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Union Budget 2022-23- Indian Startups' Expectations From The Budget

Startups have asked govt to relax taxation rate on the area which is as of now grappling with the surge of the Covid-19 emergency.

The Indian economy has shown estimable strength notwithstanding the Coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the case for government intercession to drive a comprehensive recovery stays solid. The impending Union financial plan for 2022-23 should adjust numerous goals of tending to shifted at this point pressing necessities of the economy. A shrewd financial stimulus procedure, combined with a prudent harmony between capital and consumption expenditure is the need of the hour.

Indian Startups are the heated part of our economy, with 85 Indian statrtups have as of now joined the unicorn club by 2022. Going ahead, the Indian startup ecosystem might sprout significantly more grounded in 2022, since these startups acted splendidly all through the economic slump brought about by the COVID-pandemic, just as far as suply network and market pattern. Startups have asked govt to relax taxation rate on the area which is as of now grappling with the surge of the Covid-19 emergency.

The sector alongside numerous expectations the startup ecosystem is eye on a few major updates from the spending plans. Here's what industry in expecting from the upcoming budget announcement: 

Vineet Rao, CEO & Founder, DealShare 

"2021 was a historic year for the start-up eco-system, and maintaining this momentum will call for a comprehensive approach in the upcoming budget.  The government should extend it to start-ups that invest the capital received from investments in immovable properties and loans and advances, contributions made to other entities, jewellery, artifacts, or any mode of transport where the actual cost exceeds Rs. 10 lakh (aircraft, car, etc.). The exemption should also be extended to MSMEs and SMEs operating from rural areas, as many are at the early stages of their growth and do not have the means to complete the documentation process. The government should help the MSME sector by funding NBFCs to promote financial inclusion & maintain liquidity with a distinctive focus on the MSMEs under priority section lending as it will help them recover and accelerate the overall economic growth. Single point tax compliance is another reform that needs to be implemented. Start-ups do not have the budgets to hire large teams/consultants to manage the multiple compliances."

Rahul Goel, VP Finance, Moglix

2021 saw the rise of 44 Indian unicorns. And many unicorns are poised to go public over the next 5 years, the Union budget 2022 should create a level playing field for domestic and foreign investors and simplify the overseas listing process.  Startups need greater clarity on the input tax credit model of the GST for working capital efficiencies. The budget should rationalize the existing surcharges on LTCG and STCG taxes and consider extended tax exemptions for sunrise and essential categories like e-learning and packaging. ESOPs should be treated as LTCG for taxation, considering the holding period.

Nitya Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO, Simpl

“The start-up ecosystem is a significant contributor to the Indian economy and adds considerable value to Brand India. As a fillip to start-ups and SMEs, there could be some merit in exploring the idea – apparently floated earlier by SEBI – for a proposed stock market to facilitate funding access to such entities, thereby enhancing liquidity in these segments. Another initiative would be the establishment of dedicated technical institutions for start-ups providing guidance on legal, business and technology aspects, enabling these players to scale their businesses to the next level.”

Sahil Sheth, Founder & CEO - LIDO Learning

"Watching the ed-tech sector gain steam in 2021 has been extremely rewarding, and to a substantial extent, we have the government to thank for facilitating the growing ed-tech movement. I hope the upcoming Union Budget helps ed-tech platforms like Lido scale further up. I know the new budget will be all about economic recovery, and empowering the common man, with a focus on job creation, credit growth, and infrastructure development. In education, I'm hoping for a bigger budget allocation so that more and more students can get the educational support they need, and for the integration of technology within traditional learning. A critical component that will play a role in the progress of ed-tech in 2022 is smartphone and Internet penetration, so I hope the Union budget announces programs to solidify Internet infrastructure and ensure last-mile connectivity in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. With so many startups now a part of the ed-tech segment, I am also hoping for a simplified loan approval process for MSMEs. We need robust data protection laws, and ramped up investments and partnerships within the ed-tech sector for further growth this year."

Mahesh Shukla, CEO & Founder, PayMe India 

"We believe that the upcoming Budget will give a push to the Fintech Industry towards an affluent future and will strengthen the existing financing system. Budget 2022 is expected to include tangible steps which will make conducting business more accessible, and it is anticipated that the government will investigate how low-cost financing for entrepreneurs may be made available. The new Budget may implicit flexible corporate laws, which will be a boon for the Fintech Industry"

Sumit Chhazed, Co-founder, OTO Capital 

"The upcoming union budget should have a beneficial impact as EV financing, which is likely to be placed under the priority sector for prompt adoption. This would subsequently create a robust ecosystem for electric vehicles. Therefore more and more citizens can afford EV at lower interest rates and avail fringe benefits in the form of tax deduction on loans, an incentive implemented by the government the preceding year. There is also a need to amend the PLI scheme to incentivize the MSME’s and startups that invests heavily in R&D resulting in the indindigenization of electric components for EV space.’’

Saahil Goel, CEO & Co-founder, Shiprocket

"We have a lot of expectations of support to the start-up ecosystems which can really boost the economy. There should be a single window for all the relevant registrations like company incorporation, shop establishment, GST registration, MSME certificate etc. which will help save time, efforts, and money considerably. For start-ups, ESOP’s are key to attract & incentivize talent, these should not be taxed on vesting as recipients do not have ready cash in the hands at that point, the taxation should be on the final Sale of shares. Further, there is a deduction of TDS by the e-commerce operators on sale of goods, which leads to blockage of capital – that should be done away with.

India’s Logistics cost are high. Steps towards Subsuming petroleum products under the GST regime have been under discussion for long; these will reduce fuel cost and progress needs to be made in that direction"

Anil Nagar, Founder & CEO, Adda247

"The companies in the startup ecosystem will play a significant role in transforming the country’s image. The Government should support this through a lower GST, while focusing on creating a strong digital infrastructure to improve the quality & experience of online education for students in cities as well as remote areas. The government should also forge alliances with Edtech companies to accelerate the learning outcomes with the help of cutting-edge technologies in the education ecosystem."

