The unveiling of the Union Budget 2024 has sparked a diverse range of reactions from individuals and entities across the nation, reflecting a mixture of anticipation, appreciation, and scrutiny. As the government lays out its financial roadmap for the upcoming fiscal year, people from various walks of life are closely examining the proposals and their potential impact on their lives, businesses, and the broader economy.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders, such as Ankit Agrawal of InsuranceDekho and Darshil Shah of TreadBinary, have lauded the budget's provisions aimed at fostering economic growth, particularly through initiatives targeting sectors like agriculture and startups. They view these measures as pivotal in driving innovation, job creation, and overall prosperity. On the digital front, professionals like Ms. Ambika Sharma of Pulp Strategy have expressed enthusiasm for the budget's focus on digital transformation and skilling programs, foreseeing opportunities for businesses to thrive in the evolving digital landscape and deliver enhanced consumer experiences. In the renewable energy sector, stakeholders like Dushyant Chachra of SAEL have welcomed the budget's support for biomass aggregation and renewable energy projects, anticipating positive outcomes for sustainable development and job creation in the green energy sector.
Startups and small business owners, represented by individuals like Varun Tangri of QueueBuster POS and Akshat of Froker, have welcomed the budget's measures to support the startup ecosystem, including tax benefits and financial incentives. They see these initiatives as crucial in fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness on both domestic and global fronts. Moreover, individuals like Santhosh Reddy and Akshay Hegde of ShakeDeal have highlighted the budget's potential to boost infrastructure development and technological innovation, particularly in sectors like supply chain management, through initiatives such as commodity-specific economic rail corridors and technology-driven solutions.
Expert Reactions on Budget 2024-2025
Prasad Sreeram, CEO & Co-Founder, COGOS
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveils a transformative budget, announcing the ambitious implementation of three strategic railway corridor programs and a record 11.11 trillion rupees investment in infrastructure creation for 2024/25. Under the PM Gati Shakti initiative, these projects aim to revolutionize multi-modal connectivity, enhance logistics efficiency, and reduce operational costs, reinforcing India's stature as one of the world's fastest-growing major economies. The budget also supports startups by extending income tax benefits and increasing the benefit of carrying forward losses to 10 years. Additionally, a forward-looking approach allocates a Rs 1 trillion corpus for technology research, providing long-term financing with extended tenors and low or nil interest rates, propelling India into a new era of technological advancement and economic growth.
Ankit Agrawal, Founder and CEO-InsuranceDekho
The government's commitment to a "Viksit Bharat" and the vision for a prosperous India by 2047, reflects a broader vision for fostering prosperity and inclusivity in India. The budget has provided a significant boost to the agricultural sector and focussed on cultivating a thriving environment for the startup ecosystem. The crop insurance will offer farmers direct financial assistance, fostering awareness and growth in rural India. The emphasis on offering adequate financial help to MSMEs will pave the way for small enterprises to grow, generate employment and compete globally. The interim budget further supercharges entrepreneurship, granting 43 crore loans worth INR 22.5 lakh crore through initiatives like Fund of Funds, Startup India, and Startup Credit Guarantee Schemes.
Ambika Sharma, Founder & MD, Pulp Strategy
The Union Budget 2024 has presented a groundbreaking roadmap for India's digital transformation, bolstering the IT and internet landscape across the nation and expanding connectivity. This translates to more opportunities for businesses to thrive in the digital realm and captivate audiences with potential for greater outreach. The budget's attention to skilling and training programs for media and entertainment professionals is a game-changer, nurturing a highly skilled workforce that can deliver awe-inspiring content and consumer experiences. Additionally, initiatives such as tourism promotion and rural development have the potential to boost advertising demand. The Union Budget 2024's focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through tax benefits, credit guarantee schemes, and fund launches creates a fertile environment for startups and MSMEs to thrive and make a positive impact in society. The budget also highlights the importance of the media and entertainment industry in promoting India's culture and soft power worldwide, tapping into the power of technology to create immersive experiences, showcase the beauty and diversity of India, and drive meaningful change in society.
Gaurav Khanna, Founder of Oter
The government’s continued focus on skill upgradation and development of capabilities of the youth has been well-reflected in the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s budget address. At Oter, we’re pleased that our product offerings – particularly the MicroBook concept aligns seamlessly with the government’s vision of empowering the Amrit Peedhi, the Yuva. Given the growing demand for self-improvement programs among the youth, we look forward to spearheading market expansion initiatives in the country soon, thereby reshaping the landscape of personal development and self-improvement.
Anjali Bansal, Founding Partner, Avaana Capital
In India's pivotal shift towards enhancing Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption, significant strides have been made through PLI schemes and substantial R&D investments in electric mobility. There is a parallel focus on supporting the charging infrastructure, recognizing that its accelerated development is important in realizing this transition. The emphasis lies in establishing interoperable, shared infrastructure adaptable across OEMs and diverse vehicle configurations and hardware. Government can continue to support a green fund facility to support innovation and indigenous technology solutions for climate action, particularly in adaptation and resilience building.
