Budget 2020: Focus on AI, ML, IoT and Quantum Computing will provide a boost to digital economy

With a huge focus on Internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, India Inc believes that the budget will provide a boost to the country’s digital economy

Budget 2020: Focus on AI, ML, IoT and Quantum Computing will provide a boost to digital economy

Express Computer

on February 3, 2020

With a huge focus on Internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, India Inc believes that the budget will provide a boost to the country’s digital economy

We present below some industry reactions from different firms:

Ashwin Kumar, Director, Data Centre and Cloud Operations, Linode India

With a focus on technology and innovation, Budget 2020 sets the foundation for India’s future. The allocation of INR 3000 crore for skills development will help bridge a sizable technological skills gap in the country and enhance the global competitiveness of small and mid-size businesses throughout the country, which today employ 40 percent of India’s total workforce and contribute nearly 30 percent to the India’s economy. We welcome all efforts that positively drive the key levers of modern business — innovation, growth and efficiency.”

Sunil Sharma, managing director – sales, Sophos India & SAARC

The Government’s Union Budget 2020 is built on the bedrock of emerging technologies including Artifical Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and more. Initiatives such as building data center parks across India aiming to safeguard ‘data’, the most critical asset of organisations along with the digitisation of 100,000 Gram panchayat through its Bharatnet initiative will strengthen the digital fabric of the country. However, increased digital penetration brings along with it cybersecurity risks. As per a recent report, Indian IT managers detected 39% of threats on servers, 35% on the network, 8% on endpoints and 18% on mobile. Additionally, 90% of IT managers believe cybersecurity awareness and education among employees is a major challenge for organisations. That said, while we welcome the Governments proposed steps in strengthening the MSMEs that provide employment to millions of people, we need more impetus on building skilled cybersecurity professionals in the country. The government’s allocation of Rs. 3,000 crore towards skill development is a step in the right direction towards building India’s youth and economy.” Sunil Sharma, managing director – sales, Sophos India & SAARC

Hemal Gathani, Co-founder of Zeux Innovation

Two messages stand out from today’s Union Budget address for companies like us. One, the commitment being demonstrated by the Government to emerging technologies and initiatives being taken to improve the ecosystem – be it in terms of setting knowledge or technology clusters or announcing a National Mission on Quantum Technologies. Having relocated from US to start a company here, we are thrilled with the government’s resolve on this issue. Two, trying to do their bit in creating more stable start-ups – by resolving issues such as tax relaxation on ESOPs. Although much more is still to be done jumpstart the economy, but steps such as these will surely help stem the fall and lay new ground for growth.

Government is walking the talk to make India a leading startup hub in the world. Government has announced numerous benefits for all the key stakeholders in the startup space – Employees, Investors & Promoters etc. This will go a long way to make India the preferred destination for startups.

Sandeep Bhambure, Vice President and Managing Director, India & SAARC, Veeam

The government’s announcement of setting up a policy to build data centre parks throughout India for digital connectivity and the allocation of Rs 6,000 crores for BharatNet is a big step towards a successful Digital India initiative. This will increase the adoption of technologies such as IoT, Analytics and AI; leading to an unprecedented amount of data generation. Data management and protection will play a key role to safeguard the citizen’s data from cyber-breaches. Additionally, the implementation of intelligent data management platforms will help achieve positive outcomes from the data.

Yadvendra Tyagi, Co-Founder of EnKash

Budget 2020-21 has been extremely startup-friendly on various accounts, including the fact that turnover limit for a company to qualify as a Startup and enjoy special tax benefits has been generously raised to 100 Crores, from the previous 25 crores. The budget has also met the expectations of Startups with respect to the lowered corporate tax rate of 22% being maintained. This has a direct bearing on a business like ours, as it will restore the spending/purchasing capacity of businesses, especially the MSMEs to some extent, which is one of our key value propositions at EnKash (We offer Corporate Cards designed especially for Startups, called ‘Freedom Card’). For growth stage startups that are currently in the process of raising funds or in talks with foreign investors, the government’s proposition to eliminate Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) will be an impetus for investment and the consequent scale-up. Additionally, the audit threshold for MSMEs that has been raised to Rs. 5 Crores from Rs. 1Cr is also going to be a huge enablement for young businesses, and we welcome this move with open arms.

