Union Budget 2023 Reactions from Key Tech Leaders

Union Budget 2023 Reactions from Key Tech Leaders

The Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman has finally presented the Union Budget today in parliament for FY 2023-24. This budget is expected to boost the economic growth of India while laying the foundation of modern and digitally empowered India. IT industry had a lot of expectations from finance minister as the stakeholders seek higher growth this year. The budget was planned effectively to meet the expectations of IT industry and fulfil the expectations. FM emphasized on encouraging the sentiment of the market and accelerate the growth of the industry. Government has announced the capital investments towards green energy, 5G labs, digital library, technology driven & knowledge-based economy and etc. The IT industry plays a crucial role in the growth of Indian economy hence the Finance Minister announced several measures to uplift the IT sector. The tech leaders have shared their views on the budget announcement. Read the excerpts below:

“It Is A Very Positive Budget From A Technology Sector Perspective”

“It is a very positive budget from a technology sector perspective, as it sets the right message about 5G labs, setting up AI centre of excellence and the focus around skilling, which is absolutely the key need for the country as we live through the Prime Minister’s vision on TechAde and technology being the core enabler. From a business perspective, steps around ease of doing business have been taken and I think that's commendable. I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister and the government for taking these steps.” - Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra

“Three CoE For AI To Enable 'Make AI For India' And 'Make AI Work For India' Will Stimulate An Effective AI Ecosystem”

“The government has brought a progressive budget that will support green mobility and innovation in the automobile sector. Major steps like National Green Hydrogen Mission and extending the subsidy on EV batteries will help the country to have a seamless transition towards a low carbon intensive and fossil fuel dependent economy, empowering the country to achieve its net zero goals. The three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable 'Make AI for India' and 'Make AI work for India' will stimulate an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field of technology. It will also boost the Public-private partnership in conducting research and developing cutting-edge applications and scalable solutions across industries. In line with the government’s vision of digital India, all these initiatives will help us transform into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” - Hitesh Garg, India Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors.

 “The Infra And Capex Push Of The Budget Will Accelerate India’s Journey To Becoming A $ 5 Trillion Economy”

“The infra and capex push of the budget combined with a focus on creating a tech and knowledge-driven ecosystem will accelerate India’s journey to becoming a $ 5 trillion economy. This will also generate tremendous opportunities for the tech industry in multiple advanced domains like 5G, AI, digital, agri-tech & fintech.” - Sanjeev Singh CEO & MD - CMS IT Services

“Starting From Skilling For Youth, Job Creation, Senior Citizens, And Digitalization To Msmes This Budget Is Unturned Every Stone”

“The 1st budget of Amrit Kaal by honorable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is well divisional. Starting from skilling for youth, job creation, senior citizens, and digitalization to MSMEs this budget is unturned every stone. Envisioned as modinomics, the budget came with high hopes. For the manufacturing and electronics industry, this will be a big relief, as customs duty on many electronics parts imports has been reduced. This means mobiles and consumer electronics will be low cost from now. This will help in value creation, employment generation, and better productivity and provide affordable electronics for Indian consumers. Emphasizing on skill development and value-based knowledge through digital platforms for free is another step to support youth. However, Industry is a bit disappointed as Industry was expecting announcements related to Incentives for domestic design, Expanding the PLI scheme, and Strengthening the supply chain which was the need of the hour. We hope the government will consider our request in the next budget and support the industry in becoming a global manufacturing hub and achieving the Atmanirbhar Bharat dream.” - Mandeep Arora, MD & co-founder, UBON

“The Union Budget 2023 Is A Progressive & Far-Sighted”

“The Union Budget 2023 is a progressive & far-sighted one that lays significant emphasis on supporting the growth of start-ups & proposes several measures aimed at fostering a favourable environment for startups to thrive & succeed. While there is no big-ticket announcement for the FMCE sector as a whole, there are still a few indirect positive impacts on the industry. As per the Economic survey of 2023, India is now the 2nd largest Mobile manufacturer in the World & also saw a 200% increase in rural internet subscriptions as against 158% in urban areas between 2015 & 2021. As announced in the Budget 2023, the GOI’s(Government of India) invested approach of “Reaching the last Mile” to make the remotest area connected and robust plan to leverage 5G services applications for a digitally strong tomorrow, shall further boost the internet penetration in the rural areas. This shall surely bring a new age of opportunity to the FMCE sector with promising growth due to an increase in demand for FMCE products.” - Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, pTron

