identities with sectors such as technology, IT, ITES, and advertising. The advent of a distinct and recognized identity for the Digital Industry is imperative for its holistic development and integration into the broader economic framework. To propel this sector forward, a strategic focus within the Union Budget is essential.
Measures such as emergency credit lines, the establishment of focused Special Economic Zones (SEZs), targeted incentives, and comprehensive policy representations are pivotal for the industry’s expansion and stability. A more tailored approach by the government will not only foster innovation but also support sustainable growth, enabling an increased global share in digital delivery from India.”
Yuvraj Shidhaye, Founder and Director, TreadBinary
Anticipating the Union Budget 2024-25’s stance on the technology sector, I hold high hopes for a progressive approach that underscores the significance of ‘Make in India.’ The emphasis on streamlining Advanced Pricing Agreements (APAs) and Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAPs) is pivotal, offering clarity that not only benefits multinational tech entities but also fosters an environment conducive to innovation and collaboration, aligning with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Within this context, the taxation structure surrounding royalty payments for leveraging technological capabilities gains paramount importance. A robust policy in this realm will not only stimulate technology transfer but also ensure equitable taxation, providing impetus to both domestic and foreign investments in our tech sector, and fortifying the ‘Make in India’ vision.
The Union Budget holds the potential to go beyond fiscal frameworks; it stands as a beacon to incentivize homegrown innovation and strengthen our technological landscape. A well-balanced Budget will not only nurture innovation but also significantly contribute to the growth trajectory of ‘Make in India,’ solidifying India’s position as a global tech hub.
Sumit, CEO and Co-founder at DashLoc
As we eagerly await the Finance Budget 2024, DashLoc envisions a budget that champions startups, fostering Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and innovation for resource generation and employment opportunities.
Expecting initiatives promoting tailored upskilling programs in AI, we look forward to partnerships between educational institutions and the industry, ensuring a steady pipeline of skilled professionals for the tech sector.
In India’s retail-dominated market, the government’s ONDC platform is set to transform purchasing patterns over the next five years. Finance Budget 2024 therefore also presents an opportunity to enhance innovation and community-centric solutions, strengthening the role of startups like ours in reshaping hyperlocal discovery with a keen emphasis on personalization and precision.
Ajay Bhutani, Founder & CEO, Bar Code India
Anticipating the 2024 Union Budget, we at Bar Code India (BCI) eagerly look forward to continued government support for the technology sector.
In 2024, we at BCI aspire to further invest in research and development initiatives, foster innovation, and enhance India’s digital infrastructure. An assertive and conducive policy environment encouraging research and development across emerging software and hardware technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things will drive India towards a tech-driven future.
Furthermore, incentivizing domestic manufacturing and investments in PSU digitization with Made-In-India technologies will strengthen and catalyze Indian technology companies. As we navigate the dynamic tech landscape, we trust the government’s commitment to fostering growth in the technology sector, ultimately contributing to the nation’s economic prosperity.
Krish Ramineni, CEO, Fireflies Ai
As we eagerly await the Union Budget 2024, my expectations for the startup ecosystem revolve around fostering innovation and harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Indian startup landscape stands at a crucial juncture, primed to leverage the transformative power of AI in shaping the future of technology and services.
In the next five years, AI-driven advancements promise to revolutionize industries, and the budget must reflect a commitment to incentivizing and supporting startups at the forefront of this wave. By encouraging Research and Development (R&D) investments, we can catalyze a surge in entrepreneurial activity, laying the foundation for groundbreaking solutions that will redefine global standards.
This is an opportune moment for India’s tech ecosystem to shine on the international stage, capitalizing on the momentum generated by influential players like OpenAI and Microsoft. I look forward to a budget that propels our startup community into a future where AI-driven innovation is not just encouraged but integral to our nation’s growth story.”
Sekar Udayamurthy, Co-founder and CEO, Jidoka Technologies
With a positive outlook on AI-based opportunities in India, the Interim Budget 2024-25 should prioritize the seamless integration of AI technology into the manufacturing processes. This presents a significant opportunity, particularly in the quality control domain, and the government should incentivize AI adoption.
Offering incentives and grants, especially by encouraging AI and tech adoption in the sector, along with facilitating access to funding for initiatives like smart warehousing and shopfloor automation, will yield substantial long-term benefits. The government should also take steps to create more awareness of Startup schemes and a single window platform for budding entrepreneurs.
A more favorable funding environment for tech startups is crucial and the reduction of import duties for raw materials, such as steel and copper will further fortify the success of the ‘Make in India’ initiative’.
The government should come up with more initiatives to create platforms and business exchange programs to connect startups with manufacturing companies overseas.
Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, ProcessIT Global
While major announcements may be deferred until after the 2024 General Elections, the upcoming budget presents a key opportunity to lay the groundwork for the country’s future economic growth.
As India solidifies its position as the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem our global impact is undeniable, yet there is untapped potential to create an even more conducive environment for entrepreneurs.
Allocating increased funds specifically for startups in Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Services is vital. There is an urgent need for additional incentives for Research and Development, robust cybersecurity measures, and technology-driven solutions, particularly in light of the escalating threat landscape.
Strategic investments in the further development of cybersecurity technologies are imperative, empowering both businesses and consumers to actively contribute to the digital economy. The imperative to cultivate a talent pool capable of addressing evolving cyber threats is evident. The government’s role is crucial, and it must provide tax breaks for startups to attract and retain talent through comprehensive employee skilling and training programs.
Shreeranganath Kulkarni, Managing Director, InfoVision
As team InfoVision eagerly awaits Budget 2024, we highlight AI’s potential to multiply business efficiencies by up to 10X. We call on the government to bolster AI investments, supporting advancements in quantum computing, social digital innovation, and Explainable AI (XAI).
Crucial to this effort is the upskilling of our workforce and the reform of data governance laws to boost data center investments and enable wider AI/ML adoption. AI’s integration into sectors like urban planning, healthcare, and education will be pivotal. A collaborative governance model ensuring ethical data use is key to driving India towards a $5 trillion economy.