Tech Leaders’ Reaction on Union Budget 2023-24

Tech Leaders’ Reaction on Union Budget 2023-24

The Union Budget 2023 has brought many announcements from government for strengthening the country’s digital ecosystem. The market players have welcomed this budget and applauded the policies announced by Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman. Here are the views of key IT leaders on the budget announcements. Take a look

“The Government Aims to Formulate 100 Labs That Will Be Effective to Develop 5G Services”

“The Indian government's growing interest in building a Technology driven Indian Economy will be a pioneering move for building world class digital structure. In today's budget, we saw the government's major focus on Robotics, Drones, and Artificial Intelligence along with implementing a strong National Data Government Policy. This budget projects to empower the youth by focusing on new-age skills and coding. India aims to become one-stop solution and this will be a major relief for the MSME sector. During the 2023 -24 Budget, the government aims to formulate 100 labs that will be effective to develop 5G services and very evidently pictures positive growth for India. The budget looks favorable and aims at improving the threat landscape margin in India by implementing 3 centers of excellence for Artificial intelligence. India’s growth being the highest among major economies is a powerful aspect and will definitely be able to drive the path to create a Technology driven economy.” - Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia)

“The Comprehensive Set of Steps Outlined in The Budget Will Help Propel India Towards Its Goal of Becoming A $5 Trillion Economy”

“We congratulate the Honourable Finance Minister on the first budget of ‘AmritKaal’, which is forward-looking and focused on enhancing India’s digital infrastructure that will help us deliver the vision of Digital India. It is a progressive budget that underscores technology-driven growth. The investment in core infrastructure will require significant thrust on digital infrastructure including digitization and automation. The budget has outlined measures to provide impetus for technology-driven accelerated change and technology will also work as a key deflationary measure. The comprehensive set of steps outlined in the budget will help propel India towards its goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy and lead in the Techade.”

“The budget has also done well to provide for innovation in the areas of AI, Materials, 5G through CoEs and for developing and enhancing the digital talent pool in the country. This will help fully realize our demographic dividend, specifically towards preparing youth for international opportunities and taking the skilling to last mile through setting up of 30 Skill India International Centres across states. At IBM, we appreciate the Government’s endeavours in strengthening the emerging technology ecosystem and we are confident that the Government’s proposal to set up 100 labs across engineering institutions to develop applications for 5G services will go a long way in developing cutting edge ICT services in India, for India and for the world. IBM remains keen to forge partnerships to drive this change. India is all set for leading the change and usher in green growth which is aptly visible in the green credits to green energy to green mobility to green farming, which has found its place in the budget this year.” - Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia

“The Budget Will Certainly Pave The Way For Tech-Enabled Growth For The Country”

"With a clear focus on inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development and unlocking the nation's potential, the Union Budget 2023-24 is comprehensive to fast-track growth. From strengthening India’s prowess in technology and AI and being future ready to truly unleashing the potential of 5G, the budget is holistic in its approach and will certainly pave the way for tech-enabled growth for the country in the coming years. Coupled with strategic focus on building infrastructure and connectivity in sectors including transportation and aviation will have a significant impact in making India a more agile economy, and in making the daily lives of citizens more convenient and efficient. We look forward to collaborating with the government to help shape India’s digital future." - Aalok Kumar, President and CEO, NEC Corporation India

“The Indian Government Has Put A Strong Emphasis On Becoming A Technology-Driven And Knowledge-Based Economy”

“The Indian government has put a strong emphasis on becoming a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy through this budget. With more than 400% increase in infrastructure investment, in comparison to 2014, comes a greater need to protect our country’s critical data and IT assets as well. With “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India” objectives, 3 specialized Artificial Intelligence centers being set-up in top educational institutions will create an effective AI ecosystem empowering India to lead the AI revolution globally. This also will help bridge the skill-gap that exists in the field. With this digital enablement across sectors, there is even bigger responsibility for Cybersecurity players in India to keeping the economy and its people safe.” – Dr. Sanjay Katkar, Jt. Managing Director & Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies

“This Budget Fully Supports The Vision Of A Self-Reliant And Cyber-Safe India”