Relief in personal income tax rate across the board too is a historic step towards the revival of India’s economy at a time when the whole country, i.e. both businesses and individuals have been facing financial strain. Other initiatives such as deferring ESOP taxation to 5 years is also going enable young business to continue offering stock options to deserving team members without them having to worry about selling the shares immediately. Finally, streamlining GST infrastructure and introducing automated processes as promised, will help ensure tax compliances for companies that operate with limited resources.”

Naveen Chava, CEO, IDSign

With today’s union budget themed around three strong aspects- Aspirational India, Economic Development and Caring Society, the Government of India has reassured its promise in promoting the Indian startup ecosystem for a vibrant and inclusive economy. The proposals aimed at bringing fundamental structural reforms and digital governance such as setting up investment advisory cell online to help young entrepreneurs with faster clearance and launch of seed fund to support early-stage startups come as a major booster for the sector. The decision to relax much-awaited Esops is a laudable move which will now help startups to attract new talent pool. Additionally, the allocation of 3000 crore for development of skill India programme testifies the government’s urge to embrace the proliferation of future-readying technologies- Analytics, IoT, AI Quantum Computing and so on among rural youths to make them part of digital India. Also, the government’s step to mandate aadhaar-based verification on indirect taxes would certainly widen lucrative business opportunities for companies like us operating in the area of digital signing and verification management

Leon Yu, Regional Head, India & South Asia, Asus

At Asus, we believe that the Union Budget 2020 announcement has covered several pressing issues faced by the economy and is going to bring growth opportunities. All eyes would be on the manufacturing sector, with the FM proposing a scheme to encourage mobile phones, semiconductor packaging, and electronic equipment. The new scheme, Nirvik, is also going to offer respite for exporters, promising to settle refunds for electricity and VAT previously levied. Furthermore, the provision to bring digital connectivity to all public institutions at Gram Panchayat and allocation of INR 6,000Cr to bring fibre to home through BharatNet linking 100,000 Gram Panchayats in FY21 are also welcomed moves.

With India’s rising aspirations reaching the rural locales, internet connectivity will pave the way for connected and smart consumerism. At Asus, we shall be pursuing ways to support the government in enriching India’s economy and traversing through rural India to ensure optimum growth and development. We also look forward to the policy on private players setting up data parks and shall be offering full support with our cutting-edge products and services

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder & CEO, Flock

We are delighted with the steps taken by the Government in the Union Budget towards providing an impetus to entrepreneurship and acknowledging that startups are major job creators. This year, the budget has allocated Rs. 3,000 crore for skill development, which will help in creating a future-ready workforce. The provision for setting up an investment clearance cell for entrepreneurs, an online portal to facilitate quicker business clearances, and a seed fund to support early-stage startups will all collectively attract foreign investment in Indian startups. At present, startup employees are required to pay tax whenever they sign up for ESOPs with a vesting schedule and also pay taxes on capital gains whenever they redeem their ESOPs. As a provisionary measure to this, the minister has proposed deferring the tax payment by five years, or until employees leave the company, or when they sell their shares—whichever is earlier. Additionally, we welcome the government’s move towards boosting emerging technologies such as internet of things (IoT), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics which will provide a filip to the country’s digital economy. We believe that with all of these measures, 2020 will be a great year for the Indian startup ecosystem.”

Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera

There are 3 key takeaways from the Union Budget 2020 for ease of doing business and the startup community. 1. The simplified GST return system scheduled to be launched in April’20 will reduce the compliance burden on SMEs. 2. The threshold for audit being raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 5 crores will further provide a fillip to Indian SMEs. 3. With the abolishment of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), it is sure to make India an attractive investment destination

Kunal Lakhara, VP of Finance and Operations, Pocket Aces

Budget 2020’s revised fiscal deficit target of 3.8% of the GDP seems more realistic and focus on spends/ benefits was required to boost the economy. The thrust on entrepreneurship and tax regulations for both, startups and taxpayers is a move in the right direction. India is the third largest startup hub globally and the announcement of an investment clearance cell to provide end-to-end support to startup founders will encourage more youth to be job creators. Further, the ability to defer taxes on ESOPs will democratise wealth creation for startup employees, ensuring the right talent is benefitted. Finally, the decision to grant 100% tax exemptions to sovereign wealth funds on their investment in priority sectors will provide the much needed funding boost to the sector and create value in the longer run.

Redickaa Subrammanian, Co-founder and CEO, Resulticks

Digital disruption has transformed India’s business landscape and the announcement for building more data center parks will further aid in laying a strong foundation for a digitally connected country. INR 8000 crore allotment for developing quantum technology is impressive, and this in tandem with the grassroots level skilling initiatives, make for a strong technology ecosystem. Engineering students will also gain real-world experience through the new internship programs, creating a digitally skilled talent pool equipped to work in a digital economy.

As a fast growing AI and ML based technology start-up, we welcome setting up of the investment clearance cell. The proposed revisions in the income tax structure should lead to increased consumer demand and provide an overall impetus for economic growth in India. The announcement made in Budget 2020 showcases the government’s support for India’s technological advancement and we are excited about the entrepreneurial spirit it promotes

Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India

This is positive budget overall from the technology focus point of view. We are pleased that the Government is allocating Rs. 8,000 crore for the National Mission on Quantum Computing and Technology. The government’s move on encouraging manufacturing of electronic equipment in India is also a big step as this would provide much needed impetus to technology and manufacturing sector, which has been developing capacities and generating employment opportunities. Also, more focus on technology such as Machine Learning, Robotics, AI will support the industry to grow and establish India as a robust ecosystem for technology and innovation

Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-founder, Vedantu

The vision of making education accessible to the farthest corner of the country will greatly benefit students. The allocation of budget to hone the skill sets of teachers and educators will positively impact quality learning and thereby provide a boost to the education sector. Additionally, the allocation of budget to BharatNet will also have a deep impact on skilling rural India as it has the potential to open up online learning to students and professionals from remote villages. With better bandwidth internet, a qualified teacher located in a metro city can impart LIVE online classes to students in small town India, where there’s a dearth of quality education. Technology will soon disrupt the entire concept of the classroom and make it an extremely personalized, one to one teaching-learning experience tailored for each mind.”

Mitesh Shah, Head – Finance, BookMyShow

At the onset, we would like to laud the Government for a growth-driven budget. We welcome the progressive policies aimed at encouraging rural demand, changes in personal taxes to spur consumption, impetus to infrastructure development, measures aimed at bolstering growth and reversing slowdown. Additionally, taxation related to ESOPs as a perquisite and removal of DDT are significant moves. However, it would have been beneficial to have the benefits of taxation relief on ESOPs expanded to companies and industries at various stage of growth and not be limited to startups alone.

Compliance on e-commerce has been increased by mandating them to deduct a TDS of 1% on all goods and services sold on e-commerce platforms. This would be in addition to TCS under GST and this amendment might further increase the cost of compliance for e-commerce companies. The government’s vision to build data centre parks, allocation towards quantum computing and its focus on using artificial intelligence in statistical and other government departments will take India’s growth story to the next level and help further the ‘Digital India dream.”

