Monday, February 3, 2020

India Inc Views on the Budget 2000 Across Industry Tech Sectors

Supria Dhanda, Vice President and Country Manager, Western Digital India sharing her perspective on today’s budget announcement.

“With the announcement of the Budget 2020, it is motivating to see the initiatives to further advance the technology sector. We look forward to collaborate with the Government and industry to fuel the vision for data-centric innovations. The government’s plan to enable the private sector to build data center parks across the country highlights the huge potential of data. Addressing the need for technology and stressing on the importance of AI, Analytics and IoT will enable the country to embrace the technological advancements required to succeed today. We are happy to see the Government’s efforts to drive a positive change and position India as a technology leader.” said Supria Dhanda, Vice President and Country Manager, Western Digital India", said Supria Dhanda, Vice President and Country Manager, Western Digital India.

IDSign, a Bangalore-based digital signing and verification management startup.

Naveen Chava, CEO, IDSign reacted, "With today's union budget themed around three strong aspects- Aspirational India, Economic Development and Caring Society, the Government of India has reassured its promise in promoting the Indian startup ecosystem for a vibrant and inclusive economy. The proposals aimed at bringing fundamental structural reforms and digital governance such as setting up investment advisory cell online to help young entrepreneurs with faster clearance and launch of seed fund to support early-stage startups come as a major booster for the sector. The decision to relax much-awaited Esops is a laudable move which will now help startups to attract new talent pool. Additionally, the allocation of 3000 crore for development of skill India programme testifies the government's urge to embrace the proliferation of future-readying technologies- Analytics, IoT, AI  Quantum Computing and so on among rural youths to make them part of digital India. Also, the government's step to mandate aadhaar-based verification on indirect taxes would certainly widen lucrative business opportunities for companies like us operating in the area of digital signing and verification management."   

We welcome and feel motivated with the budget announced today by FM highlighting ‘Technology’ as one of the important pillars that will help in making India a $5 Tn economy soon. Triggering the digital revolution with use of new-age technologies like IoT, AI and Machine Learning in economic, healthcare and agriculture development, government should also focus on using the allocated funds for automation and mechanisation in these fields. With these initiatives, technology companies like Aeris will be able to provide IOT technology services like  efficient waste management and higher productivity in the field of agriculture, utilities, finance, asset assurance  and fleet management and more.  On the other hand, the new budget initiatives positively addressed the skill-gap problem. The upcoming digital era presents a complex skilling challenge with a clear need to develop the skillset. The apprenticeship embedded degree, online education program and study in India program will equip the upcoming Indian professionals with the essential knowledge and competencies to navigate the data-driven world of tomorrow. Having said that, we are excited to see the next steps on how the plans are being executed.” Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications.

“We laud the budget presented by Hon'ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget has clearly recognized the importance of Talent, Technology and Entrepreneurship in the growth of the country. It is commendable to see the continuous commitment of the government to bridge the skill gap and to develop India's large talent pool, for which the govt. has allocated INR 3,000 crores towards skilling. Technology is a given and digital technology is the force driving the turmoil for this industry, whose future is yet to be unleashed. The proposal of a policy to set up data centre farms throughout the country will push more efficiency on data, as data is the new oil, but right now it is in the form of crude oil. The budget also focused on the national mission for quantum computing and application, this will position India with globally elite countries. India would probably be the third biggest and a pioneering nation if we can break into this technology. It is also commendable to see an extra push given to the manufacturing ecosystem in the country. The budget 2020 is a step forward in achieving the nation’s goal of a $5 trillion economy.” Said Dharmender Kapoor, CEO & MD, Birlasoft.

Subrat Mohanty, Group President, Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) remarks, The Union Budget 2020 has boosted the education sector with the allocation of INR 99,300 Cr. We, at the Manipal Group, are heartened by the government's investment (of Rs 3000 Cr) in the skill development sector. We believe it will bring focus on some new age skills that will be invaluable in training the world's largest working-age population.

Another progressive change we look forward to is that degrees can be taken online and will be offered by the Top 100 NIRF ranked institutes. As a NIRF Top 10 institute with strong tech credentials, we believe this change will have a significant impact in the coming years. The proposal by the FM to attract external commercial borrowing and FDI into the education sector would boost funding and thus infrastructure in the educational institutions in the country.