Kartik Shah, CEO, Coldrush logistics

"The logistics industry is dealing with non-predictable fuel prices, and its non-inclusion in the GST regime is already making it hard for companies in this space. This sector also has a higher CAPEX cost, making the liquidity cycle more stringent for businesses. Currently, the processed food segment is growing rapidly and needs reefer transport. But the GST on fully built reefer vehicles is 18%; thus, reducing it would significantly encourage businesses to invest in it and thrive in their journeys. Similarly, extending the subsidy scheme on these vehicles would also be a step in the right direction and help players operate more seamlessly without any financial burden.

Moreover, the central and state governments currently have huge unused land parcels at prime locations. These can be leveraged to create warehouses and cold storage. The government has also pushed for the use of solar in this sector. However, it is not viable for medium-level players like us. As a result, the government can incentivize this and explore other possibilities to make solar power duty-free for cold storage providers. This move will serve a bigger goal of reducing carbon footprints and building a sustainable ecosystem for businesses."  

Shiv Sharma, VP International, Stocktwits.

"Based on our social media surveys, most retail investors "avoid trading" during the Budget, likely because many own blue-chip, secular winners for the long-term. Meanwhile, active retail traders usually ride momentum on sectors expected to hear bullish commentary in the Budget session. This year our data shows retail investors expect renewable energy to see increased focus. Retail investors are also hoping for relaxing of Long Term Capital Gains Tax and clarity on crypto tax policy."

Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder of Indian Angel Network & Founding partner, IAN fund

"India has today grown to the third-largest startup ecosystem in the World with more than 60k startups and 42 unicorns, with 4 of them emerging in the very first month of 2022. With over 2250 startups added in 2021 and $24.1 billion investment it is very clear that startups are one of the key drivers of the economy. We expect Union Budget 2022 to be an enabling budget for the startup economy. As India is the fastest-growing startup ecosystem, we need an enabler for the country to become the fastest growing angel investor ecosystem. This can only happen if investor exits are eased and therefore expect the removal of section 281 for overseas buyers of shares of Indian Unlisted Companies, amendment of Section 79 so that acquired companies are allowed to carry forward the losses once acquired."

Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, StoreHippo

“Innovation is a key driver of India's corporate and economic growth, as proven by the pandemic crisis. As a result, we anticipate that the government would prioritise helping companies in dealing with the challenges and consequences of the pandemic. We expect regulations that make it easier for businesses to go online and run their online stores and marketplaces since offline businesses have been severely impacted and every business owner is planning to go online. Not all firms have the resources to fulfil the time-consuming compliance requirements, such as GST, or to deal with the paperwork required to launch an online endeavour. The government should relax regulations and provide support to small and medium-sized firms from certain necessary compliances. 

Overall, the budget would make it easier for companies struggling from the impact of COVID to acquire funding. Aside from that, there should be some relief for businesses that have experienced considerable losses as a result of the shutdown and subsequent events.”

Sanjay Kaul Founder and CEO at Xpand

"India's technology sector, which is famed for its cutting-edge innovative capabilities and global success has been working diligently to combat the pandemic without causing commercial disruption. The industry is expecting a deduction for working from home/remote working set up and exemptions on medical and insurance expenditure. The government should consider 5% GST on health insurance to improve coverage, especially in rural areas."

Akshat Jain, CTO & Co-founder, Cyware

"The Union Budget 2022 will be crucial in defining the way forward for the Indian economy. Especially for the IT startup ecosystem, one of the key expectations from the 2022 budget would be to focus on relaxing the tax burden on the sector. This will help Indian startups to recover from the effects of the challenges faced due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We expect this budget to bring in initiatives that will accelerate funding availability and cash flow mechanisms. With the increased digitization, cyberattacks have increased both at the citizen level and at a higher level impacting critical infrastructure."

Khadim Batti, CEO & Co-Founder, Whatfix

"We hope that government resources, funds, and capital will be readily available as young entrepreneurs enter this ecosystem. Budgetary incentives will provide start-up businesses with a boost. Currently, long-term and short-term capital gains on public stocks are almost double. As startups gain popularity, the government should encourage more people to start working at startups."

Niraj Singh, Founder & CEO, Spinny 

"The Government should introduce more incentives to buyers and sellers to boost the penetration of this segment by incorporating tech advancements and modern solutions with contactless home deliveries, thereby ensuring safety and convenience to customers at every point possible. A uniform GST rate of 5% on the margin for all used vehicles could be a great move and make this segment organized. This will eventually ramp up the demand for second-hand cars by pulling in more customers."

Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India

"The data center industry would like to draw attention of the Government towards this and make provisions in the budget  for big investments in power generation and improvement in power distribution infrastructure so that the upcoming demands of 100s of MWs of power for the data centers  can be met efficiently . The industry has also highlighted changes needed in power distribution policies to enable the data center industry to use "Green Power” more effectively and clear roadmap for data protection policy."

Srikanth Iyer, CEO and Co- Founder, HomeLane 

"The real estate industry is going through an unprecedented boom globally post Covid and India is no exception. This has led to the demand for home interiors shooting up and the Indian furniture industry is in the middle of an unprecedented boom in the organised sector. This is projected to be close to 30Bn$ in FY22.

However, the manufacturing is still being done in other SE Asian countries as the overall costs are still much higher for manufacturing in India. Given that there is a global crisis in the supply-chain because of which costs are  temporarily high, it is the appropriate time to give a significant boost to the large players in the furniture industry to manufacture in India. I would request for the Minister to consider a PLI for the furniture and associated hardware industries. This will ensure that we are able to divert most of the manufacturing requirements domestically thereby generating much needed employment, investments and help the industry break from the stranglehold from China and other countries."

Mansi Vyas, Co-founder & Director, Azafran Premium Tastes

“One of the crucial supports of Indian Economy is the middle and upper middle class. Upon increased available disposable income, they can drive overall growth of the economy. We are hoping to see some tax relaxations in this upcoming budget so that it increases the overall disposable income which will further drive growth in FMCG sector.

