In Budget 2019, Govt. has given fair impetus to technology sector, and indicates its commitment to use technology as a platform to build a Digital India.
Just after the budget 2019 has been announced, reactions from Information technology have started to pour in. Let’s explore more on Budget 2019.
Union budget 2019 has been announced by Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and once again it is turned out to be a mix bag for the Indian technology industry. The union budget 2019, is showing a positive growth towards digitalization and few startups in India.
Suresh Pansari, Director, RP tech India
The Union budget 2019 has certainly brought a smile on the face of people. On the backdrop of the upcoming General elections, the Government has cautiously attempted to present a balanced budget, where it has given equal preference to all segments of the society. Suresh Pansari, Director, RP tech India said, “From the IT hardware industry perspective, we do not see any major announcements in terms of present taxation policies and ease of doing business. Continuing its efforts to boost Digital India and Make in India initiatives, the Government has announced to develop 100,000 digital villages and set up over 260 mobile manufacturing and assembly units. This will indirectly benefit the industry by generating demand for hardware. The announcement to set up a national center for Artificial Intelligence is a welcome move and reflects Government’s thrust on and digital economy. Overall it is a progressive budget and we expect positive outcomes in the coming years.”
Sanjay Jalona, CEO & MD, LTI (L&T Infotech)
Sanjay Jalona, CEO & MD, LTI (L&T Infotech) shared, “The continued support by the government on new age concepts such as AI that has the power to emerge as not only national assets but global disruptors is a huge trigger to further advancements in these fields. The role of such exponential technologies in driving the nation’s development is immense and provides a much-needed avenue to address and overcome pertinent age-old issues. Furthermore government’s vision for 2030 to place India as a modern, technology-driven, high growth and transparent society including leading the world in transport through electric vehicles and energy storage devices further emphasizes the role of digital technologies in transforming not only businesses but overall living standards.”
Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks
Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks has shared his view on on the budget announced.he said, “The government’s plans to set-up 100,000 digital villages in the next five years is a huge step towards leapfrogging India’s march on critical initiatives such as Digital India. By placing wireless connectivity at the heart of India’s development particularly in rural areas, the country is poised to further consolidate its position as the global hub for disruptive innovations,” said Rajiv Kapoor, Vice President, India & SAARC, Cambium Networks.
Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director – Qlik India
The interim budget, the government has rightly comprehended the necessity and competence of digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. Arun Balasubramian, Managing Director – Qlik India excerpts, “We are glad to find out the government’s plans of developing a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures and thus allow businesses of all sizes and sectors to gain better data-driven and decision-making insights and advance the nation in competitive global space.”
CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra
With digital and renewable energy at its core, Budget 2019 is reflective of India’s commitment to foster the growth of an inclusive, sustainable economy. CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra said, “It is great to see the Government’s vision align with our overall goal to promote the adoption of new age technology such as Artificial Intelligence that will lay the foundation of a new, digitized India. The government’s decision to build 1 Lakh digital villages is a step in the right direction to bridge the urban-rural divide and as an industry, we are committed to making this vision come true – Make in India + Digital India = Modern & equitable India.”
Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC – Technology Analysis, Research & Consulting
The biggest news for the technology sector is setting up of National Artificial Intelligence Portal. This will help leverage emerging technologies at a national level with India specific use cases paving way for Digital India 2.0. Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC – Technology Analysis, Research & Consulting shared, “We need to embed more emerging technologies like 5G, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, etc., to reorient Digital India so it propels towards achieving $1 trillion Digital Economy by 2025.”
Setting up of 100,000 digital villages is also an important announcement. India will only reap the benefits of Digital revolution, when villages are mapped to it. However, the definition needs to be of a mature digital village and not just providing high speed broadband connectivity. The contours of Digital Village need to be specified and the infrastructure build up enabling it needs to be ramped up fast. We have seen time and again how NOFN project has missed several deadlines so far.
The biggest disappointment would of course be for the telecom sector. From operators’ point of view, when the industry is restructuring there should have been some support helping them reduce the cumulative liability of over 550 Lakh Crore. Similarly, even after recognizing how mobile handsets have contributed to Make in India, there was nothing announced for the industry where local brands are battling extinction.
Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, Axis Communications India & SAARC
Commenting on Budget 2019, Sudhindra Holla, Sales Director, Axis Communications India & SAARC, said, “The Budget 2019 depicts the milestone set towards the rise in GDP growth in last five years. It brings us one step closer towards the economic growth as part of the five years plan with key focus on infrastructure development allocating budgets for Roads, Ports, Transport and Infrastructure. We welcome the government’s focus on the construction and development of railways, airports, highways by announcing 100 more operational airports and doubling the passenger traffic.