“In the year 2022, India witnessed an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks and their level of sophistication. Cybercriminals are using new and advanced AI technology to attack Indian government agencies and businesses in India to cause significant damage to the country’s reputation. The 2023 Union Budget showcased our government's focus on strengthening the digital infrastructure of the country, which finds a clear reflection in the National Data Governance policy which will create a secure channel to access anonymized data. This budget fully supports the vision of a self-reliant and cyber-safe India. Some of the key takeaways include the three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI work for India', online training platforms for government employees, impetus on creating informative and accessible digital public infrastructure for agriculture and the setting up of a National Digital Library for children and adolescents amongst others. With this, I am confident that cybersecurity has become more relevant than ever, and will be the make or break for the economic progress.” - Dr. Kailash Katkar, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Quick Heal Technologies

“Provisions Like The Establishment Of Three CoW For AI Will Support The Creation Of A Stronger Technology Infrastructure In The Country”

“Cybersecurity has for long been a critical matter of concern, especially in light of rapid digitization. With the rollout of 5G and cloud migration, there has been a significant uptick in cyberattacks across the country. In 2022, we have seen the rise of ransomware against critical infrastructure, with education (15%), municipalities (12%), healthcare (12%), infrastructure (8%), and financial (6%) being the five key targeted industries according to research. The Union Budget announcement today paints a favourable picture for the sector with the introduction of the National Data Governance policy which will help academia and start-ups gain access to anonymised data by the government.”

“Provisions like the establishment of three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions noting that 'Make AI in India' and to 'Make AI work for India' will support the creation of a stronger technology infrastructure in the country. This will further boost the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. That being said, Budget 2023 amply highlights the greater focus that the government has placed on string digital infrastructure and technology at large. And, we are hopeful that today’s announcement will have an inherently positive effect on the sector.” - Parag Khurana, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India

“Government Is Fast Tracking 5G Adoption With Focus On Application Development, Training, Smart Transport And Healthcare”

“As announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2023, the government shared its exemplary vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ which includes a technology-driven, knowledge-based sustainable economy. The government appears to cover a vast gamut of sectors and some of the priority areas are Digital India, 5G services, upskilling and building a cyber resilient nation. This is expected to drive the next phase of cybersecurity infrastructure in the country thereby bringing in focus around solutions providing stronger compliance, data privacy, IoT security, advanced detection, and response.”

“Government is fast tracking 5G adoption with focus on application development, training, smart transport and healthcare. The combination of 5G and IoT would result in massive growth in the number of connected devices. Hence it will be critical for organizations to protect their IT, IoT, IoMT and OT device landscape against growing cyberattacks. The initiative of setting up CoEs for artificial intelligence (AI) with a vision of “Make AI work for India” will further boost the government’s aim of “Digital India.” AI is critical in every sector today and more so in cybersecurity where there is a growing need to improve visibility, compliance, detection, and response through automation.” - Subbu Iyer, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Forescout Technologies Inc.

 “We Embrace The Government's Efforts To Position India As A Global Digital Power”

“The budget highlights several initiatives to maximize our economy's potential. The emphasis on the creation of scalable solutions for agriculture, the health sector, and sustainable cities, among others is important to spark an efficient AI ecosystem that resonates with the mission of E42. With three centers being set up for AI-led skill development, we embrace the government's efforts to position India as a global digital power. This comprehensive approach towards promoting the development and adoption of AI technologies in the country is sure to drive economic growth!” - Animesh Samuel, CEO and Co-Founder, E42

“The Union Budget For 2023-24 Will Pave The Way For The Green Empowerment Of The Country”

“The union budget for 2023-24 will pave the way for the green empowerment of the country and reflects the progressive attitude of the government toward sustainable development. We welcome the vision of the government of India in establishing and boosting the focus on green growth. As India’s new budget envisions 7 priorities, green growth is among the top priorities of it. In its budget, the government has announced a large sum of Rs 35,000 crore to be allocated towards achieving the net zero goal and energy transition. The government has set its target to reach green hydrogen production of 5 MMT by 2030. This will encourage the private sector involved in green renewable energy-based products to expand their business and invest more in the business of green energy. The government’s green growth efforts will help in reducing carbon impact, promote green alternatives and create space for employment. It will enable the use of green-based products at a larger scale among the common public. The government’s green signal to green growth will give an edge to companies like electric vehicle manufacturers to market their products and enhance the opportunities for industry players to cater to their target audiences. This will also help in meeting the carbon offset program of various companies in the green sector.” - Akshit Bansal, Founder & CEO, Statiq

