India has a strong reputation for having a vibrant eco-system and 15 startups are born every day. Interestingly, there are 500 active investors pumping in money and creating a ripple in the market and 72 percent of founders are less than 35 years old. That said, the union budget presented yesterday has evoked mixed responses from the startup community. Let’s have a look at what they have to say:
Shashank ND, founder and CEO, Practo:
Taking a lead from Start-up India, Stand up India initiative, Mr. Modi’s government is constantly working towards creating a conducive environment to promote entrepreneurship and facilitate the growth of startup ecosystem in India.
The ease of registration process and three-year tax holiday for startups is a welcome measure. This will enable a fast way to set up a venture and help startups to focus on building disruptive products and services without worrying about profits or losses. It is also good to see aspiring entrepreneurs get access to quality education and training through various newly built colleges, schools, government ITI’s and vocation training centers through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).
Reduction of long term capital gains from three years to two years is a positive move by the government. Infrastructure improvement and focus on electrification of all villages will help to promote connectivity and give rural India access to Internet.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola:
It was quite encouraging to see the FM address some key road transportation issues and set aside a requisite budget for infrastructure development. Creating inroads for entrepreneurship in the public transportation space and amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act to allow for innovations will provide a strong impetus towards enabling mobility for citizens. These proposed initiatives give us immense confidence as we work towards our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.
Arvind Pani, co-founder and CEO, Reverie Language Technologies:
Jaitley has adopted a cautious tone and rolled out a mixed bag of initiatives for corporate and startup segment. The fact that there is a thrust on pushing digital literacy among the rural youth is good news for a company like us, as we know that local language support will play a key role in ensuring the success of such initiatives. We feel the budget has shown the direction this government will be taking in the next three years and as a startup founder, it is clear to me that startup segment growth is clearly on their agenda. This gives me confidence and hope that India will emerge as a startup nation as the PM has envisioned.
Vamsi Krishna, CEO and co-founder, Vedantu Innovations:
The launch of two digital literacy schemes for rural India to cover six crore households in the next three years is a welcome step. As digital literacy increases, it will help the government in delivering quality education efficiently in rural areas. Once the basic foundation of digital literacy is laid, it will create a significant scope for an education-tech startup like ours to work towards providing access to quality education to the students in the remotest part of the country.
Startups and private companies can join hands with the government in achieving its vision of making quality education accessible for all students in the farthest corners of our country. Similarly, entrepreneurship training through MOOCs, skills-training of one crore youth in next three years and provision of Rs. 1,700 crore for 1,500 multi-skill development centers will help create a virtuous cycle of job creation.
Amitesh Misra, co-founder and CEO, Shabdanagri:
Announcements made on Startup India last month raised our expectations and we were waiting to hear more clarity on setting up of Rs 10,000 crore fund, which will finance some of the innovative early stage entrepreneurs. However, no announcement was made on that. The budget overall was big on various initiatives for the rural economy, which may have an indirect impact on startups.
A key announcement which is welcomed is about rebate in taxation and less procedural work for registering or shutting down a company. We feel the overall desire of the government is to support startups. This government is serious about making business flourish with minimum interference from their side.