In addition to this we also feel that this union budget should give certain tax relaxations and benefits to start ups which will help us to expand our businesses”

Sreejith Moolayil, COO and Co-Founder, True Elements

Govt has been talking about allowing nationalized banks to use accrued GST credit as collateral for some time. There is no better time to execute it and bring in liquidity than now, with Wave 3 looking at us in the face. Not only would this help SMEs & Startups, but it will also help banks deploy unutilized loan limits from the last 2 budgets."

Aditya Arya, Co-founder of Yes Madam 

"With rising COVID-19 cases due to the new Omicron variant, Indian economic recovery may once again take a setback. As lockdowns and restrictions are being imposed by several states to control the COVID-19 cases, various sectors are expecting the government to increase the capital outlay so that impetus to the economy can be provided. 

Few key relaxation in taxes to boost the start up sector and rise in FDI inflow are among other expectations from the Budget 2022 by the industry."

Harmadeep Singh, Founder, The Barbeque Company 

  • Tax exemption for restaurant industry.
  • Rentals at Malls or by Landlords to be given a cap. Or reduced by 50%. Where we have lockdown.
  • Licenses renewal fee to be exempted Or reduced. As business is hit badly.
  • Support like other developed countries. Some financial incentive to ground level staff. In case of lockdown.
  • Mediclaim coverage for staff with salary below Rs 20 K a month.
  • If someone falls sick because of covid and has salary of Less than Rs 20,000. He should be given FREE treatment in any private hospital to reduce burden on overloaded government hospitals.

Sathvik Vishwanath, Co-Founder & CEO, Unocoin 

“When it comes to cryptos, I am not expecting anything amazing to come out of budget this time. If at all, the income tax confusions may get cleared up. This is not the time to propose new regulations.”

 Sunil Jalihal & Padmaja Jalihal, Founders, Indic Inspirations 

To promote and sustain the domestic craft & manufacturing sector, the Finance Ministry should support and promote “Procurement with Purpose” where Corporates are encouraged to buy Made in India products - made by MSMEs, traditional Arts & Crafts that are eco-friendly, use sustainable materials and processes. Such procurements by industry could be encouraged through tax breaks and allowed to be included in CSR Programs. It will go a long way to wean Corporates away from cheap plastic products from China and other places and meet Climate Change challenges too!

Farman Beig, Co-founder & CEO of Wat-a-Burger

"It takes multiple licenses to establish a food & beverage business in India. We expect the government to address this in the upcoming budget.  Additionally, the sector requires reintroduction of the inputs tax credit. Also, considering the sector has been struggling due to the pandemic havoc, it is necessary to provide it with relief package and special fund allocation for speedy recovery," 

Anshuman Khanna, Director, ValPro

"We expect budget 2022 to continue the trend of the previous few budgets of FM Sitharaman. It would be a budget focussed less on tweaks to tax rates and slabs and a greater focus on serving as a platform for major economic announcements. We expect announcements aimed at spurring the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with capex outlays in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, education and agriculture. We also expect the divestment target for FY22-23 to be revised to INR 2 trillion with the rollover of divestment of BPCL, LIC and Concor. The tax revenues for FY 21-22 should exceed budget target of 15.45 trillion rupees on the back of higher GST collections and higher corporate earnings boosting direct tax collections. This will aid the government in meeting its fiscal deficit target of 6.8% for the current year. We expect the tax revenues target to be set at about INR 20 trillion for the next year and a fiscal deficit target of 5.5% which would be very well received by analysts and economists both in India and abroad."

Vedant Lamba, Founder of The Mainstreet Marketplace 

"As tragic as the pandemic has been - we have seen it cause a solid boom for Edtech, fintech and health tech industries as they have played integral roles in supporting our nation during these tough times. We are hopeful for the government to acknowledge the value-added from these sectors and provide incentives, subsidies, and strong support to build in this space. Overall, I'm quite optimistic for what is to come on the 1st of February."

Aradhana Minawala- Co-Founder, The CAI Store

"The third wave of Covid has had its adverse effects on the startup industry and we're looking forward to tax relaxations and incentives in the upcoming budget. The recent increase in GST on footwear priced below Rs 1000 has also had an impact on the retail industry, and more for the consumers willing to purchase affordable footwear. We hope the Government reconsiders these rates in the near future like done for the textile industry. A rollback on the same is required not just for the retail but also the startup industry altogether.

Kushang, Co-founder & CEO of SupplyNote

The food and beverage industry has incurred heavy losses due to the pandemic, which makes it essential for us to look up to the Union Budget 2022-23 for relief. In order to accelerate the recovery of the sector, this budget should enable interest free loans, greater subsidies, and a reduction in tax structure. Additionally, since most of the F&B businesses fall under Micro and SMB categories they should be offered extended moratorium. Considering the current situation, business losses should be allowed to be carried forward from the existing 8 years to 12 years,”

Mohamad Faraz, Founding Partner, Upsparks

"The start-ups sector has also seen tremendous growth in recent times, despite the challenges and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. To ease the burden on start-ups and promote this sector further, we expect the government to look into some of the pressing concerns. The most important area would be the overall ease of doing business, which includes setup and commencement of business and most importantly the entire tax structure and rules related to GST, income tax, etc. Startup-friendly policies should be made to easily register a business and provide relaxation in taxes till it reaches a minimum revenue and allow easy access to working capital."

Anjali Bansal, Founder Avaana Capital  

“We expect continued support for the start-up ecosystem in the form of higher outlay under the Start-Up India Seed Fund, for providing institutional support and boosting start-up growth. Large scale deployment of public digital infrastructure, including the Ayushmann Bharat for Healthcare and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) for E-commerce will provide the digital rails for new business models and start-ups to emerge. Start-ups innovating in priority sectors such as sustainability, climate, healthcare and life sciences typically face lower capital flows from the private market. Availability of pools of catalytic capital can enable these start-ups to produce technology-led solutions to core issues.”