“The Budget Has Turbocharged Digital India's Dream”

"We welcome the budget for 2023. The budget has turbocharged Digital India's dream through initiatives focused on emerging technologies and improved business policies. Our country has tremendous data sets and with the introduction of the National Data Governance policy, entrepreneurs and startups will have the access to reliable anonymous data enabling them to create world class products. The announcement of creating three centres of excellence will also catalyse startups and entrepreneurs across India to build the next-generation AI ecosystem." - Arvind Kumar, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)

“We Are Delighted to Note That Reduction In Tax”

“Union Budget 2023 heralds good news for both industry and the common man. Honorable FM continues to focus on investments and policies keeping the USD 5 trillion economy ambition in line of sight. Balancing both the strategic and tactical announcements, this budget lays impetus on the seven key priority areas. From investments in setting up CoE for AI in top universities, 100 labs for 5G applications, Rs 35,000 cr for energy transition to concessions on equipment for Lithium Ion cells. It is encouraging to see reduction in custom duties for inputs/parts of certain electronic items like lithium Ion batteries, TV, Camera Lens will improve the feasibility for enhancing backward integration and subsequently enabling local manufacturing of electronics. We are also delighted to note that reduction in tax for both middle and upper class indicates more monies in hand of taxpayer thus stimulating demand and drive consumption.” - Manish Sharma, Chairman, Panasonic Life Solutions India.

“The Government's Emphasis On Digital Infrastructure Will Aid Technology Adoption”

“The Union Budget 2023-24 has put a lot of emphasis on Agritech, fintech, Co-operatives and future technologies like AI, ML, IoT and etc., signaling a positive push towards technologically advanced Digital India & a greener India. The government's emphasis on digital infrastructure through 100 labs to facilitate apps employing 5G services will aid technology adoption that will help the country advance towards more digital applications like smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and healthcare in order to realize new range of options, business models, and job potential. The emphasis on the co-operative sector, Millets, agriculture sector by facilitating Agri-based rural startups certainly will improve the livelihoods of farmers, increase food security and boost exports through open-source digital public infrastructure.  The national data governance policy to be released to encourage innovation and research by startups and academic institutions and will make it possible to obtain anonymous data. Overall, this budget focuses more on Capex spending from the government, while most of the technology related announcements had no budget allocated at the moment. We need to wait for next couple of months to see some budget getting allocated to the technology related initiatives." - Piyush Somani, MD and Chairman, ESDS Software Solutions Ltd

“The Union Budget Has Tweaked Duty On Electronics And Phone Parts”

“The Union Budget has tweaked duty on electronics and phone parts in the Union Budget 2023. In today's budget announcement, the Mobile phone production in India increased from 5.8 crore units valued at over '18,900 crore in 2014–15 to 31 crore units valued at over '2,75,000 crore in the most recent financial year as a result of numerous government initiatives, including the Phased Manufacturing Programme. We suggest reducing the customs charge on the import of some components and inputs, such as camera lenses, and extending the reduced duty on lithium-ion cells for batteries for an additional year in order to further increase domestic value addition in the production of mobile phones. We appreciate this step taken by the government as it makes electronic devices(mobiles) affordable. Eventually more people can be a part of digitalization and use services like 5G internet.”- Lalit Arora, Co-founder, VingaJoy

“The Budget Has Particularly Emphasized On Efficiency And Sustainability As The Key Driving Forces”

“We are firmly aligned with the Government’s vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ which includes a technology-driven, knowledge-based sustainable economy. For the vision of 2070 Net-Zero CO2 Emission, investment in the energy transition will play a crucial role. We at Delta have already implemented many programs for reducing carbon emissions and signed up for many sustainable initiatives like RE100, net zero, green products etc. for a greener tomorrow. Also, all our products offerings are energy-efficient and green solutions that aid in achieving the overall nation’s carbon footprint reduction targets ranging from power quality improvement products to green EV charging solutions etc.”