“Government’s Announcement of Setting Up 3 CoE for AI to Will Be a Major Breakthrough for Tech-Involved Companies”

“The big push for artificial intelligence in the union budget 2023-24 signifies that the government is ready to go on a large-scale technological ride. This decision is going to prove constructive for existing and emerging startups. The government’s announcement of setting up 3 centres of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) to research and develop cutting-edge applications in India will be a major breakthrough for tech-involved companies. These centres will be set up in top educational institutions where students will also learn new innovations in artificial intelligence, upskilling them to become experts in artificial intelligence and its related trends. It will create a space for potential employment opportunities as well. This move will cater to the government’s vision of ‘Make AI in India. Make AI work for India’. With the help of AI advancements, there will be an effective AI ecosystem in which companies can grow beyond expectations. In this system, leading industry players will contribute to conducting research and developing innovative solutions in different sectors.” - Raghav Arora, Co-Founder & CTO, Statiq 

“The Proposed 100 Labs For Development Of Applications Leveraging 5G Services Is An Exciting Step To Drive 5G Adoption”

“I feel that the establishment of the centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI work for India’ is a great step towards mining the opportunities that the sector holds for our youth. Digitization is our new reality and without a doubt, these labs show a concentrated effort to increase the range of opportunities in business models, employment potential, Intelligent transports systems, healthcare, and more. The proposed 100 labs for development of applications leveraging 5G services is an exciting step to drive 5G adoption. The improved network connectivity & availability of rich media applications will create infinite opportunities especially in education & healthcare sectors” - Pankaj Gupta, Founder and CEO, 

“The Green Initiatives In The Budget Demonstrate Government's Commitment To Supporting Transition Towards More Sustainable Future”

"The focus on the green economy not only addresses climate change problems but also provides a favorable environment for startups like those in the water and climate-tech domain to grow and expand. The green initiatives in the budget, such as the reduction of indirect taxes on customs duty for the green economy and the allocation of funds towards the Ministry of Energy, Oil, and Petroleum and the National Green Hydrogen Mission, demonstrate the government's commitment to supporting the transition towards a greener and more sustainable future. This presents growth opportunities for startups in this field and can help drive their success and expansion in the coming years." - Swapnil Shrivastav, Co-founder, Uravu Labs

"Triple Policies of Backing 5G, Giving Custom Relief to Smartphones, And Special Schemes For MSMEs Will Accelerate Smartphone And Mobile Apps Adoption”

"The triple policies of backing 5G, giving custom relief to smartphones, and special schemes for MSMEs will accelerate the smartphone and mobile apps adoption for the smallest of businesses. This incentivizes larger tech players to build mobile-first software for India's next billion. SMBs will literally leapfrog the digital divide with smartphone and business app access. We are looking at the era of a million smart businesses emerging from India." - Rimjhim Ray, Vice President of Marketing, MyOperator

“We Appreciate Our Government’s Support And Strong Commitment To Digital Transformation”

“As a country with a rich history of innovation and a rapidly growing tech sector, India is uniquely positioned to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and drive economic growth and social progress. Over the years, AI has been demonstrating its potential to transform various industries, from healthcare and finance to manufacturing and retail. Today, at the Union Budget 2023-2024, our government’s vision of ‘Make AI in India’ & ‘Make AI Work for India’ and strengthening it by setting up three centers of excellence for AI in top educational institutions is a remarkable step towards leading the AI revolution and becoming a global hub for AI innovation.”

“Additionally, the establishment of 100 laboratories in engineering institutes for 5G apps will enable India in becoming a center for digital capacity on a worldwide scale. The allocation of funds and initiatives aimed at upskilling the workforce, promoting research and development, and leveraging AI for various sectors, is a positive step towards a future where technology and humanity coexist for the betterment of society. We appreciate our government’s support and strong commitment to digital transformation, and I strongly believe that our country is poised to create a more prosperous and inclusive future for all.” - Piyush Jha, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Technology APAC, GlobalLogic

“Government’s Strong Push Towards A Technology-Driven And Knowledge-Based Economy Will Boost Job Creation Across Sectors”