“We also expect significant measures to promote the ease of doing business in India, including regulatory support for debt structures that are more suitable to the requirements of start-ups; rationalization of GST mechanism for start-ups, who often end up paying GST at high rates under reverse charge mechanism; increased speed of IP and trademark approval; and reduced cost and complexity of regulations and compliance. Budget 2022 to continue supporting the mobilization of domestic pools of institutional capital, that will increase the flow of investments in India’s thriving startup ecosystem,” 

Victor Senapaty, CO-Founder, Propelld

"2022 union budget has been expected to bring policies for startups to promote leadership and entrepreneurship in India. Newbie startups would expect new incentives and simplified compliances since the economy has been majorly impacted worldwide due to the pandemic. Fintech startups are looking for the finance ministry to bring innovative reforms, policies, and regulations to offer relief and tax sops to the overall startup ecosystem."

Rajesh Murthy, Vice President, Intellicus

"Govt. should further encourage digitization of companies and 100% made-in-India software products. At present, the GST with the full input tax credit is 18% for all software products produced and sold in India. We expect this rate must be tapered down to support indigenous creators of software IP in India."

Kapil Makhija, CEO Unicommerce

"The young aspirational Indian’s from these regions have started adopting e-commerce extensively and if the government continues to focus on the infrastructure there is immense growth potential. Also, we expect that the government will further provide clarity on the tax obligations of e-commerce companies and brands as it will help them further streamline their operations. We also believe that logistics infrastructure will play a pivotal role and any reform in improving India’s supply chain infrastructure will help in further driving the growth of India’s e-commerce industry."

Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-founder of InterviewBit & Scaler 

"The pandemic proved to be a watershed in marking the shift to a largely, if not wholly digital mode of learning and instruction. However, there remains room for improvement, especially in terms of the quality of service delivery. While the transition to an online mode of education may have been relatively seamless for those with means and situated in metros and tier I cities, those less privileged struggled to keep pace. It is primarily due to the lack of sturdy internet infrastructure in tier 2 and 3 cities, requiring an urgent upgrade. With the rollout of 5G, the government will also need to ensure adequate 4G coverage is made available to learners across demographics. Therefore, it would be prudent in the upcoming Budget if the government allocates sufficient funds to improve internet infrastructure, especially in smaller cities, to facilitate learning and upskilling among aspirants.

Ram Kewalramani, Co-founder & Managing Director, CredAble 

"The startup industry has immense potential to create huge employment opportunities and increase the FDI inflow. All through the pandemic, we have seen an exemplary set of startups step up their game with a host of innovative solutions — laying the groundwork for the future of business. With the upcoming Budget 2022, startups are seeking relief and the introduction of reforms that will further increase the inflow of working capital into their sector."

Himesh Joshi, CEO &Co Founder, Ayu Health Hospitals 

The government should look at further easing the regulatory burden for startups, as well as the overall regulatory process which should be completely digitized. The government should also engage more people from the start up ecosystem to ensure policy making stays in sync with innovation. In health-tech specifically, there's a blurring line between healthcare providers and health-tech companies, and therefore simplifications of areas like taxation will go a long way. 

Anup Patil, CEO of Intangles Lab Pvt. Ltd

"The 2022 budget is very critical for start-ups, considering that many have struggled to survive during the pandemic. Startups are looking forward to support from the government this year. The startup ecosystem's expectations are for some tax relaxations and startup-friendly measures for making it easier to incorporate a company, streamlining compliance mechanisms, and avenues for easier capital access for budding startups. Also, we are keen on hearing some initiatives to promote startups in tier 2 and tier 3 towns, making the whole ecosystem more inclusive."

Ram Iyer, Founder & CEO, Vayana Network

 “In the upcoming Union Budget announcement, it will be beneficial to the MSME sector if initiatives like a restructuring channel for MSME's is introduced. Through this channel, any MSME showing stress over the last 2 years can online register itself in this channel and get waiver on taxes and penalties for a period up to 12 months, subject to an agreed set of rules. In terms of consumption, an increase in tax slabs can ensure more purchasing power to consumers. From a start-up point of view, allow ESOP taxation to be at point of sale and not at exercise.” 

Sachin Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO, Ninety One Cycles

“In times like this when geopolitics will define global supply chains, India should seize the initiative and truly become a world class manufacturing base in line with PM Modi's initiative of Make in India, Make for the World. Simplification at all levels - tariffs, duties, permissions, compliances etc. - is the need of the hour. With Climate becoming a major factor for humanity, it is time India starts investing in green initiatives like cycling infrastructure. Sustainable mobility is not just electric scooters and cars but also e-bikes and regular cycles. E-bikes need to be brought under the definition of EVs so that consumers can benefit from the subsidy and tax breaks given to EVs. Cycles need to be moved from the 12% GST slab to 0% to promote cycling, which is not only environment friendly but also immensely healthy for the population at large.”

Vishal Bhatia, Chief Financial Officer, True Balance

"“Fin-tech companies and small NBFC's have high expectations from this year's Union Budget. I am hoping for the budget to dive deeper into the FinTech system and push the community to bridge the financial gap between the users and financial institutions. As part of our core belief, we want personal finance to be accessible for everyone from any part of the world as ‘digital finance’ is the new way of living post-COVID-19. Ahead of the budget, we are positive that along with slight relaxation on the taxes, liquidity support from bigger banks and the government will help keep the cash inflow for smaller NBFC’s. All these focus points will help us go the extra mile and elevate funding along with credit allocation to the end-user". 

Narendra Pasuparthy, Chief Farmer, CEO & Co-founder, Nandu's

"D2C which is a thriving category today, involves end-to-end transit from the manufacturer upto the consumer household, which in turn means burning of fossil fuel. Therefore, better subsidies on electric vehicles, and incentivising D2C companies to adopt green transportation for commercial delivery will not only improve the industry but also encourage sustainability in the long run"  

Hiren Shah, Founder, The Men's Lab

"With pandemic hitting the world many businesses have been bearing losses. Some had to lay off their staff and shut down completely. We need the government's help in sustaining the businesses and the growth of the Indian economy. We are expecting a decent budget allocation by the government for the startup brands like us. This would help us run better operations and provide better services to the customers. To help us with that, the government can set a low-interest loans policy for the service providers, and also lower the GST as it directly affects our sales and services.