Also applaud the continued focus and investments towards Rail infrastructure helping Indian Railways attain highest safety recognition last year. This impetus is not only around Make in India but increasing speed, service and citizen safety with the upcoming Vande Bharat Express train announcement.
The governments huge investment in highly advanced technological sectors like Geospatial and Defense, envisioning India becoming a launch pad for satellites as part of Vision 2030, reaffirms the Digital India vision holistically. Proposal towards raising the budget to Rs 3 lakh crore is a welcome move for protecting our soldiers at the borders who are the pride and honour of the nation. India is now definitely at the cusp of digital transformation and this infrastructural growth will augment its positioning globally.”
The government has given fair impetus to the technology sector, and indicates its commitment to use technology as a platform to build a Digital India that reaches every citizen, by transforming 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages.
Focusing on AI in two consecutive budgets, the announcement of a national centre for AI supported by Centres of Excellence in 9 priority areas conveys how important this key technology is for the government, as the country aims to become a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years. This furthers the announcements in AI investments and institutions made in 2018 which expands the scope of research and collaboration. However, the industry is looking to understand how these institutions are creating a favourable environment to foster entrepreneurship or AI research, and how the investment is creating on-ground impact, helping enterprises and deep-tech start-ups to create market value. The national AI portal is a good move to facilitate the vision of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance as part of Vision 2030, being a catalyst for emerging technologies, and a platform to unite the efforts of a massive institution like the central government.
Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD, Pegasystems India
Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD, Pegasystems India shared, “The emphasis on increasing tax-paying base, and reducing tax burden on middle class, in addition to GST show the government’s overall commitment to plug leakages and improve tax collection processes. The reform of the tax environment shows rapid strides towards efficiency and transparency. Given the interim nature of this budget, expectations around corporate tax, Place of Effective Management and skilling involvement in the IT sector have been missed. We are hoping the full-fledged Budget in July will address key expectations and boost the output of the industry.”
Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, GoDaddy India
“We welcome the Union Interim budget 2019-20 and the government’s focus towards helping small businesses, startups and women-owned MSMEs. With impetus on strengthening the digital infrastructure, e-marketplace, initiatives supporting rural India and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, government has reiterated its commitment to bring a holistic and sustainable technology-led development for the country. Moves to allow tax payers with income upto Rs. 5 lakh to get full tax rebate and abolish custom duty from 36 capital good are consumer friendly steps that will help put the money back in the consumers’ pocket and encourage ease of doing business. In this year’s budget, we were hoping for a solution for the current credit issue troubling MSMEs. But at the same time, we are positive about the India government’s push towards digitally transforming the nation, and will continue workingwith our partners to ensure we play our part in realizing this vision, providing right tools and solutions to enable small and independent businesses to get their ventures online and grow successfully.” Said Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, GoDaddy India.
Prakash Mallya, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel
Today’s Budget clearly showcases the importance of a digital-first India and the government’s commitment to drive innovation and technology advancement in the country. With the government setting a target to become a $5 Trillion economy in the next 5 years, Intel believes that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G will play a crucial part in this vision. Firstly, the government’s focus on the rapid adoption of AI in India by announcing initiatives like the National Center for AI and a National AI Portal, is a step in the right direction to drive technology adoption in the country. According to Prakash Mallya, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel, “At Intel, we have been working on various AI-led initiatives with the government and will continue to collaborate with the country in its digital transformation mission. Secondly, the Budget also pointed out the growth in the telecom sector; this definitely provides impetus towards building a strong 5G ready ecosystem in the country. Additionally, the government has set a goal to create 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years taking technology penetration to a new level, that can help build a truly digital India.”
Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp
“The Government, in its Budget 2019 today has articulated a compelling vision for India, both for the medium and long term. It has provided direction, and a finite and ambitious goal for India, of becoming a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030. I look forward to the details and to the Government marking progress against it. For the short term, this is a budget that has something for everyone, but more particularly the middle class, the agricultural community and marginalized sections of society. The sense of inclusion, financial as well as welfare is welcome and much needed to build the force for a stronger nation that can march towards what I call Vision 2030.” by Anil Valluri, President, India & SAARC Operations, NetApp.
Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India
The focus on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to enable a positive impact on the lives of people is an encouraging step. Further, the expansion of rural industrialization using digital technologies, development of clusters encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups, will boost rural manufacturing, job creation and strengthen the overall economy. As per Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India, “We appreciate the government’s budget focus on empowering the middle class and the rural population. Initiatives such as monetary support for farmers and higher exemption limit in personal income tax slab would provide higher disposable income, thereby, leading to higher spending. I believe, this will lead to consumption growth, giving impetus to overall economy.”