Manish Mishra, Partner, J. Sagar Associates

Budget focusses on providing impetus to domestic industry by rationalizing Customs duty exemptions, and levying duties on import of goods for specific industries which are focused on ‘Make in India’ including increase on customs duties on electric vehicles. Government has taken steps to ensure measures to curb abuse of benefits available under the preferential / free trade agreements harming the domestic players. Keeping this theme in mind safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty has also been imposed on specific sectors.

Health cess of 5% in the nature of customs duty has been levied on import of specified medical devices with immediate effect.

From a GST perspective, given that GST Council along with the government has been taking steps to improvise implementation and administration of GST on an ongoing basis, no surprises or key amendments have been made to the GST legislation. Amendments for extending composition scheme to services sector and in the transition provisions for enabling the government to prescribe time limit for claiming unclaimed credits under the erstwhile regime is a positive step by the government

Yashash Agarwal, CEO, Gamezop

FM’s proposal of delaying tax collection on the exercise of ESOPs is a welcome move. The current structure looks to collect taxes too early causing employees to not exercise vested shares. Easing direct taxation for eligible startups will encourage businesses to chase the right metrics and not just growth at the by bleeding money. The definition of “eligible startups” must be broadened to bring more companies in this fold.”

Rakesh Kharwal, Managing Director, India/South Asia & ASEAN, Cyberbit

The government has highlighted the role of digital technologies like analytics, IoT, AI, and quantum technology during this Budget Session. The burgeoning digital infrastructure of India needs a strong cybersecurity framework to support it. Now, since it has allocated Rs. 99,300 crores to the education sector and Rs. 3,000 crores for skill development itself, a good way to realize India’s digital vision could be by working on the cybersecurity front from the very beginning. The government may want to cover its tech initiatives with avant-garde simulation-based cybersecurity training platforms like Cyber Range for proposed cyber forensic university and Skill India campaign. This will help India in generating millions of jobs for the youth and also strengthening national security

Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies Limited

For cyber forensics University – One major step announced by the FM involved the proposal for establishing a national forensic university and cyber forensic university. With cyber crimes increasing at a rapid rate, the need for cyber forensics has become more important than ever for a rapidly digitising country like India. The setting up of a cyber forensics university is a welcome move from the Government. This will definitely help in improving India’s expertise to solve complex cyber crimes

Mike Chen, General Manager, TCL

At TCL, we believe that the Finance Minister has announced an encouraging Union Budget 2020. Proposing the scheme to encourage the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging and electronic equipment is a welcomed move and we look forward to a complete policy and leveraging the same to kickstart the domestic manufacturing through our panel factory in Tirupati. Furthermore, painting a futuristic picture in this year’s budget announcement, the FM also acknowledged advanced technologies like IoT, AI, and analytics changing the world. At TCL, we are forever committed to advancing our ‘AI x IoT’ ecosystem in India and will continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies to offer the best services to our customers in India.”

Rahul Sharma, MD-India, LogMeIn

Budget 2020 looks very promising. We are particularly enthused about the FM’s announcement of seamless delivery of digital services as part of the next wave of digital revolution. AI, ML, Analytics, IoT, Robotics are making giant inroads in India, as was observed in the budget. The policy being introduced to build data centre parks throughout the country will help enhance the digital infrastructure to a significant extent. We are looking forward to the next phase of Digital India which will be a big growth driver for businesses and individuals alike.”

Aakrit Vaish, CEO, Haptik

As digitization and advanced technologies continue to gain momentum, we welcome the Budget 2020 announcements. Once again, the Finance Minister’s emphasis on machine learning, robotics, AI and IoT will help boost India’s digital journey. A significant proportion from the allocation of INR 3000cr for skill development should focus on these cutting-edge technologies. We are also delighted to witness proposals such as the linking of 100,000 Gram Panchayats through the enhancement of Bharat Net and setting up of data centre parks across the country. As national systems become more sophisticated and our workforce is equipped with the relevant skills, we will truly see the next wave of digital revolution, with greater scope for large-scale indigenous innovation”