Shilpa Khanna Thakkar, CEO, Chicnutrix

“The make in India or Be India Buy Indian should be the key focus. India has emerged as a land of opportunities where we are constantly witnessing a lot of start-ups flourishing. Quite a few successful start-ups have been spearheaded by women. There is still a gap of financial support and literacy that becomes an obstacle. Efforts need to be taken to support and mentor these entrepreneurs. Investing in home-grown start-ups and brands will make them more independent. Also, consumption of Indian products will boost the economy and make the grass greener. Investors and government bodies should allocate funding that supports sustainable businesses. With health and wellness taking center stage, there should be a relaxation of taxes on essential wellness products. Encouragement to use wellness and nutrition products will boost the demand which is another factor leading to the growth of start-ups.” 

Amit Das, Co-founder and CEO of Think360.ai 

"As a growing startup focused on financial services, AI and innovation, we hope this year’s budget is focused on rapid growth across these sectors, while also laying down some more foundational rails for continued growth and resilience."

Shayak Mazumder, CEO & Co-Founder, Eunimart

We are expecting focus on increased digitization and availability of all govt assets including, not limited to, postal system, national logistics grid, banks, and tax/customs departments, enabling people to transact transparently and from the convenience of their devices."

Vishal Saurav, CEO & Founder of VFLYX India 

“The drone technology has been gaining momentum in India in the last couple of years, especially since the announcement of allotment of 120 Cr via PLI scheme over the three years. This makes us believe that the budget also will give some tax relief and promote the 'Make in India' campaign for drones more aggressively. Getting some subsidy for Agri drones will help Indian farmers to adopt latest technology thus giving boost to India’s biggest industry- Agriculture. Opening the defense sector more to the private players will be a shot in the arm. If the import duties are reduced, it will encourage drone manufacturing in India so that the overall cost of the system is way lesser.”

Rajat jain , Co-founder, Pataa

"The country is still coming to terms with the onslaught of COVID-19 and like many sectors, even the startup and tech industries are rallying in to relax the tax burden. There are some low hanging fruits like allowing startups to carry forward loses, bringing down the GST rate or providing relief packages. However the key issue that needs to be addressed is of funding. Cashflow and funding problem has killed many a successful and profitable business than any other factor put together. Even now most Indian startups (up to 85%) receive funding from overseas investors."

Vidhu Nautiyal, Chief Revenue Officer, CloudConnect

“India has a huge start-up potential, especially in the technology sector. Given the digital transition in various industries owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to keep the growth steady and on the positive side of the graph. With AI and IoT (Internet of Things) being one the most sort after investment areas as well as 5G expected to hit the market in the second half of the year; further liberalization of the tax regime is something the start-up sector is looking forward to. Additionally, it’s important to note that currently, India has around 1K plus SaaS companies that are expected to grow 25 times over the next 10 years making India a key tech player in the global market. In light of the same, reducing the tax  burden on SMEs and MSMEs will surely be a step forward in boosting the start-up economy and help in creating a nurturing environment for businesses as well as pushing the negatives of the pandemic towards an optimistic note.” 

Shams Tabrej, Financial Expert and Founder Ezeepay

"With the growing demand for digitalization and platforms, it becomes important to take care of the funding in this area too. Last year, the government of India allocated Rs 1,500 crore to our sector to boost online payments and take fintech to another level. We hope even this year the government shows us the support and helps us do better. With the right funding and investment, we would be able to make the process easy for users and also generate employment in the country too."

Rahul Goel, Founder, Woodman

"As the MSME sector is extremely important for employing over 120 million people and is an important component for growth, it’s imperative to reduce the corporate tax for companies having annual turnover of less than 500 crores.This year's budget should focus on empowering the small scale industries and to ensure an oversight framework to protect their interests. Some incentive schemes or benefits for high tax payers of India to push more and more people to pay direct taxes should be on top priority for the government in the upcoming Budget 2021. Provisions for the right framework and liquidity will empower them to digitize and make this the year of recovery for MSMEs."

Amit Sharma, Founder and CEO at eExpedise Healthcare

"This year's budget is crucial and we expect concrete policies, framework and investments for affordable and accessible healthcare from the government. One way the government can do this is through reduced GST on healthcare products and services by keeping life-saving drugs at the lowest GST bracket and having “zero-rating” of GST for health care services. The government should work on the Private Public Partnership PPP model for better infrastructure, research & innovation to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for the masses. We also are looking forward to more investment and planning on the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). Targeted incentives and tax holidays should be given to the healthcare and allied sectors for making India as a leading destination". 

Jatin Ahuja, Founder and MD at Big Boy Toyz

"Luxury car segment in India have seen a decline of almost fifty percent compared to last year. Moreover, the luxury car segment have some of the highest duties, GST, cess and registration costs. I urge the government to kindly review the current tax structure for luxury vehicle cars and come to a more rational tax structure to drive growth in the sector. We look forward to in ease in direct and indirect taxation and also some policy level initiatives. It is time that the Indian Luxury Auto market come at par with other developing economies and we hope this budget to take the step in the right direction."

Kunal Sarkar, Vice President, PredictiVu

"In Union Budget 2022, we expect the Government to provide provisions that will strengthen the start-up ecosystem and encourage an entrepreneurial culture in the country. We also expect lowering of the compliance burden, improving access to capital, fostering better internet connectivity infrastructure, and facilitating mass data literacy programs to accelerate the digitalization of the nation. With the advent of such huge data which may include sensitive data as well, policies should be developed around data security and governance backed by incentives that encourage Indian investors to back home-grown advanced startups. Implementing these measures can reinforce India’s positioning as a global hub for AI empowering Indian companies, the outlook needs due diligence to promote local innovations under the ‘Make in India’ initiative".

