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Industry Giants Welcome Union Budget 2021-22

Fortinet-Rajesh-MauryaRajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC, Fortinet
“The budget has announced big-ticket projects to add to the digital capabilities with the next general census in the country being the first digital one and along with marque MCA 21 project this is likely to garner massive ‘crown jewel’ assets in terms of the sensitivity and quantity of data. As these projects are rolled out it will increase the importance of security as the government builds the tools and workflows supporting these services. These projects will need to prioritize solutions such as Zero Trust Access, automated endpoint security, users awareness training to counter a range of threats, and will also need to ensure that solutions such as software defined networking and multi-cloud services are implemented securely.
The real challenge in securing these digital assets that will continue to be targeted by both criminal and nation state (APT) actors is the availability of skilled resources. Fortinet is committed to closing the cybersecurity skills gap through our CSR training programs. The Fortinet Security Academy Program is provided free by nineteen leading universities in India to equip students with the skills necessary for a career in cybersecurity. By supporting these leading universities in India, we’re arming the next generation of security leaders with the skillset and knowledge the industry so desperately needs.”

Acer-Alok-DubeyAlok Dubey, Chief Finance Officer, Acer India
“At Acer, we believe that the Union Budget 2021 announcement has covered several important issues faced by the economy and is going to bring growth opportunities despite the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several areas where the honourable Finance Minister has announced allocations of funds. This year the government aims to spend Rs 1.97 lakh crore on various PLI schemes over the next 5 years, starting this fiscal. This is in addition to the Rs 40,951 crore announced for the PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes which will accelerate growth opportunities for the industry. And, we look forward to a complete policy and leveraging the same to kickstart domestic manufacturing.”

Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India & SAARC
“We are upbeat on the six pillars of the government agenda including focus on infrastructure, innovation and R&D that is all set to strengthen India’s power as a global digital hub. We are optimistic by the renewed focus on road safety with advanced traffic management system with speed radars, variable message signboards, GPS enabled recovery vans along with the outlay of ₹ 2.28 lakh crores for developing the highways, roads, and railways. Good to see pertinent steps taken to revitalize the economy with key focus on allocating budget for healthcare, metro railways, ports, airports, and logistics to boost urban infrastructure. These in turn will be stepping stones towards invigorating Smart Cities planning and urban development and help in generating more jobs.”

BenQ-Rajeev-SinghRajeev Singh, Managing Director – BenQ India
“A very significant budget as India is coming out fast from effects of COVID 19, Government has given strong emphasis on spending on Infrastructure along with big push for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Alongside, there is no change in direct taxes largely which were moderated for companies last time. This will mean more money in the system and will act positively towards faster growth of economy. Government has also given additional push to education and skill development segment in the budget which will result in extensive use of technology which in turn will give a boost to virtual classroom and Blended and Hybrid Learning.”

PureStorage-Ramanujam-KomanduriRamanujam Komanduri, Country Manager, Pure Storage India
“Budget 2021 looks promising and rightly focuses on public healthcare, given the disruption caused due to the pandemic. We are particularly excited about the Finance Minister’s announcement of smooth delivery of digital services as part of the next wave of digital revolution. AI, ML, and Data Analytics are making greater inroads in India, as was observed in the budget. These are all essential elements of the modern data experience. We are looking forward to the next phase of Digital India which will be a big growth driver for businesses and individuals alike.”

PegasystemsSuman Reddy, managing director, Pega India
“As the first budget during recovery of the pandemic, we are optimistic that the slew of measures announced on healthcare and infrastructure will provide impetus to the economy. The agenda to focus on the six pillars including infrastructure, innovation and R&D clearly sets India on a path of recovery. In a significant break from tradition, Government’s Atmanirbhar package focuses on increasing spend towards the creation of jobs and rural development, generous allocations for development schemes, handing more monetary benefits to the common man, and easing rules to attract foreign investments. Enhancing the digital backbone of the country, the announcement on the fintech hub at the GIFT -IFSC and R&D investment of 50,000 crores over 5 years will ensure that the overall research ecosystem of the country is strengthened with a focus on identified national priority thrust areas. The move to establish a National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEAR) in the context of a Digital First Mindset to ensure digital learning, as well as planning infrastructure, will empower the youth of the nation.

Verizon-Nikhil-RungtaNikhil Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media
“Taking insights from the learning curve of Covid-19, the government has done well to take appropriate measures to improve the lives of citizens and pave way for economic recovery.”

