BUDGET 2021 REACTIONS


Hitesh Jirawla, Founder CEO, Cubictree, a Mumbai-based India’s largest legal tech startups working with more than 300 companies in India The FM presented a digital Budget, a yet another first of India. It is a small step but goes to show the intent of this govt to move to digital transformation in every way possible. Indian Courts have been under tremendous pressure with limited availability of judges. Longer litigation results in higher costs, procedural hassles that consumers and companies suffer. The proposed MCA21 Version 3.0 will roll out e-scrutiny and other compliance management initiatives thereby bringing down the legal costs for companies and individuals. Use of deep tech, will over time impact the judgement delivery thereby making it faster and for some standard cases, there is a possibility to introduce an element of automation in documentation and other legal processes. We believe the govt has taken a lead in addressing the problems that currently ails the judiciary system in our country. Over time, India may see fast closer of matters and justice served to the people who have been waiting a long time. Pankit Desai, Co-founder CEO, Sequretek, a cyber security startup based in Mumbai The much-awaited Budget 2021 has provided a significant push for healthcare, agriculture and rural economy, but unfortunately nothing concrete for startups and the surrounding ecosystem. For the majority of startups, demand remains the same, nothing changes, its business as usual. Forming a one person company doesn't help startups whatsoever unless they want startups to form a single person company. There is some push for fintech and startups from this sector will stand to benefit, however, the budget did not share anything substantial in terms of ease of doing business, compliance or GST taxation that would make life any different for a cybersecurity company like ours. I am hoping that the stimulus and other investments that allow the economy to do well, indirectly will support us as we finally serve that economy in some shape and form through our customers.

Pavan Adipuram, Co-founder CEO, ChitMonks, a Hyderabad-based BlockChain startup working with govt and Chit Fund companies to make Chit Fund operations easy to regulate and more transparent for chit subscribers. The Budget this year was riding high on expectations from taxpayers and businesses. The FM has tried her best to deliver on a majority of parameters. It is heartening that the much talked about COVID cess wasn’t introduced neither any dramatic increase in taxation for the businesses. For a digital first company like ours, the proposal of Rs 1500 crore to incentivise digital payments will accelerate the financial technologies sector growth. In investment instruments like Chit Funds, Mutual Funds, online payments, more companies are expected to move to 100% digital payments mode which will ensure further transparency and confidence on individuals and it will address the problem of any scams running that take advantage of innocent individuals. However, the devil would be in the details. We look forward to the details of this proposed scheme as it will tell us how the incentives will work for the companies and individuals. Kumar Ritesh, Founder CEO, CYFIRMA, a Cyber intelligence and threat discovery startup. This is one of the most business-friendly Union Budget we have seen in a while, and this is rightly so given the urgent need for a strong economic recovery. The initiatives to ease the setting up of new companies bode well for the technology sector. This will promote an even greater entrepreneurial culture and put India squarely on the global map of technology innovation. Given India’s young, dynamic and tech-savvy workforce, we should expect more companies choosing India as a base to leverage on our vast talent. India’s fast growing middle-class population should also be a magnet for businesses seeking to tap on the underserved market here. Further, the Finance Minister’s announcement that companies will receive RS1500 crore to encourage their adoption of digital payments will go a long way to promote Fintech innovation, and more importantly, give millions of unbanked Indians the opportunity to participate in the financial system. With digital payments becoming mainstream, the government should also start looking at uplifting cybersecurity awareness and education among businesses as well as consumers. This way, the twin engines of growth – innovation and digitalization – can be sustainable in the long run.

Sumeet Verma, CO-founder CEO KopyKitab, a Bangalore-based ed tech startup focusing on higher education

'Under Education Budget 2021, FM stated that the youth of the country have abundant skills and it needs proper channelization. While we wait for the finer print, key takeaways for education sector were plenty. Announcement of setting-up the Higher Education Commission of India is a welcome move, as this sector needs huge support, where most of the students enrol for a career. Focussed body, budgeting and execution would be working positively for the sector.

I hope, the commission would cover on how to plug the gap between skill development and higher education. The digital enhancement could be the first step towards it. Focusing at an early level is the key not at exit levels.

As India is amongst the fastest growing country in edtech space, special inclusion of edtech start-ups would certainly help the whole ecosystem much faster with better outcomes.

The Budget did a miss on a few counts like no special benefits for the higher education sector or the ed tech companies catering to this segment. More encouragement for ed-tech would have been great as ed-tech companies are undoubtedly playing a crucial role today. However, the FM focus largely remained on the education sector with an eye on creating more offline infrastructure. The right blend is the need of the hour.

Encouraging strong capital & investment support to edtech, long term tax holiday for investors and boosting morale for investment could align broader coverage for the ed-tech sectors especially when we want faster outputs in lesser time.

We need more collaboration using technology where we can enrol good teachers and good content by larger collaborations both national & international levels and make it even play for our higher education students'

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