Anika Parashar, Founder and CEO, The Woman Company

"The Union Budget should emphasise on Women wellness - especially menstrual hygiene. We already have tax exemption on sanitary pads, however this could be extended to manufacturing and production. Further, decreasing import duties for raw materials could bridge the gap between supply and demand as well encourage more Indian manufacturers to start manufacturing biodegradable pads in the country. There should be policy level incentivisation for Made In India products, start-ups helmed by women and ventures that focus on sustainability and solving for women's issues. The Government should promote the use of biodegradable menstrual products to bring down waste produced by plastic products – a figure which currently stands at a staggering 12.3 billion annually. We also expect the government to improve digital infrastructure in Tier II, III cities, and rural regions so that the next group of consumers can enter the D2C ecosystem."

Kapil Bhatia, Founder & CEO, UNIREC

The fashion startups are expecting the government to improve the disposable income of the consumers as well as the reduction in GST rates of readymade clothings. Current GST rates of readymade clothes that cost above INR 1000 fall under the category of 12 percent and the government should bring it down to 5 percent. The government, with its budget, should focus on improving the infrastructure and remove any kind of inconveniences in the supply chain for a smoother functioning of the fashion retail industry. In addition to tax rate reduction, easier compliance and simplification of taxes are two of the major expectations of the functional fashion startups in the market. Moreover, the prime motive of the government should be to empower both skilled and unskilled employees.”

Punit Sindhwani, CEO, Paxcom

The last two years have been challenging, especially for SMB, but have also provided opportunities for businesses that were able to successfully embrace eCommerce and Digital Payments. For SMB to survive and thrive, a greater impetus is needed to provide digital tools, training and guidance. Our expectation from the union budget is financial support/incentives, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, to help accelerate the digital India vision.

Rahul Raj, Founder & CEO FloBiz 

In the wake of the 2022 Budget, we expect a special focus from the government to help this sector recover & accelerate overall economic growth. This can come in the form of funding support to NBFCs to maintain liquidity & promote financial inclusion with a distinctive focus on MSMEs under priority sector lending. In addition, reduction in GST rates and relaxation in compliance burden for MSMEs around taxes, audits & loans will go a long way in helping this sector regain its lost momentum.

Moreover, we hope this upcoming budget will lay out initiatives for infrastructure development that can further promote trade & commerce in the country. The government also needs to encourage institutions & start-ups aiming to establish digital frameworks for e-KYC, online payments, digital banking & lending with a special focus on this sector.

Rashi Gupta, Chief Data Scientist & Co-founder, Rezo.ai

“This time, we expect the budget to address two critical areas. One is the country's emphasis on the information technology industry and digital technologies like artificial intelligence. The other is to create a strong startup ecosystem in the country.

Shivam Sinha, Founder and CEO of Indiassetz

“With more than 80 Uniorns, the Indian startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem is rebranding India as "The Next Biggest Startup Hub". Today, India is being recognised as a country with the perfect environment for entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to people all over the world. On this note, policies, which help startups scale exponentially and empower the common man to invest in startup and infrastructure development, should unavoidably be kept on top of the mind for the next fiscal year. This will strengthen the Prime Minister's dream of getting India among the top 5 in the world in every sector.” 

Neha Puri, CEO & Founder, Vavo Digital

"The government has exempted Angel tax on all government recognized startups which is a big relief.  But on the other hand the complex tax system otherwise poses a lot of problems which needs to be simplified."

Sushant Kumar, CEO & MD, AMO Mobility Solutions Pvt Ltd.

"We are hopeful for a well-planned and productive budget session that will provide long-term incentives for EV participants, particularly manufacturers, who are committed to innovation and R&D in the sector. We may also see some bold moves from the ruling party to accommodate foreign and Indian private enterprises in the sector in order to boost indigenous battery production. The budget is expected to include big statements to encourage semiconductor producers from Japan, Taiwan, and the US to invest in India, which will help the mobility sector in providing smart technologies in electric vehicles."

Mithun Majumdar, Co-Founder, 750AD Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.  

"The budget reports suggest that there will be an expenditure of Rs. 2,34,846 crore for health care for FY22. With omnicorn effecting almost every state, the budget allocation will help in fighting this situation well in the country. However, the budget must also focus on Data privacy policies and infrastructure development with the healthcare system working digitally now. With such massive data with healthcare organisations, it is important that data regulatory bodies are developed and privacy of every citizens data is secured."

Vikram SubburajCo-Founder and CEO of Giottus Cryptocurrency Exchange 

We expect well defined regulations around crypto and blockchain technology to eventuate this year which will drive confidence in the ecosystem. We hope the regulations are forward thinking setting a precedence to the developing world with regards to thought leadership and industry development. 

Poshak Agrawal, Co-founder & CEO, Florence Capital

The pandemic has forced more and more women to move to casual labor – 9.3% in Jan-Mar 2021 as against 7.7% in Jan-Mar 2020. So, the Budget needs to not just reverse this trend but create the ground for better formal sector job opportunities for women. This requires work from the ground up, including higher capital expenditure on education and health – issues that are key for women.A recent paper by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy found that the gender budgeting for the 2021-22 Union Budget was only about 5% of the total budget. We hope that the Budget for 2022-23 will prioritize spending on gender budgeting to help reduce inequalities. We are hopeful that 2022-23 will be a year of greater financial inclusion and easier access to credit for more Indians at a personal and enterprise level. We welcome the changes at the top level from the Government and sector-specific regulators.

Neha Indoria, co-founder, Boingg! 

The expectation from the budget is that it would augment a push towards the organised sector of India's furniture market, especially the kid's furniture market (online & offline). We expect policies that level the playing field for the largely unorganised sector in India and also help augment the export market which at this point can be capitalised on given the global tendency to shift away from the Chinese market.

Pankit Desai, co-founder & CEO, Sequretek 

For startups the fundamental issue continues to be ease of doing business and helping ease cash flow challenges. Some of the specific areas where we could use some better support would be around

  • Employee stock options especially around the taxation impact when the stocks vest (but not exercised) and provision for founders to receive ESOPs
  • There is no difference in the regulatory compliances like ROC, GST, IT, RBI whether you are a startup or a large company. The amount of paperwork that is needed to run the company remains the same.
  • By default for the period that you are a registered startup, one needs to be in a lower TDS bracket as the cash flow issues are quite severe.