“This is a ‘get well’ budget with an expansionary outlook and focused on growth. Given the times it might not be a radical budget, but it is practical and thoughtful, which will propel consumption and growth of business. This budget has also rightly signalled the need for greater inclusion in India’s workforce. Women being allowed to work in all sectors and in night-shifts with adequate protection, and social security benefits extended to gig workers will provide an impetus for women to step up their contribution towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

Vedantu-Vamsi-KrishnaVamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-founder, Vedantu- a pioneer in LIVE and Interactive online tutoring platform
“The National Education Policy has been a strategic move towards guiding the development of India’s education. To strengthen the policy further, this Union Budget is focusing on initiatives like National Digital Educational Architecture (NDEA) which will provide a diverse education eco-system for the development of digital infrastructure, educational planning, governance and administrative activities. The complete shift from using assessments to not only judge the cognitive levels of the learner but also using it as an opportunity to identify the unique strengths and the potential, is a student centric approach which will lead to the holistic development of a child and provide them a greater edge, globally. Further, I would like to see more investments & budget allocation to go into the education sector to enhance it with more trending technologies which will make education accessible to students in the farthest corners of the country.”

Balajee SowrirajanBalajee Sowrirajan, Managing Director, Samsung Semiconductor R&D (SSIR)
“We are very optimistic with the focus given on Innovation and R&D being identified as one of the key pillars, I believe ‘Design for India’ will gain momentum and localization of product designs will lead towards an aspirational and Innovative India. These will lead to the next phase of inclusive growth with increased emphasis on skilling and job creation. Furthermore, with a significant increase in Capex from 4.39 lakh crore to 5.54 lakh crore, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Initiative will be strengthened with more focus on domestic manufacturing and production, laying the foundation for the 5 Trillion Dollar Economy by 2030.”

IndusOS -Rakesh-DeshmukhRakesh Deshmukh, Co Founder and CEO, Indus OS
“The announcement of the National Language Translation Mission is a much needed effort by the government to reach our citizens in the language they understand. At Indus App Bazaar, the usage of apps in Indian languages on our platform has increased 2.2 times last year. We believe that with an enhanced app store ecosystem we will be able to break linguistic barriers and adding more value to the next half a billion Indian customers. Moreover, for Atma Nirbhar Bharat to be successful, the focus should be on technology innovation as a whole. We appreciate the government’s focus on innovation and R&D in the budget 2021.”

Mike Chen, General Manager, TCL India
We do welcome the recent PLI scheme of the government. However, we need to ease up the duty imposed on raw materials keeping in mind the make in India thought. We should also be getting added incentives so that transformative measures can be taken. The industry contributes 25% of the country’s GDP.

Varun Babbar, Managing Director, Qlik India
“The Union Budget 2021 is truly a balanced and reformative framework that looks forward to bolstering an economy towards faster recovery and growth which was otherwise ravaged by the pandemic. We appreciate the government’s vision of an “Atma-Nirbhar Bharat” by providing economic assistance through tax reliefs, incentives and new policies. Continued support in areas like education and technology as well as providing breathing room for startups through initiatives like providing tax relief for one more year will help to kickstart a resilient economy for all industries. The government’s allocation of Rs. 1500 crores towards promoting digital modes of payment will also boost India’s digital payment infrastructure. Aligning with our focus to provide active intelligence and real-time analytics, the government’s allocation for infusion of Rs. 20,000 crores will help to reform the country’s surge in digital payments for the post-pandemic future”.

Ramesh-MamgainRamesh Mamgain, Country Manager, India and SAARC, Commvault
“ The Union Budget 2021 is sui generis considering that it is India’s first-ever ‘Digital Budget’. The gesture of doing away with the paper versions of Budget underlines government’s commitment towards PM’s ‘Digital India’ vision. A renewed focus on infrastructure would mean accelerated technology adoption, which cannot be accomplished without data privacy measures, propelled by data protection. This approach would help in strengthening India’s data protection framework to protect individual information, with investments in key technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to secure cloud-based infrastructures.While the capital expenditure on the physical connectivity – road, railway and port – has been highlighted throughout, I am sure that digital connectivity will ultimately become a cornerstone of everything we do in the current times. Overall, it is an inclusive and pro-growth budget, presenting a balanced stance on the pathway to recovery.”

