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Budget 2023 adds Impetus to Indian Tech Industry Growth

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her 5th budget straight in a row. People and industry pundits say that the Union Budget 2023-24 is a growth-oriented and inclusive one that lays a solid foundation and strengthens the economic outlook for India. The happiness of the industry comes at a time when there is strong headwind from macroeconomic uncertainties and there is huge pressure on the companies to book profit and retain their workforce. The first and foremost is one hundred labs for developing applications using 5G services in engineering institutions to create new range of opportunities, business models, and employment potential. The labs will cover smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems, and health care applications. Second important announcement is setting up of 3 CoE for Artificial Intelligence. Third one is National data governance policy (NDGFP). As per Rajiv Srivastava, Managing Director, Redington Limited, an impetus to R&D for startups and academia that utilizes data for their growth will be secured under National Data Governance Policy (NDGFP).  As per him overall, the first budget of Amrit Kaal lays the foundation for a developed India by providing a framework of growth and development through Skilling, Green Energy, R&D, and Technology, which will accelerate the country’s journey to becoming a $10 Trillion economy in the near future.

Ashish P. Dhakan, MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India terms the Union Budget 2023-24 as the visionary roadmap to put India on the path to become $5 trillion economy. The seven priorities of the budget ‘Saptarishi’ are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector. It shows the government’s vision and missionary zeal for a developed India.

Balaji Rao, Area Vice President, India & SAARC, Commvault says, “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.”

Deepak Visweswaraiah, vice president, platform engineering, and site managing director, Pegasystems, India adds, “This year’s budget provides us with a forward-looking blueprint for India’s resilience, competence, and innovation. The Centre emphasizes on ensuring the community’s overall progress through technology and digitalization. By offering new-age courses in 3D Printing, drones, coding, Robotics, AI, etc, through Kaushal Vikas Yojana or developing 30 Skill India International centers, India could further strengthen its position as the ultimate destination of top talent.”

The Hon’ble Minister acknowledged the fact that entrepreneurship is vital for the nation’s development. Previous measures undertaken by the government have contributed to India becoming the third largest ecosystem for startups globally, as well as the second in quality of innovation among middle-income countries. Furthering that trend, this budget included additional measures to aid startups. Firstly, the date of incorporation, for the purposes of income tax benefits to startups, has been extended from 31st March 2023 to 31st March 2024. Secondly, the period of time to benefit from carrying forward losses on change of shareholding has been extended from seven years to ten years since the date of incorporation of the startup. These are moves that will be welcome to entrepreneurs and their stakeholders.

Vishak Raman, Vice President of Sales, India, SAARC and Southeast Asia at Fortinet, said, “A steep increase of 33% in capital investments to 10 Lakh Crore almost three times the outlay made in 2019 shows why India is one of the most buoyant economies in the world. While Investments and development programs are all tech-driven the budget realises the potential of 5G by setting up 100 labs in engineering institution to develop Apps to assists in all verticals including smart classroom, precision farming, smart transport systems and healthcare. The capital flowing into AI-Startups last year was $2.7 billion globally. The race in AI is heating up after the success of ChatGPT and the budget has realised this potential with the vision of Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India. The setting up of 3 centers of excellence for artificial intelligence in top educational institutions will combine tech and computing power with some of the best engineering brain power in our country. “

He added, “A robust financial sector, expanding the scope of Digilocker to allow more documents to be made available and setting up of e-courts will all go hand in hand with maintaining data privacy. There simply cannot be any data privacy without data protection and cybersecurity will require an entire system of people and technology working together to protect data and networks.” 

Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India & SAARC, Zendesk, maintained, “The Union Budget’s focus on ‘Make AI work in India’ is a much-needed move to develop more skilled talent in the AI field and set new standards for India’s growth. Our recent CX Trends Report revealed a gap between consumer expectations and business priorities – 84% of Indian consumers expect AI interactions to become more natural and human-like over time, but less than half of Indian businesses (45%) plan to invest in such technologies in the next 12 months when it comes to their customer experience. The government’s move will accelerate the development of India’s AI ecosystem, especially at a time when businesses – particularly MSMEs – face budget constraints when making strategic investments into technology. The Rs 9,000 crore corpus fund and tax concessions made for this sector in the budget will help boost tech adoption among small businesses, and accelerate progress towards a Digital India.”

As per Piyush Somani,  Managing Director and Chairman ESDS Software Solution, 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 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.” 

Sanjeev Singh CEO & MD – CMS IT Services, said, “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.”

Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India and Middle East, added, “The Union Budget for 2023-24 is being proposed at a critical moment marked by geopolitical uncertainty, rising inflation, and plummeting global economic development. At this point, targeted actions to boost domestic sources of growth are critical to maintaining the stable economic growth track.” 

Vishal Agrawal, MD, Avaya, said, “The introduction of three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ is something to look forward to for the upcoming digital nation. In line with the GoI’s initiative to strengthen the MSMEs, we look forward to supporting them in creating a user-friendly space and helping them further to scale up with the help of our robust and collaborative solutions.”  

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