Rohan Verma, Co-founder and CEO, Breathe Well-being

As Indian tech-driven enterprises in the healthcare field are constantly developing and curating solutions to support India's healthcare infrastructure, the government should consider tax exemptions on funds received and a GST reduction to 3% from the existing 18%. The government should support digital-health startups who are investing heavily in infrastructure by relaxing regulations and providing assistance or exemptions from some mandated compliance requirements.

Avneesh Kumar Agarwal, Founder & CEO at SpeckyFox 

"Due to the pandemic, we all have learned that strengthening the public health infrastructure and bringing pollution control measures are a must for our country. The Finance Ministry needs to focus here too. The demonetization, GST, and now pandemic have really hurt the small scale industry and MSMEs really badly. MSMEs contribute 30% to the country's GDP. This budget should give them the utmost priority in giving them tax rebates, relief in GST, and other sops. Currently, the GST is the same for a product bought from an MSME as well as a large MNC. If the government is asking and promoting the "Make in India" regime, support to MSMEs by reducing the GST for them is a must. The GST rates and structure needs to be rationalized for small businesses.The government also needs to bring a lot of revolution in individual tax structures. The tax rates need to be reduced so that the common man can get more money in his purse."

Naga Subramanya, Associate Director - Finance & Legal, Airmeet 

"There are three areas that those of us in the startup industry hope the government cant provide relaxation around. The first would be with regards to the state-level labor law compliance in view of rising remote and hybrid work. Next, on Angel Tax norms to ensure that exemption is provided to all start-ups and not only those that are approved by the inter-ministerial panel. And last but not least, we look forward to exemption on Income Tax that requires valuation from Merchant Banks since it leads to duplication of efforts and high cost and time for a startup to raise capital" 

Prerna Kalra, CEO & Co-founder, Daalchini Technologies

The Compliance cost of a business should not be more than 0.5% of the net-revenue. If the government can work on this by simplifying regulatory filings for a startup by adopting more cleaner, simpler and transparent policies on rails of tech-infrastructure, it will be the biggest booster shot for the startup ecosystem. Two major asks for retail and F&B industries:

  • Refund of accumulated GST input-tax-credits for startups to boost their businesses
  • Uniform GST rate for the F&B industry as currently the tax structure in F&B is most complicated one with GST rates varying from 0% to 28% and in some cases additional cess is applicable

Nikhil Agrawal, Co-Founder and Chief Corporate Development Officer, Powerhouse91

"From a startup ecosystem perspective, relaxation in taxation laws and further simplification of compliances would help founders focus on other aspects of the business. This year’s budget expectations are primarily focused on strengthening infrastructure, enabling end-to-end digitization, and supporting local brands. It would be helpful for the e-commerce sector if the government increases its focus on improving digital infrastructure in Tier II, III cities, and rural regions. This will inherently stimulate demand for e-commerce in these regions, and dramatically increase the geographical presence of D2C companies."

Harsh Pokharna. Co-Founder and CEO of OkCredit

"FM should also look at doing away with mandatory GST registration for businesses with a turnover of less than Rs 40 lakh. The reduced compliance and paperwork will bring productivity gains for these businesses, making them up and running faster. There is a case for an overall reduction in compliance burden for small businesses."

Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director, Tressmart Marketing Pvt. Ltd. And Paul Penders Botanicals

"The Union Budget of 2022 is expected next month and like all business leaders, startups also have some expectations from the budget. Keeping in mind how the economy has again slowed down the world over, because of the advent of Omnicron, everyone is waiting with bated breath for some incentives to propel different industries forward."

Nishchal Chaudhary, founder of BattRE Electric Mobility 

"There has been a huge push from government to increase proliferation of electric vehicles in India and we are already seeing the results of that.

As an OEM, the only support that I can propose in Budget 2022 is to reduce GST on Lithium Batteries to 5%. It is the biggest cost component in an EV and it still attracts 18% GST.  It will be a revenue neutral intervention, as owing of inverted tax structure the final GST outlay on EV is 5% only. It will not only ease the working capital for OEMs but will also help speed up the evolution of EV ecosystem in India."

Srividya Kannan Founder, Director-Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd.

“Budget 2022 should give a significant boost to the startup ecosystem. Tax on ESOP’s should be levied only against the sale of shares for all DPIIT recognized startups. There should also be incentives for employee training and development skills to ensure a well-equipped workforce to meet the growing tech skill demand. The budget should announce reduced GST rates for the MSME sector, providing the much-needed impetus for further growth. Also, credit terms for billings from this sector should be brought down to 30 days from the current mandate of 45 days”.

Senu Sam, founder of Mykare Health

This year's budget must include a dedicated allocation of funds for healthcare delivery, expanding healthcare accessibility, infrastructure upgrades, and a primary focus on healthcare innovations through promoting and supporting entrepreneurs in this sector. This pandemic has clearly accelerated the demand for and use of technology-driven solutions in healthcare, and this trend is here to stay. 

Bhavik Vasa Cofounder, GetVantage

“Small businesses and now startups are the key pillars of the Indian growth story. Democratising access to capital and increasing liquidity thru priority sector lending for SMEs & startups is key to this budget and for the consumption economy to bounce back thru these turbulent times.“ 

Dawn Thomas, Co-founder, VRO Hospitality-FnB Startup.

"Every budget, restaurateurs pray for just one thing, application of input GST. For some time, we have been charging on a very small part of GST, 5%, to our customers. The government has not allowed restaurants to avail the input GST which can be set off against rent, consultancy, etc. If this is done, this would help restaurants save millions.