“The Budget 2023 further focus on sectors that include setting up labs for developing applications using 5G services, railways and enhanced focus on the smart city infrastructure to keep the economy on a steady growth, these are progressive measures and we feel that they will play a critical role for us to become key contributors in these areas and further development. The budget has particularly emphasized on efficiency and sustainability as the key driving forces in the coming years and let all key stakeholders identify and utilise these opportunities to drive the robust growth agenda of the country.” - Niranjan Nayak, MD, Delta Electronics India

“Most The Industry Is Well Taken Care Of And Focus On Strengthening Manufacturing Is Evident”

“A very sensible budget presentation and the FM has been considerate to the common man and industry alike. There is massive commitment of job creation and infrastructure spending which is very well received for India. Modification to the income tax slabs is a delight for the citizens and should encourage more citizens to declare their income statement. Most the industry is well taken care of and focus on strengthening manufacturing is evident. We hope to see some focus and action on the “cost of capital” in future budgets and themes. Backing manufacturing by incentivizing R&D/Design could have been a great addition and we remain hopeful for outlay for design in the forthcoming edition.” - Vikas Jain, Co-Founder, PLAY Design Labs

“The Government's Initiative to Make AI for India is A Welcome One”

“With the government announcing a 10 lakh crore capex budget, which amounts to 3.3% of the country’s GDP and the highest ever outlay for railways and development of over 50 airports, helipads, aerodromes, etc, it is evident that the government is focused on upgrading the country. This has been supported by the development of last-mile connectivity and a push to the tourism industry. There have been multiple schemes and allotments of budget towards entrepreneurial ventures and to the youth of our country as well as collateral-free credit to MSME’s. However, no support has been extended towards the existing private sector setups in policy terms. The government's initiative to Make AI for India is a welcome one and will help in achieving development in rural as well as urban areas. Policy support has been provided to all by reducing compliances and the suggestion to amend 42 central acts which will be a welcome change from an operational perspective.”

“The reduction in duty on open cells is a very welcome one and will help in competing with the volatile international panel market as well. A reduction in GST for higher-sized televisions is still something we look forward to and urge the government to reconsider.” - Pallavi Singh Marwah, Vice President, SPPL (Super Plastronic Pvt. Ltd.)

“Budget 2023 Promises to Sustain and Catalyze India’s Economic and Digital Growth with A Strong Role Played by Technology”

“The Union Budget presented by the Hon’ble Finance Minister is growth-oriented and inclusive. The impetus for the 'Digital India' vision is clear from budgetary allocations across sectors like infrastructure, skill development, sustainability, MSME, and entrepreneurship. This budget provides numerous growth opportunities for the technology industry by bringing digital solutions and innovation in legacy sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, education, railways, healthcare, financial services, and regulatory bodies to turn India into a technology-driven, knowledge-based economy. Also commendable is a clear intent and investment in making India a net zero carbon emission country by 2070 through National Green Hydrogen Mission. Overall, the budget 2023 promises to sustain and catalyze India’s economic and digital growth with a strong role played by technology." - Ramanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India

“The Initiatives Like ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’ And ‘Make AI In India’ Will Promote India’s Startups”

“The government has undertaken a series of proactive steps for the education sector. While the education sector is supported by the National Education Policy (NEP), the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana 4.0 will further catalyse growth through upskilling of the workforce. Additionally, with the focus on skilling and reskilling, edtech players will get more opportunities to form industry alliances to bolster the sector and provide the right tools to learn. The initiatives like ‘Unified Skill India Digital Platform’ and ‘Make AI in India’ will promote India’s startups and the entrepreneurial spirit, and encourage youth to boost their knowledge through various skilling and reskilling programmes. Bolstered by these initiatives, India has the potential to create a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy in the coming future.” said Akshay Munjal, Founder, and CEO, Hero Vired