“Despite a global slowdown, India has seen sustained job growth in a few sectors. Indeed data shows that overall job postings as of January 2023 stands at 203% above the pre pandemic baseline of February 2020. The government’s strong push towards a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy will boost job creation across sectors, especially in healthcare, technology and renewable energy. According to Indeed’s data, nursing has had the highest job postings as of December 2022 and this is likely to increase with the government's push towards improving nurse-patient ratio. The focus on reducing the country's carbon footprint is also expected to create more green jobs in EV and renewable energy sectors. Indeed’s platform saw an increase of 468% for ESG job roles in the past three years. The increased capital expenditure would mean strong growth in the job market especially in the blue collar workforce. Our research revealed that a 9-11 million strong gig workforce is to be added to our job market in the next three years. It will be interesting to see how the job market shifts in the next couple of quarters as India might experience the after-effects of global recession.” - Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India

“Provisions for Enhanced DigiLocker Facilities, Credit Guarantee Schemes, And Benefits Of Presumptive Taxation Are Worth Applauding”

“The Union Budget 2023-2024 announced numerous programmes that extend a lot of legroom for strengthening, development, and acceleration of MSMEs in India. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS) and Vivad Se Vishwas offer strong impetus to drive the growth story of MSMEs by fortifying financial support, access to skill training and digital tools through brand promotion and digital payments as well as supporting through relief measures. Provisions by the Indian Government for enhanced DigiLocker facilities, credit guarantee schemes, and benefits of presumptive taxation are also worth applauding. It will usher in AmritKaal and extend Indias’ cherished goals of Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Digital India.”  - Rahul Raj, Co-Founder & CEO, FloBiz

“The Budget For 2023 Is Forward Looking And Focuses On Enhancing Talent Development”

“The budget for 2023 is forward looking and focuses on enhancing talent development and training in digital skills. PMKVY 4.0 will definitely be a boon to bridge the gap especially for the emerging technology sectors where skill manpower is the biggest challenge. The state of the art on job training programmes like coding, artificial intelligence, robotics, mechatronix, 3D printing, internet of things, drones, and other soft skills will surely pave the way for India to lead the world in the technology sector.”

“Alone drone sector in India to witness a demand of 1,00,000 trained drone pilots in next 2 years and we are hopeful that with the launch of PMKVY 4.0 and emphasis on new age skilling and training this will be addressed adequately. The healthcare sector was also a major focus of the budget. Leading business players will collaborate to perform interdisciplinary research, create cutting-edge apps, and find scalable solutions to issues in the fields of sustainable cities, agriculture, and health. Furthermore, three Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be established in top educational institutions. Impetus to the healthcare industry will benefit the drone industry by increasing adoption in the healthcare sector to reach rural pockets.” - Ankit Kumar, CEO, Skye Air Mobility

“The Announcement of Setting Up 100 Labs for Developing 5G Services Apps Will Open Up A New Range Of Opportunities”

“We welcome the Amrit Kaal Union Budget 2023 with an optimistic perspective. The new income tax regime will result in stimulating local demand and consumption in the economy. The rise of India’s position from an importer to an exporter of mobile phones in India augurs well for the online gaming sector. Moreover, the announcement of setting up 100 labs for developing 5G services apps for smart classrooms, healthcare, and others will open up a new range of opportunities and potential employment. Simplifying the KYC system process will further help in realizing ‘Digital India’ and will enable a seamless experience for consumers. Lastly, the ‘Make in India’ vision will further get a boost with a focus on “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, online gaming companies can develop new AI-based advancements that can provide a first-of-its-kind experience to users.” - Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Finance Officer, Baazi Games

“With The Launch of The National Data Governance Policy, Indian Users And Companies Can Now Access Anonymized Data”

“We are glad that in this year’s budget, a greater focus has been given to Digital India where technology is an enabler for the economic and overall development of the nation. For India to adopt and implement emerging technologies, a robust skilled workforce is needed. And the provision of the Skill India Digital Platform is the right step in making a highly skilled workforce. It will unify and enable demand-based formal skilling, which has been much needed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. With the Skill India Digital Platform and the proposed National Digital Library, we are confident that young Indians will have the resources to upskill in areas like AI, automation, and robotics, which will in turn make Digital India a reality. With the launch of The National Data Governance Policy, Indian users and companies can now access anonymized data, which will provide greater opportunities for innovation. These are exciting times for a tech-enabled India, and soon the country will become a talent powerhouse for the world.” - Arun Balasubramanian, VP & MD, India & South Asia, UiPath