Suganthi Shivkumar, Managing Director, ASEAN, India & Korea, Qlik

We appreciate the government’s decision in the 2020 Budget to dedicate the necessary funds and resources towards developing revolutionary and breakthrough technologies such as ML, robotics and AI to further the skills that will prepare us for the next wave and accelerate India’s journey towards becoming a digital giant. With data equated as the new oil, the government’s plan of building cutting-edge data parks across the country is equally important. Furthermore, the governments initiative of allocating Rs 6000 crores to enable unabridged digital connectivity in over 100,000 Gram Panchayats through the Fiber to Home BharatNet scheme holds brilliant potential in securing India’s passage towards achieving tech-empowerment for the remote sector.”

Piyush Kumar, Founder & CEO, Rooter

It’s very encouraging to see that Indian Government regards entrepreneurship as “strength of India”. Start-ups can not only get a lot of foreign investment in India but also create thousands of jobs. The investment clearance and advisory cell for entrepreneurs is a great step to encourage new entrepreneurs and provide assistance. Moreover, the seed fund to support early-stage start-ups will help them to create quality market fit product before approaching VCs

Akash Gupta, Founder and CEO – Zypp (Earlier known as Mobycy)

The Union Budget 2020 paints an affirmative picture for the future. We are glad that the Finance Minister has emphasised on improving the air quality, citing that the matter of clean air is a matter of concern in large cities that have a population of over 1 million. To the same end, we believe that EV-powered everyday commuting solutions offered by Zypp through Electric Scooters and Logistics solutions will play a crucial role in times to come. The budget announcement further comprises positive news for India’s fast-growing start-ups. The proposal to set-up investment clearance cell for entrepreneurs along with assistance in funding would definitely prove to be extremely beneficial. Furthermore, increasing the threshold of start-ups eligible for tax deduction from an annual turnover of 25Cr to now up to 100Cr is another welcomed move. The FM has also increased the window for such start-ups to claim a tax deduction for 3 years out of 10 years now as compared to 7 years previously. Owing to the same, the start-ups will find it easier to take risks and not be burdened financially while pursuing trailblazing innovations. Deferring ESOPs for start-up employees is another affirmative move, giving employees of start-ups to postpone taxation for 5 years or whenever they exit the venture, whichever is earlier.”

Ambika Sharma, Managing Director & Founder, Pulp Strategy

The latest budget announcement for the year 2020 -21 bears vast potential in shaping India’s road towards achieving its target of emerging as a 5 trillion dollar economy. With India currently posed as the fifth largest economy in the world, I am particularly enthralled by the government’s decision to optimize new-age disruptive technologies such as Machine Learning, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) towards attaining a seamless and integrated service sector. Further advancing the digital revolution in the country is the government’s resolution of developing state-of-the-art data centers across the nation. Moreover, the FM’s proposal to allocate Rs 6000 crore for connecting 100,000 Gram Panchayats by FY21 will also prove instrumental in accelerating India’s journey towards becoming a tech –enabled nation. Also admirable is the government’s successful implementation of the Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao scheme which was reflected by the high gross enrollment of girls in all levels of school education. With the budget modeled towards realizing a progressive and equal women-centric society, the Finance minister also highlighted the fact that presently more than 6 lakh Anganwadi workers are equipped to upload status of more than 10 crore households. The government’s decision to provide Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition related programs and Rs 28,600 crores for women – linked programmes will vastly help in furthering women empowerment and gender equality

Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, Onvu Tech

This year’s budget includes a number of positive reforms for the surveillance and security agency. The government has announced the launch of Police Academy and Forensic Sciences, 5 more smart cities, 9,000 KMs of economic corridor, enhancement of tourist attractions, and improved business landscape for MSMEs alongside others. Security and Surveillance infrastructure is a core element of all of these reforms and will give a strong stimulus to the segment

Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, Onvu Tech

The government has announced a number of measures for the education sector with a whopping Rs. 99,300 crore budget. With it, courses will go online soon and Top-100 NIRF Ranked Institutes start offering them. The government has also announced positive reforms including Asian-African ‘Study in India’ program, establishment of Police Academy and Forensic Science, and integration of medical institutes with dist. hospitals. Rs. 3000 crores have further been allocated for Skill Development. Perhaps, all of these reforms will go a long way by including video-analytics-based EdTech solutions to them as well

Raman Singh, Chief revenue officer, Cloud Connect

At CloudConnect, we wholeheartedly believe that the progress of the country lies in creating more opportunities for start-up owners. Thus, we duly welcome the decisions taken by FM Nirmala Sitharaman through the Union Budget 2020. She has rightly mentioned that entrepreneurship is the true spirit of India and has been its strength.

We appreciate the government’s emphasis on promoting cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning, robotics and AI in India. The commitment to tech-advancement to support entrepreneurship is evident in the government’s decision of building data center parks throughout the country and proposing INR 8,000Cr for over 5 years for the National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application.

Finally, the setting up of investment clearance cells and portals for entrepreneurs in order to assist them in funding will give a significant boost to entrepreneurship in India.”

Ravi Goyal, Chairman & MD, AGS Transact Technologies Ltd

The removal of dividend distribution tax will reassure the flow of FDI and make Indian equities more attractive. This year’s budget focused on entrepreneurship and early stage start-ups and the FM has provided a series of measures, that will encourage Indian start-ups whilst focusing on positioning entrepreneurs as job creators. The overall focus on boosting transport infrastructure will help pursue greater commercialization of highways to raise finance operating road assets. Recent developments to promote digital payments such as zero MDR are pre budget announcements and there was an expectation of a clear roadmap from the government on supporting digital payments infrastructure given the sector will be a major catalyst towards achieving the $5.5 trillion target.”

Forward Looking Budget Focused on Technology and Infrastructure: IAMAI

New Delhi, 01 February 2020: The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has welcomed the positive outlook on the digital industry and the push to improve digital infrastructure. IAMAI believes the announcement made by the Honourable Minister of Finance Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman will promote entrepreneurship, and will boost investments. Subho Ray, President, IAMAI said: “The focus on Technology and Digital Infrastructure is a step towards realizing the trillion-dollar economy and will open up new opportunities for demand generation.”

According to IAMAI, the vision to provide digital connectivity to all public institutions at gram panchayat level in FY 21, is ambitious and will usher in the much-needed digital revolution under the Digital India initiative, and will also help in the last mile connectivity. This will also bridge the Rural-Urban digital divide, and will open avenues to jobs and employment creation. According to IAMAI, the budget duly acknowledges the positive role of emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, Quantum Computing, in the new world economy.

IAMAI has also welcomed the finance minister’s proposal for promoting the manufacturing of mobile phones, electronics, and semiconductor packaging in the country. In her speech the minister said that India needs to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investment in electronics manufacturing.

IAMAI has maintained that India should focus on attracting large-scale manufacturing and enhance local value integration, and also rapidly capture the markets for high-end smartphones. According to IAMAI, Government must, therefore, provide both productions-based incentives as well as export-oriented incentives to encourage Indian domestic manufacturing. As the Finance Minister rightly said, “There is a cost advantage for electronics manufacturing in India.”

IAMAI also welcomed the Minister’s assurance that there will be an effort to create more opportunities for startup owners. The proposal to set up of Investment clearance cell for entrepreneurs and offering assistance in funding is a welcome move.

IAMAI has also welcomed the plan to provide online quality education to deprived section of society. The association feels that the step will provide the much-needed fillip to the online education sector and will also help in providing quality education in the rural areas.

