Budget 2016: Expectations from enterprise technology vendors

The Union Budget 2016 evoked positive sentiments from enterprise technology vendors. Here's what they had to say.

With five days to go before the finance minister announces the Union Budget for this year, undoubtedly it has again aroused speculation and interest among enterprise vendor companies. Some of India’s top IT service providers shared their thoughts on what they expect from this year’s budget and why they think it’s going to be an IT-friendly one.

Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec: “As India is advancing towards becoming a knowledge economy under the Digital India initiative with technology as the pivot, the upcoming budget is a perfect opportunity to reinstate the blue-print for sustained growth. We at Symantec hope to see an increase in the annual budget for IT projects. Moreover, as there is a rise in the adoption of mobility and cloud, India continues to rank high in being the source and the destination of cyber-attacks. These risks can impede the potential benefits of Digital India. Hence, it is imperative to allocate 10 percent of the IT budgets exclusively for cyber and information security to ensure that citizens are truly empowered to use IT infrastructures and e-governance services.”

Vishal Agrawal, Managing Director, Avaya India and SAARC: “The upcoming budget brings up a great array of opportunities to redefine consumption and restore its pertinence by the means of increased IT budgets. To achieve the proposed hyper-connectivity, we would anticipate an increase in public-private partnerships. Additionally, we want a budget which eases the transaction processes for software vendors like us and facilitates in boosting the adoption of technology. We see a lot of potential in India and are looking forward to collaborate with the government to digitally transform the nation.”

Vivekanand Venugopal, GM and VP, Hitachi Data Systems, India: “We are optimistic that the budget will create more opportunities for innovation in the IT sector, with large global MNCs, SMBs and startups deepening their traction on government-focused projects. The proliferation of mobile devices and wearable gadgets will generate huge volumes of data, which have to be addressed seamlessly and efficiently by the IT infrastructure backbone. Additionally, to make these projects successful, it is important to institute measures and policies that bring about economic stability, investment-friendly policies, long-term tax incentives, and ease-of-doing-business, along with timely deal-closures and project clearances. We hope that the budget will lay the groundwork for some important reforms, which repositions India as an innovation-led, information economy.”

Anil Valluri, President of NetApp India & SAARC operations: “This budget should see the government take further steps to accelerate its flagship initiatives, which have been structured holistically in the form of JAM to reach the last mile and transform lives of every citizen. Efforts should be taken to make Digital India initiative a distinct reality coupled with the pace of Infrastructure building, as these will propel growth across various sectors. I am optimistic and look forward to India continuing its march to becoming a leading economy on the global map.”

Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India: “Creating the right environment to boost India’s start-up ecosystem and making technology accessible universally, should be the prime focus for this year’s budget. We look to the government for a technology-agnostic approach and a policy framework that can make it possible. We hope for policy reforms that can create a conducive environment for the private sector to contribute ever more significantly to India’s growth journey through technology innovations and public private partnerships. Additionally, we maintain our stance on addressing regulatory and tax issues for the software industry. Implementation of the APA will provide the much needed assurances to multinational companies and boost investments in India. We look forward to a budget that can help consolidate the growth agenda set by government and strengthen the socio-economic indicators that spell progress for the nation.”

Vinay Sinha, Head of Sales – India, Director - Commercial Business, AMD, APJ, Mega Region: “We hope the budget is rational and realistic for IT companies. In fact, government proposed programs require the creation of technological infrastructure that will need budgetary support. We therefore expect the budget to be focused on digital literacy, improved connectivity and access to technology, supported by radical government process re-engineering, which will enable start-ups and large organizations to experience digital transformation. Additionally, it should aggressively promote R&D benefits so that organizations are encouraged to innovate and come up with newer technologies. Investment allowances for IT adoption must also be made to promote India as a premiere destination for both hardware and software development. We look forward to India becoming a center of excellence for product development and design.”

Ravinder Rana- India - ‎Country General Manager, Concentrix: “We commend the government's efforts to deliver a clear, investment focused and development-led agenda for the country this far. And we hope to see continued support of the start-up ecosystem and the development of scientific research, R&D and innovation, which is the foundation of future business growth, and the key to making India a global innovation hub. We are also optimistic to see continued investment and government support in building the crucial technology infrastructure to achieve India’s ambitious growth.”

Sanjai Gangadharan, Regional Director – SAARC, A10 Networks: “From this year’s budget, we expect the government to touch up on critical issues like cloud protection laws and cyber security. India is one of the leading source as well as the destination for cyber-attacks and hence it’s imperative that the Government budgets to drive synergies between the academia and industry to collectively fight security issues.”

Diwakar Nigam, MD – Newgen Software: “Our exports are becoming more and more difficult due to budget cuts, visa restrictions etc., all around the world. In order to make software companies stronger, there is need for extending SEZ schemes and removing MAT. This will not only help Indian software companies, but will also incentivize foreign companies to set up software development facilities in Indian SEZ and provide further employment.”