“This Budget Has Been Very Encouraging for Real Bharat”

"In a significant relief to the common man, the Modi government made five major announcements in the personal income tax space in the Union Budget. The tax breaks are clearly aimed at the hardworking middle class. According to current income tax slabs, a salaried employee earning up to Rs 5 lakh does not have to pay income tax under either the old or new tax regimes. The new tax regime has reduced this rebate limit to Rs 7 lakh. A new personal tax regime with six income tax slabs beginning at Rs 2.5 lakh was implemented in 2020. It is now proposed to reduce the number of tax brackets to five and raise the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh. Income between 12 and 15 L is taxed at 20% under the new regime. The standard deduction benefit is proposed to be extended to the new tax regime. Under the new tax regime, the highest surcharge rate on income above Rs 5 crore will be reduced from 37% to 25%. The final significant change in personal income tax is the increase in the leave encashment exemption limit for non-government salaried employees from Rs 3L to Rs 25L upon retirement.”

“This will put more money in the hands of individuals for investments. The additional liquidity will also help to improve the economic scenario by increasing overall spending power. The youth have been given a considerable impetus to make strategic investments, and insurance will also significantly boost. The money saved by tax breaks is expected to be invested in health and life insurance. Overall, this budget has been very encouraging for Real Bharat." -  Haresh Awatramani, Founder & CEO, Beehive HR Solution

“We Look Forward to The National Governance Policy That Will Be Brought Out to Unleash Innovation And Research” 

“The Budget 2023 presented by Hon'ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman was very progressive and rightly backed by the tech-driven Amritkaal Vision. The government's vision to "Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India," as well as its emphasis on strengthening AI infrastructure through the establishment of three excellence centers, will provide a significant boost to the Indian technology sector. We welcome the resolution of integrating 100 labs in engineering institutions for developing apps using 5G services, which will open a new doors of opportunities, business models, and employment potentialities. Being a digital engineering company that is constantly thriving on technological innovations to support the data governance practices of businesses, we look forward to the national governance policy that will be brought out to unleash innovation and research.”  Rajesh Sinha, Founder and Chairman, Fulcrum Digital

“The Budget Focuses On Infrastructure With A Planned Outlay Of Over INR 10 Lakh Crores”

“The Finance Minister has provided a shot in the arm for Green Hydrogen initiatives by announcing an outlay of INR 19744 crores for the Green Hydrogen Mission. Green Hydrogen is critical for achieving low-emission targets and meeting India’s sustainable development goals. Its incorporation into the fuel mix will provide dependable power supplies that will augment energy security across India. Of this outlay, approximately INR 17490 crores will be used to incentivise the production of green hydrogen and the manufacturing of electrolyzers. The Green Hydrogen Mission plans to create a green hydrogen production capacity of around 5 million tonnes per annum with an addition in renewable energy capacity of around 125 gigawatts by 2030. The budget focuses on infrastructure with a planned outlay of over INR 10 lakh crores. This transition to clean energy will serve as an impetus for India to reap significant economic potential and lead on the global front, given its favorable geography and agreeable production conditions.”

“It is great news for businesses like us who are focused on telecom infrastructure and building green hydrogen integrators. We are very pleased with the development as it is forward-looking and should set the ball rolling for a more resilient and sustainable future. The budget would undoubtedly hasten India's transition to clean energy and zero carbon emission target by 2070 which is already afoot and well ahead by nine years of its COP 21-Paris Summit targets. These measures are clearly in the right direction.” - Shalin Sheth, Founder, Managing Director, Advait Infratech Limited

“The Budget Will Help To Focus Specifically On Emerging Markets And Sports”

"The sports sector in India has been granted the largest budget allocation in its history and from a venture capital perspective will be positive as it is helpful towards entrepreneurs that are solving real pain points in the sports industry. The massive increase of over 300 Crores in the Union Budget effectively shows a steady rise for the Indian Sports and Venture Capital Industry as it helps startups gain more support in funding and mentorship programs. The budget will help to focus specifically on emerging markets and sports such as cricket, golf, beach sports, and e-sports among others. India’s growth being the highest among major economies is a powerful aspect that will aim to encourage participation of youth and women in the sports activities in our country." - Sangeet Shirodkar, CEO and Co-founder, 27th Sports

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