Darshil Shah, Founder and Director, TreadBinary
The Budget exhibited a well-balanced and truly promoted development of the startup ecosystem, the youth and the country. The implementation of PM Mudra Yojana, the Startup India, and the Startup Credit Guarantee schemes signifies a concerted effort to facilitate the youth a seamless initiation of entrepreneurial journey. As aptly stated, innovation is the foundation of development and this is going to be a golden era for the tech savvy youth, the corpus of Rs 1L Crore plan providing long-term financing with low/nil interest rates will give an immense boost to Research and Innovation, in turn can give rise to programmes that combine the dynamism of youth with cutting edge technology, fostering the emergence of more startup and entrepreneurs.
Jay Ranjeet Bhatt, Founder & CEO, Airrchip
The government's Startup India initiatives, facilitating seamless access to capital, stand as the bedrock for startups—providing the crucial initial funding necessary for product development. In the heart of the fourth industrial revolution, India shines as the next global player with remarkable growth in its emerging market. This capital infusion is the lifeblood for innovative startups, empowering them to craft cutting-edge disruptive technology products. India's youth, a key global contributor, spearheads the development of AI applications at scale. Looking forward, nations embracing AI at scale are poised for consistent high GDP growth, and India is poised to lead this transformative wave in AI adoption.
Dushyant Chachra - CFO, SAEL
In the recently announced budget, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman stated in Budget 2024 that financial assistance would be provided to support the procurement of biomass aggregation, crucial for Bio-energy production. This move is highly encouraging for farmers to engage in the bioenergy supply chain, facilitating a sustainable and profitable model for agricultural waste management, creating a win-win situation for the biomass industry and farmers. The extension of the time period for investments by SWFs in renewable energy, from March 31, 2024, to March 31, 2025, is expected to attract more global investment in the renewable space. This initiative could lead to numerous job opportunities, rapid sector expansion, and the growth of the sector and SAEL Group. Global SWFs, including Norfund (Norway) and DFC (USA), already having significant investments in SAEL renewable assets, will likely further boost the confidence of SWFs. Through rooftop solarization, 1 crore households will have the opportunity to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity every month. New schemes/policies from the Government in the near future are anticipated in this context. This announcement is highly encouraging and is expected to expand the penetration of solar rooftop markets, resulting in efficient power supply for retail consumers in India.
Varun Tangri, CEO and Founder at QueueBuster POS
As QueueBuster navigates the budgetary landscape in 2024, we are encouraged by the government's initiatives to foster the growth of start-ups. The extension of tax benefits until March 31, 2025, is a welcome move, providing start-ups with additional financial flexibility to channel resources into innovation and expansion. The tax-free status for investments by sovereign wealth funds and pension funds for an extra year further incentivizes strategic partnerships and capital infusion into start-ups. Moreover, the government's commitment to withdrawing some outstanding direct tax demands alleviates the financial burden on start-ups, allowing us to focus on our core objectives. With these relaxations, this interim budget supports the long-term vision for sustainable growth and development of start-ups. We look forward to leveraging these provisions to continue our journey of innovation and contribute to the thriving start-up ecosystem.
Santhosh Reddy, CTO and Co-Founder, ShakeDeal
The supply chain industry stands to gain from the technologically proficient youth in India, constituting a formidable force in the upcoming years. This affirmative move is expected to facilitate the influx of new talents and ideas, offering advantages to various sectors. Moreover, we believe that the allocation of ₹1 lakh crore for long-term, interest-free loans to foster innovation will fortify the nation's technological environment. We are eager to witness the evolution of supply chain processes through imminent technological innovations spurred by government backing.
Akshay Hegde, Co-Founder, ShakeDeal
Coming from the supply chain sector, we express our gratitude to the Finance Minister for outlining the aspirations for our industry. The creation of commodity-specific economic rail corridors in the eastern region will enhance accessibility, fostering the growth of the country's supply chain. This, coupled with the reduction in India's logistics cost from 12% of GDP, is poised to benefit the manufacturing sector. Additionally, initiatives like the biomanufacturing scheme and the Compressed Biogas (CBG) blending mandate align with the nation's green vision. The budget also underscores the government's support for startups through tax benefits, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing these initiatives unfold in alignment with the broader vision for comprehensive GDP, governance, development, and performance.
Archana Sinha, Co-founder & CEO, Nourishing School Foundation
The Interim Budget for FY2024-25 significantly highlights the importance of nutrition to all through an array of initiatives. The upgradation of Anganwadi centres under Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 is a welcomed initiative which will enhance the delivery of nutritious meals across the country. However, it is crucial to note that despite such fervent efforts to promote nutrition, there remains a lack of understanding regarding the importance of nutrition – according to a survey, over 85% of Indians are unaware of vegetarian sources of protein. Additionally, the National Family Health Survey indicates that India still faces a double burden of malnutrition in both urban and rural areas – through the coexistence of undernourishment with the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the population. While there are several efforts underway to ensure accessible and affordable nutrition to all, it becomes all the more pivotal to improve nutrition education across the country to not only enhance self-sufficiency but also reduce India’s burden of non-communicable diseases among the future generations of India’s young adults and workforce.