Priya Mahajan, Head of APAC Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel, Verzion Enterprise Solutions

The Union Budget 2020, is encouraging , forward looking and would ensure the necessary boost to the Digital India Vision. The Budget duly recognises the transformational impact of emerging technologies such as AI, IOT, Big data, Cybersecurity, ML and Robotics on the economy . The digital growth momentum is steered further and India definitely has a key role to play in the global economy and future of technology and innovation. We believe that India has a unique success story and a step towards being a global technology leader. This budget definitely favours new age digital economy and we look forward to further growth in the sector

Nikhil Arora, VP and MD, GoDaddy India

The Union Budget 2020 is a reflection of the Government of India’s vision and commitment towards delivering an inclusive growth. The proposed reforms especially those focused towards MSMEs and startups such as provision of seed funding for early-stage startups and setting up of a portal based investment clearing cell, will further help to bolster growth of independent ventures in India. Big announcements like deferred payment of ESOPs, as well as the creation of an e-market place for MSMEs, are also laudable steps by the Government towards uplifting the overall entrepreneurial spirit in the country. We also believe that the proposed allocation of INR 99,300 for education and the allocation of INR 3000 for skilling initiatives, can be instrumental in delivering better educational infrastructure and innovation. As India gears up to chart the next chapter in its strong growth story, we at GoDaddy continue to work in collaboration with the Government and our partner ecosystem, to help entrepreneurs and small businesses grow their ventures online, with our easy-to-use and affordable tools and solutions

Prasanna Sarambale, CEO, Sterling & Wilson, Data Centre Business

The Union Budget 2020, is extremely encouraging and would ensure the necessary boost to the economy. For the first time Data centres have been given due importance. As technology leads the next level of growth for the country, the government’s move to focus on building the necessary back end infrastructure (via construction of new Data centre parks through the country) will ensure the GDP gets the necessary shot in the arm that the country is looking forward too. The impetus planned by the government will ensure long term sustainable growth not only for the sector but also the country. Development of smart cities will need smart data centres, which is a huge opportunity for the sector, this move will also ensure jobs creation and boost to local consumption. This will act as a catalyst in the development of individual states

Jitendra Chaddah, Chairman, IESA

The vision for the semiconductor and electronics industry in the budget speech is encouraging. We feel this interim budget by Finance Minister is progressive and inclusive. It focuses on leveraging new technologies to build countrywide digital infrastructure, skill-building and drives growth by providing cost benefits for electronics manufacturing in India. The scheme to boost the intelligent electronics & semiconductor ecosystem by the manufacturing of mobile phones, semiconductor packaging and electronic equipment, assures more investment. We foresee the sustained incentives by the government to promote local manufacturing will fulfil local demand and also enable India to become an export hub for electronics

Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India and SAARC

The budget set by the Finance Minister is focusing directly on three factors, namely Aspirational India, Economic Development, and a Caring Society. Delving into these three aspects, it has kept a keen eye on improving the transport and infrastructure by allocating Rs 1.75 lakh crore for these sectors. Furthermore, we support the keenness to develop more smart cities by allotting 5 new smart cities under the PPP model. With 100 new operational airports and high-speed trains both the aviation and railways will now see redevelopment programs to enhance the passenger travel experience. The idea of 100% exemption for sovereign wealth funds in infrastructure and other notified sectors with a minimum lock-in of three years is welcoming. We view it as a definite budget for the corporates who are driving the country’s growth and infrastructure development in both Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities

Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India

Data from Indeed reveals that technology-related job roles in India are among the most promising for job seekers, as these job openings have grown consistently in the past five years. Last year alone saw tech job roles grow by 31%. Despite ups and downs, hiring is stabilizing as companies shift gears to skill their workforce. The proposition to provide internship opportunities for young engineers at urban local bodies is a very good move in helping young talent make good use of their qualification and scale from there.The onus of creating a culture of learnability and skilling that can ensure sustained employment is now shifting to the industry. Companies need to invest strongly in L&D initiatives that can help their employees stay industry relevant in the race to profitability. In fact this could be a positive move towards employee loyalty and retention that can in-turn help organisation’s find sustainable growth

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