“We Are Glad That Attention is Given to Bring in Development That Would Positively Impact Our Sector”

“Even though the Budget announcement didn’t specifically bring out the matters of concern related to AVGC sector or the esports segment to be precise, we are glad that attention is given to bring in development that would positively impact our sector. The increased mobile phone production in India will directly impact on the growing interest in mobile gaming. India is a growing market for mobile gamers which will shape the Indian esports sector. Affordable mobile device and the increasing accessibility of gaming platforms have also contributed to the growing popularity of esports in India. This is expected to further drive the growth of the Indian esports industry in the coming years.”

“We are also looking forward to the progress of 100 labs for apps development using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions. Hopefully this could be the beginning of the 5G era in India. The announcement of removing minimum threshold of Rs 10,000 for TDS on online gaming and providing clarity on taxability is a big step forward, however most esports games, like ours, don't have any money withdrawing system so these are applicable for the online gaming sectors which are into Real Money Gaming.” - Rohit N Jagasia, Founder and CEO, Revenant Esports

“We Are Extremely Delighted With The Propositions Made In Today's Budget” 

“The enormous upsurge in mobile phone production has been the impetus for the boom of the Esports industry in India. Pocket friendly smartphones have taken gaming and fantasy Esports to every corner of the country and a further decrease in its prices as the government proposes to reduce customs duty on import of certain inputs for mobile phone manufacturing will boost the sector's growth like never before. We are extremely delighted with the propositions made in today's budget and looking forward to the golden days that are in store for fantasy Esports and gaming in the country.” - Rishabh Bhansali, Co-Founder, FanClash

“Indian Gaming Has The Potential To Provide A Significant Boost To The Electronics Industry As A Whole”

“The expansion of India's gaming business mirrors and contributes to the growth of the mobile phone industry. The number of mobile gamers in India is projected to increase to 650 million by 2025, according to the most recent report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The previous seven to eight years have been instrumental to the relationship of mobiles and gaming in India, with numerous mobile gaming titles being released and gaining popularity among the Indian gaming community. Developer dedication to expanding mobile gaming in India and the advent of different employment opportunities through mobile gaming have all contributed to an increase in the number of Indians adopting mobile gaming. This has also contributed to the growth of the mobile device sector, as professional gamers frequently seek to upgrade their devices as they progress in their career. Even casual gamers seek better devices in their gaming journey. Interdependence of the industries is also reflected in the commitment of the mobile device companies towards strengthening their presence in the gaming community through dedicated efforts and investments.” 

“From launching gaming-specific devices such as One Plus Nord, ASUS ROG gaming phones, etc., to hosting multiple events and tournaments for the community, to working with gamers to build a community of mobile gamers, etc., mobile device giants such as One Plus, ASUS, Samsung, etc. are also investing heavily in the gaming industry in India. Indian Gaming has the potential to provide a significant boost to the electronics industry as a whole, spanning consoles, PCs, VR gadgets, mobile devices, wearables, IT accessories, and so on. It will be fascinating to observe the next growth surge of gaming in India and how it contributes to and parallels the rise of electronics industry.” - Animesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, 8bit Creatives

“We Are Going to Witness Monumental Growth Within The Esports Sector In The Coming Years”

“As stated by our honourable finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in today's Budget, mobile phone production in India has seen a significant rise in the past few years and that has undoubtedly been a game-changer for the Esports industry in the country. Contributing extensively to propelling the industry to unimaginable heights, the increasing availability of smartphones in India at affordable rates has not only expanded the player base by making gaming more accessible but has also attracted investment from companies, resulting in the development of existing as well as newer games. With the numbers further upscaling and 5G acting as a catalyst that fuels the industry's flourishment, we are going to witness monumental growth within the Esports sector in the coming years. As we are still awaiting clarity on the taxability for Esports, we are hopeful that the decisions will be in favour of the community and impact it positively.” - Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF)

“As For The RMG Industry, The Removal Of TDS Threshold Is A Bit Debatable”