Also, the announcement that the government will hold an IND-SAT exam for Asian and African students for scholarships to ‘Study in India’ would help internationalise the Indian student community. It will also help build India's reputation as a leading global education destination.

Kushal Agarwal, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, XOXODAY
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has suggested several measures to the finance ministry for start-ups in the Budget. The initiatives in Esop vesting is a big relief for employees who want to join startups and for companies to hire high-quality talent by offering esops. We also look forward to Income tax brackets improvements will further benefit with disposable cash flow for individuals and help boost spends in economy. The budget could have been better from structural reforms to boost levers for growth which is in struggle now.

Education and Design Tech
JD Institute of Fashion Technology- Nealesh Dalal - Managing Trustee
"The Union Budget 2020 has proposed aspirational changes that have the capability to turnaround the education sector. Apart from allocating considerable finance to the educational sector as a whole- INR 99,300, an intriguing aspect is the budget’s focus on skill development with an allocation of 3,000 crores. Design Technology has longed for this demeanor of development where we hope to see the youth of India and especially women choosing it as a career to sharpen their skills. We are eager to see the government’s involvement in bringing more impetus in the design sector. The budget’s focus on encouraging entrepreneurship and boosting internship prospects is another progressive reform for the youth of India and the Make in India initiative.”

Education and HR
Ambrish Sinha, CEO, MeritTrac Services
The Union budget 2020 has proposed propitious changes that have the potential to revolutionize the education sector. The budget of INR 99,300, allocated to the sector will help to improve the overall quality of education and create employment opportunities. An appreciative step of the government is the proposal to set up a national recruitment agency for the conduct of computer-based online common eligibility tests for recruitment to the non-gazetted posts. This is a step in the right direction to bring transparency, efficiency and ‘best in class’ technology-enabled solutions to the recruitment process. MeritTrac as a leader in CBT assessments welcomes this initiative and we hope to leverage this opportunity.

The plan to allow degree level full-fledged online education programme by institutions ranked in the top 100 NIRF ranking would only facilitate the process of increasing employable talent. The 3000 crores budget allocated on skill development will help to produce industry-ready graduates to address employability gaps. The FM also focused on how technology like machine learning, robotics, and AI along with the number of productive age groups (15-65 years) are crossing streams in India. The Union Budget 2020 has taken care of all majority reforms and we look forward to a quick uptake in this period of the economic slowdown. The government's proposal to start a programme for urban local bodies to provide opportunities for internships to young engineers can increase the talent pool of employable people at a time when unemployment is a major cause for concern. The Finance Minister's proposal for a National Police University and National Forensic University is also a welcomed step.

Education and Skilling
Vishwanathan Iyer, Professor – Finance Area, Associate Dean (Academics), TAPMI
“Overall it is a bold pro-middle class, pro-corporate and forward-looking budget. The big message is that Wealth Creators shall be respected. Big and bold moves such as raising the threshold for Income tax as well as the abolition of DDT. Simplified GST norms, revisiting Rule of Origin requirements and also tightening of regulations relating to dumping of goods greatly benefit the MSME sector. Multiple reforms for improving the financial architecture. Partial Divestment of LIC and IDBI proposed should bring more retail participation in the market.

The key thing to be kept in mind is that FM has not allowed Fiscal Deficit to spiral out of control.

This should definitely boost business sentiment”

Rajiv V. Shah, Professor, Chairperson-Finance Area, TAPMI
“The focus on transport infrastructure development is welcome and needs to be pushed forward with even more vigour. This leads to immediate benefits such as employment, and in the long run, also helps to develop the economy through reduced transportation costs and improved connectivity. The proposal to rationalize the tax structure by giving an option to pay tax at reduced rates if deductions are not claimed can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it definitely leads to simplification of the return filing activity and saving manpower and energy on verification of claims of deductions. However, it can also lead to a shift in the investing and savings pattern of the taxpayer as the current investments have the added benefit of tax savings built into the returns. This could possibly be replaced by other savings options or even enhanced spending. While this could be beneficial in the short run, it could affect the post-retirement corpus building activity.”

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