Also, it is high time for the sector to come under a dedicated ministry. Over the last two years ever since the onset of the pandemic, the F&B sectors has been worst hit. This despite the fact that the F&B industry has been one of the fastest growing in the country and is one of the largest employment providers. It is always the first to get impacted when the lockdown sets in and also the last to get recovered when lockdown is eased. Roughly the industry adds around 2-3% to the GDP and it is high time we have a dedicated ministry for the F&B sector".

Ritesh Mehta, Head of Finance, Toch AI

India is seeing a massive boom in the technology sector with enterprising start-ups pushing the boundaries to come up with innovative solutions that can be used in India and also globally. Early-stage startups procuring services from overseas providers pay 18% GST under the reverse-charge mechanism, but are unable to claim input tax credits as they often have little to no revenues. It would be great to see an exemption from having to pay GST under reverse-charge mechanism up to a certain revenue threshold. For instance, all DPIIT-registered startups with less than Rs 10 crore in annual revenue should be offered an exemption from paying the 18%. This will be a great motivator for early stage start-ups. 

Varun Mahna's Quote Founder and CEO, Dangal Games

The E-gaming industry has been growing at a greater pace with Fantasy Gaming taking the centre stage. Acting as a catalyst for economic growth, these platforms over the years have gained high popularity amongst the tech savvy youth and would encourage more employment opportunities in the coming months, thereby driving better monetization for the creators, operators as well as end users. We expect the Union budget to pay heed to this booming sector and extend support to fuel the new age startups and entrepreneurs venturing in the space. Clear and considerate favourable policies would benefit the sector and stimulate interest from investors across national as well as global organisations. 

Dipika Jaikishan, Co-Founder and COO of Basis

"It's no secret that women who run businesses are far and few in-between. Incentives for women entrepreneurs and investors backing women-run businesses will be a welcome change. While budgets year-on-year have been catering to the asks of the start-up ecosystem, a systemic nudge to bring more entrepreneurs into the fold should be encouraged by establishing SOPs in place — allowing women to take the plunge when it comes to running a business".

Akarsh Singh, CEO and CoFounder of Tsaaro

"To encourage a privacy-first mindset in the Indian business landscape, the Union budget should allocate seed funding for startups in the data protection space and incentives for obtaining certifications from regulatory authorities to show adherence to data protection standards. And to resolve the gap between the demand and supply of data privacy specialists across the industry, the government should prioritize cyber upskilling and reskilling programs, ensuring that the next age of privacy professionals has the necessary training and expertise to lead India towards developing an international standard for data privacy."

Sanya Goel, Co-founder of Humsafar Diesel Door Delivery startup

“The Diesel Door Delivery Startup Sector initiated in 2019, MOP&NG and DPIIT have enabled investment of approximately Rs 400 crores, including 1000+ bowsers. However, diesel sales are yet to take off in a big way and that is making investors desperate. To initiate the second phase of deregulation the Government needs to liberalize, add more categories of customer segments, and nudge oil marketing companies in the right direction. As a Startup, the Government needs to do much more to let the startup blossom, and nurture and use the scope for employment they offer. India has huge strength in terms of skilled Tech workforce which few countries can boast. We need to let Tech applications proliferate usage in a much bigger way if the country benefits from it. We also need larger booster funds for early-stage startups or a different tax regime for startups.” 

Tarusha Mittal, COO & Co-Founder, OroPocket & UniFarm

"The financial year 2021-2022 had been quite an eventful year for the blockchain and crypto industry, especially in terms of regulating the industry. I see 2022-2023 would be even more crucial for the industry as we foresee more clarity in terms of regulation as well as taxation from the Government. We request our Honourable Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitaraman to bring more stability to the industry with the upcoming Union Budget. I believe crypto-assets if regulated properly and in a more liberal manner can bring tremendous benefits to the economy with by-products like increased prosperity to the investor community and at the same time protecting them from any potential threats. Also, introducing a progressive taxation policy for crypto will boost the industry's confidence."

Kartik Singhal, Founder, O2 Cure & Director, Zeco Aircon

"The government of India had earmarked Rs 2,217 crores for Clean Air Initiatives to tackle burgeoning air pollution in 42 cities in its 2021 budget. As I have earlier expressed my concern, this amount did not suffice to tackle the increasing problem of air pollution. Moreover, the same year a second wave of COVID-19 caused by the airborne delta variant created havoc. Air Purifiers have already proved their mettle in controlling pandemic and air pollution. Proper research is required to make air purifiers more effective against air pollution and airborne infection. Additional allocation of funds in this year's budget can boost this work. Now that we are on the verge of the third wave with never decreasing air pollution, I firmly believe that in this budget, more importance will be given to the HVAC and Air Purification industry to tackle the burning issues."

Kunal Kislay, CEO and Co-Founder of IWiz

The upcoming budget must equate with the momentum at which these startups are progressing. We expect further developments to Make in India and Digital India initiatives in order to establish India as a deep-tech hub. As digital adoption and transformation accelerate, Budget 2022 needs to focus on building a strong IT and internet infrastructure as well.

Ravi Mittal, Founder & CEO, QuackQuack

"The frequent lockdowns and Covid waves have shown the importance of online economy and how startups have played a pivotal role in catering to the needs of Indians. We’re hoping for a strong push for a digital economy and startups in particular. For homegrown startups to thrive, government should also invest in promoting tech talents especially in AI and machine learning at the college level which can drive job growth. The ease of doing business needs further boost so more startups can thrive with fewer compliances and paper work.”

Balaji Kandregula, Vice President, MSRvantage 

"Indian government IT spending is projected to total $8.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 8.6% from 2021 according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. With adequate funding, access to resources, and visibility, companies using Blockchain as their primary technology will look to optimize their business models to suit the current global scenario and scale their business. When we consider companies such as media-tech platforms, they are bound to invest more in tech-based infrastructure as 2020 was a year of unprecedented growth for the industry. Tech-led companies will look to amplify their vision with no restrictions when it comes to the ability to access state-of-the-art infrastructure to boost growth and progress."

Aniruddha Sen, Co-Founder Kenko Health 

"The 2022 Union Budget comes at a unique time and could mark a watershed moment for publi



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