“An increase in smartphone production in our country will bring down smartphone costs drastically - that's a big win for the gaming industry! More advanced smartphone tech will be available at accessible pricing, which means gaming will eventually no longer be restricted by hardware capabilities. Really looking forward for this to be massively adopted. Modifications to the TDS limit will impact the Real Money Gaming industry more than the Esports industry. Since esports games majorly do not have a system of 'money withdrawal', TDS does not impact them. As for the RMG industry, the removal of TDS threshold is a bit debatable. Most forms of income in India is considered under the Rs.10000 TDS threshold. If we consider 'winnings' as 'income', then the threshold should remain the same.” - Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus

“The Union Budget Has Focused On Driving Innovation And Encouraging Ease Of Doing Business For Startups”

“The Union Budget has focused on driving innovation and encouraging ease of doing business for startups, and that is very encouraging. The proposal to introduce the National Data Governance Policy for access to anonymized data will be a boon to the startup sector, and it will facilitate a lot of value creation for customers as well as businesses. Furthermore, proactive measures in areas of tax benefits and offsetting losses are welcome moves. At LogiNext, as we continue to build in India for the world, we look forward to growing the digitial prowess of the nation, through path-breaking innovations in logistics technologies, ably supported by the Government of India.” -  Dhaval Thanki, Vice President, APAC & MEA, LogiNext

“We Feel That The Budget Will Help Us And Other Brands To Grow Their Businesses Successfully In India”

“It’s great to witness how the TV industry in India is growing at such a rapid pace with 38% market share Y-O-Y (Q3 2022). Major companies are putting more emphasis on domestic production. With the budget 2023 announcement, the plan to lower the basic customs duty on the imports of open cell TV panels from 5% to 2.5% will aid in fostering value addition in the production of televisions. Further, this will help the companies to provide products at a more affordable price, thereby leading to reduced prices for consumers. Overall, we feel that the budget will help us and other brands to grow their businesses successfully in India and offer the best of products at affordable price points resulting in benefits for consumers.” - Atul Jasra, Country Head, TPV Technology. 

“The Budget 2023 Will Strengthen Our Digital Ecosystem”

“The budget 2023 has been laid down with a future-ready outlook and highly compliments nation’s objective of innovative, technology-driven and knowledge-based economy. The increased impetus on data generation and management while ensuring privacy, security, and trust is a powerful move. The India Datasets program and the proposed National Data Governance Policy will empower academia, researchers, and start-ups with access to a large repository of India-specific dataset and is an indispensable move by the government to further propel the Digital India vision.”

“Furthermore, the government is pushing the agenda of upskilling to prepare for a resilient future. The framework outlined to upskill the youth with 30 Skill India International centres, will bridge the persisting digital gap and unlock a massive pipeline of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. The initiatives for telecom services and modernization of agri sector through Digital Public Infrastructure will be critical in modernizing and broadening the scope of data generation, management, and protection. The cumulative effect of all the initiatives will eventually generate enormous amounts of data that will intensify the need for reliable, unified data management and protection solutions. The budget 2023 is a foundation for India@100 and will strengthen our digital ecosystem, drive transformation, and fortify India as a leading digitalized nation.” - Balaji Rao, Area Vice President, India & SAARC, Commvault

“The Three Proposed Centres of Excellence For Artificial Intelligence Is A Good Opportunity For Industry Players”

“The government’s decision to formulate the National Education Policy, focused on skilling will facilitate job creation at scale. The digital ecosystem for skilling will be further expanded with the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for enabling demand-based formal skilling. The proposed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 meant for skilling youth shall entail new age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, soft skills etc. It is a great incentive keeping in mind the importance of skilling, upskilling and reskilling in the present scenario. Another emerging technology today is Artificial Intelligence.The three proposed centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence too is a good opportunity for industry players to partner in interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions.  These initiatives will pave the way for building a workforce that will be skilled and ahead of the curve in their respective industry.” - Nitin Varma, Managing Director, India & SAARC, CrowdStrike

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