Ankit Kedia, Founder and Leader Investor, Capital A
The finance minister's efforts in formulating an Interim Budget that prioritizes sustainability and clean mobility are indeed noteworthy. At Capital A, our commitment to climate-conscious startups resonates strongly with the government's focus on sectors like green energy. The provision of viability gap funding for shore-wind energy is strategically poised to attract startups and investors to this sector. Moreover, the phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas in transportation fuels and domestic piped natural gas signifies a significant stride forward. The introduction of bio-manufacturing in the electric vehicle sector promises to markedly reduce manufacturing emissions, thereby enhancing the eco-friendliness of EVs. Capital A eagerly endorses startups utilizing bio-plastics and bio-agri inputs, thereby fostering a green-oriented manufacturing sector.
Akshat - CEO, Froker
The Interim Budget 2024-25 offers a beacon of support to the startup ecosystem and resonates with our vision at Froker. The PM Mudra Yojana's impressive sanction of 43 crore loans amounting to ₹22.5 lakh crore is a game-changer, seeding countless entrepreneurial dreams. Tax benefits for startups, now extended to March 2025, and the incentivization of investments from wealth and pension funds, will significantly lower the financial hurdles for emerging businesses. Furthermore, the budget's nod to 'Annadata' through MSP adjustments underlines the respect for our food providers, aligning with our mission for economic inclusivity. This financial blueprint is set to catalyze a new wave of innovation and resilience in the startup sector.
Sudeep Kulkarni, Founder, Game Theory
In my view, Budget 2024 is all about supporting our young innovators. Setting up a Rs. 1 lakh crore fund with a 50-year interest-free loan is a positive step. It means long-term support for tech-savvy ideas. With this help for startups, our future looks brighter than ever. Embracing the 'First Develop India' ethos, the government aims to forge bilateral treaties with foreign partners, prioritizing India's growth. With a development policy centered on social and geographical inclusion, we're charting a path towards a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
Anubhav Kathuria, Director, Synergy Steels
I see certain key factors in this budget. While the Hon’ble FM did not provide import duties-related measures, which the stainless steel industry will eagerly look for in the full-budget due later, key policy announcements, including two crore more houses under the PM-Awas Grameen yojana, a new housing scheme for the middle-class, as well as the conversion of 40 thousand railway bogies to Vande-Bharat standards is expected to contribute to demand for various stainless steel products in the medium-to-long term. The Government’s announcement for the conversion of 40 thousand Railway bogies to Vande-Bharat standards is a positive-step towards the upgradation of the railways. In this regard, we expect stainless steel to be looked upon as the metal of preference. Stainless steel coaches comparatively enable a host of benefits, including energy-efficiency due to weight-reduction, strength of rakes, and corrosion-resistance in context of coastal routes etc. Furthermore, the domestic availability and environmental friendliness of the alloy are further added benefits.
Prashant Vasan, CEO of Madras Mandi
As Madras Mandi, a dynamic startup committed to revolutionizing the fresh produce landscape, we applaud the government's forward-thinking measures outlined in the budget. The extension of tax benefits for startups until March 31, 2025, provides us with a conducive financial environment to further innovate and contribute to the agricultural ecosystem. Additionally, the tax-free status for investments by sovereign wealth funds and pension funds for an extra year aligns with our growth strategy, encouraging strategic partnerships and capital infusion into our startup.
Sudeep Kulkarni, Founder, Game Theory
In my view, Budget 2024 is all about supporting our young innovators. Setting up a Rs. 1 lakh crore fund with a 50-year interest-free loan is a positive step. It means long-term support for tech-savvy ideas. With this help for startups, our future looks brighter than ever. Embracing the 'First develop India' ethos, the government aims to forge bilateral treaties with foreign partners, prioritizing India's growth. With a development policy centered on social and geographical inclusion, we're charting a path towards a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
Jayanth Murthy, Joint Managing Director Kaizen Institute - India, South Asia and Africa
It has been heartening to witness the government's continued ‘push’ on infrastructure development, with an increase in the outlay for the next year by 11.1%, accounting for 3.4% of the GDP. The government’s consistent focus and consistency in this domain will play a key role in boosting the CapEx cycle. Further, with an increase in the activities within the sector, we are also likely to witness an increasing demand in the metal, mining and cement sectors – generating more employment opportunities. As we plan these infrastructure projects, it will be beneficial to explore ‘efficiency’ as a key parameter in terms delivery of projects, including resource utilization, as cost-and-time overruns in large infra projects continue to be a challenge.
Vyshak Simha, CEO of viaDOTS, a ride-hailing SaaS platform
The government’s proactive approach towards promoting the growth of startups within the country has been well-reflected in the Hon’ble Finance Minister’s budget address. In this regard, it has been heartening to witness the budget announce the continuation of tax benefits to startups, which is indeed a positive sign for emerging startups and founders. The government’s proactive initiatives in establishing an environment conducive to the growth of startups will further enable us at viaDOTS to continue and expand our footprint to major cities across the country – offering an affordable and convenient transportation solution.
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