Union Budget 2022: Indian tech sector’s budget wish list

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Mumbai: Over the last two years, the terms “digitalisation” and “digital transformation” have become very commonly used buzzwords. While much has been accomplished and India has made significant progress in this area, we still have a long way to go before we can call ourselves a “Digital India”. The Indian tech sector has shared its wish list for the government ahead of the Union Budget 2022, emphasising the importance of incentivizing digital transformation.

Sunil Sharma, MD – Sales for Sophos India and SAARC
“Over the last few years, we have seen exponential growth in cyberattacks. The ongoing pandemic and work from anywhere models have further increased the attack landscape for cybercriminals. In addition to this, organizations are facing cybersecurity resource crunch and stringent budgets.”

“Our expectation from the Union Budget 2022 is on two aspects: cybersecurity skill gap and cybersecurity awareness. We are hopeful of the Government increasing spending on cybersecurity awareness and training initiatives to empower cybersecurity resources. Eventually, this focus will help to create employment as well as a good defence against cybercriminals.”
Kunal Nagarkatti, CEO – Clover Infotech
“It is interesting to note that software exports from India at USD148 billion are more than oil exports from Saudi Arabia. Digitization is set to accelerate, and India will leverage its expertise in developing products and solutions to digitally connect the country to the last mile. It will be encouraging if the budget can introduce steps towards building digitally skilled human capital at a much faster pace and enhance the infrastructure and connectivity measures further.”

“It is also imperative for us to keep the innovation momentum going by creating incubation centres, national-level hackathons, and augmenting the early-stage funding ecosystem further to solve problems at scale and put technology to the best use.”

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Nova (Flock and Titan)
“The Union Budget 2022 should accelerate the growth of the digital economy by making it easier for businesses to invest in tools and technology that are crucial to their growth. The government can spur innovation in India by creating policies that incentivize technology product exports and encourage startups to make in India for the world.”

Puneet Gupta, MD and VP – NetApp India
Following two years of economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and amidst the third COVID-19 wave, I am expecting that the Union Budget 2022 will be a pragmatic one. There is an urgent need for the government to continue its focus on infrastructure spending to boost the economy and increase employment opportunities. It will be great to see the Union Budget allocate funds toward incentivizing the use of emerging deep technologies like artificial intelligence, intelligent automation, blockchain, augmented / virtual reality etc., among businesses.”

Today, businesses across verticals are generating large amounts of data, which when harnessed through the use of new-age technologies can be better leveraged to solve challenges faced by citizens. Promoting digitization is the need of the hour, and while we have made significant progress in this area in the last few years, we still have a long way to go. At this juncture, incentives, tax benefits, and provisions for optimization of cloud services can greatly help in building a truly ‘Digital India’.”

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder and MD – Cygnet Infotech.
“The Union Budget in India is always eagerly awaited by everyone, from corporates to taxpayers, with all hopes attached to having simplified compliances. In the wake of the third Covid wave, there is a certain expectation in terms of rebates and relief from the Finance Ministry on indirect and direct taxes.”

“Stimulus packages and tax exemption policies designed for the COVID impacted era would help revitalize the economy. Moreover, the duration of the compensation cess ends in June 2022, hence it would be great if the government could look at providing an extension on this by six months or a year.”

“The Ministry of Finance may have some surprises in their bags for the GST regime specifically from a sectoral perspective, hence as a leading industry player, we are looking forward to this. In order to provide a fillip to business growth, the government is also expected to introduce financial aid to build a strong digital infrastructure for MSMEs and startups. This will help further strengthen organisations, enabling them to grow and thrive in today’s remote work environment.”

Dhruvil Sanghvi, Founder and CEO – LogiNext.
“India saw a euphoric rise in the number of unicorns in 2021, adding 33 in a year making it one of the fastest-growing technology startup ecosystems globally. This growth has been on the back of overall improvement in ease of doing business, and this should continue to remain an ongoing focus and priority. Within the logistics space, there has been a massive disruption led by a major increase in last-mile deliveries.”

“Additionally, as Make-in-India along with the national freight corridors gains momentum, this is going to further increase demand for logistics. All of this necessitates building infrastructure capabilities that are future-ready. We can achieve this with the right focus on digitizing processes and making international trade easier, which would go a long way in elevating India’s position in the global technology and logistics arena.”

Vishwakumara Kayargadde, Co-Founder and COO – Saankhya Labs
“When it comes to Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, we as a country have a huge potential in becoming a global hub. The recent semiconductor-focused Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme announced by the government has been a major boost for the ecosystem. The Design Linked Incentives (DLI) which is another element linked to the scheme has been beneficial for the design and fabless companies.”

“From a Union Budget perspective, we are definitely hopeful of an MSME-centric budget from the Finance Ministry which will help in stabilizing growth and further boost this segment, especially during these challenging times caused by the ongoing pandemic. This will also help MSMEs working in the deep tech space to engage in product R&D and manufacturing. Further, in order to encourage the manufacturing of indigenously designed products, the government should also look at relaxing tax burdens, and provide tax exemptions in areas such as customs duty.”

Mughilan Thiru Ramasamy, CEO and Co-Founder – Skylark Drones
“2021 has been a great year for UAVs with the introduction of new drone rules and PLI scheme. The global pandemic has accelerated digitisation and the digital shift offers a great opportunity for the drone industry to flourish and grow in the years to come. Businesses and other stakeholders have started realising the exciting possibilities that drones offer and we have witnessed a significant increase in usage of UAVs by the government and enterprises across sectors.”

“Today, both enterprises and the government are realising the economic and social opportunities that India’s widespread and dispersed geospatial assets can provide to the nation. UAVs offer an ideal compromise between scalability, economic feasibility, immunity to error and productivity compared to aerial data obtained from satellites and terrestrial data from scanners. The faster adoption of UAVs is therefore critical to realise the potential of these geospatial assets. The country would also benefit from a structured training system for aspirants who want to join the UAV industry, thereby accelerating job creation.”

“The market has great potential and will need trained professionals to realise the aim of making India the global drone hub in 2030. Initiatives must be taken to introduce more training institutes for the industry. We are hopeful that Union Budget 2022 allocates more tax and non-tax incentives to the UAV sector to catalyse the growth of the industry and have a positive and cascading effect across the enterprise and social ecosystems.”

(Image credit – Stock)

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