Sameer Katole, CEO, Crossloop
The Hon’ble Finance Minister laid major emphasis on enhancing domestic manufacturing of electronic equipment. The Union Budget 2021 has a strong focus towards the revival of the economy and extensive plans for Atmanirbhar Bharat. It shows extreme commitment towards a strong comeback for the sectors which faced major backlashes in 2020. The budget covered several demanding issues faced by the economy earlier and with an attention concerning startup community, the extension of tax holiday for start-ups by one more year is an important decision made. This will encourage the survival of startups and give them the required support for bounce back. Further, the increased spending on PLI for electronic manufacturing schemes is a positive sign. The 2.5% taxation on manufacturing of smartphone parts is also a vital decision as it will boost the inclusive growth of the country and further bring major changes in the consumer electronic and domestic manufacturing segment.

Yashash Agarwal, CEO, Gamezop
The proposed broadening of the definition of Small Companies to include those up to Rs. 2 Cr. in paid up capital (as opposed to current limit of Rs. 50 lakh) as well those who have turnover of up to Rs. 20 Cr. (as opposed to Rs. 2 Cr. currently) is meaningful.
Companies that qualify as Small Companies are subject to lesser number of compliances in conduct of board meeting, internal financial control reporting, annual return and financial statements, and so on.nHopefully, from here we will see further reduction in compliance burden for startups.

S Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer at iValue InfoSolutions
“Budget 2021 was positive given the challenge around higher fiscal deficit due to lower income. It is great to see emphasis on growth front keeping fiscal deficit priority low for the next 2-3 years. The key highlights of the budget include additional allocation to health and wellbeing in a Covid ravaged year with Rs 35,000Cr allocation to Covid vaccination with 4 Indian vaccines shortly. It is also great to see 35% enhancement of Government capital expenditure at Rs 5.54 lac Cr to revive economy around Road, Rail and Metro infrastructure. It is encouraging to see focus around disinvestment with 2 PSU banks and 1 Insurance company being planned for the year with Rs 1.75 lac Cr target. FDI in insurance enhancement from 49% to 74% augers well for a country with very low penetration. The voluntary vehicle scrapping policy is set to help auto sector and address the pollution challenges. While Rs 20,000Cr PSU bank recapitalisation looks on the lower side, reopening of IT assessment cases period reduction from 6 to 3 years should give comfort to tax payers on documentation. Planned LIC IPO should set the mood right on disinvestment. The government could have put more money in the hands of people to sustain the recovery along with sops to Business on CapEx investments.”

Prashanth GJ, CEO at TechnoBind
“Increased spend on Healthcare and Infra are welcome moves – as this will have a cascading effect on the economy in the medium term. Whether it is Highways or Railways the enhanced allocation is very encouraging. Also interesting is the ‘Bad Bank’ which will help address the stressed assets through an ARC model. This will help keep the Banking system insulated from the spike of bad loans that are expected now – thereby allowing them to do business as usual by giving the much-needed support of credit in the system. The MSME allocation has been doubled – this too will help SME businesses in general which is a big market for us in the country. Support for furthering the idea of Digital India is also seen and it is very welcome – encouraging digital payments and the use of AI/ML in governance is exciting. Emphasis on Digital Payment is very good as this will go a long way in bringing in financial inclusion. Provisions in the GST and customs duty rationalization is something we look forward to.”

Prama-Hikvision-AshishAshish P. Dhakan, MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India Pvt. Ltd.
The Union Budget FY 2021-22 is a transformative budget with positive resolve for India to grow further with a vision of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that compliments the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative of the Government. AtmaNirbhar Bharat is an expression of 130 crore Indians, who have full confidence in their capabilities and skills. The Union Budget has identified the six pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat’s vision. On behalf of Prama Hikvision, we welcome the progressive and visionary budget and look forward to economic growth and stability.

The budget has sincere intent to provide momentum to strengthen local manufacturing capabilities. The Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) is a welcome move by the government. The review of the customs duty structure is clearly seen as a move towards promoting the domestic manufacturing. We hope that the review of the custom duty structure will be done after extensive consultation with the key stakeholders.

The move to strengthen the overall research ecosystem to boost innovation and R&D in the country, an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore, is being announced, for National Research Foundation. It is a big step for accelerating innovation and R&D in India. The budget clearly shows government’s mega thrust on developing Infrastructure, Road Transport, Waterways, Airports, Railway, Metro Rail, ‘MetroLite’ and ‘MetroNeo’. It is commendable for its inclusive growth agenda, overall a gradual step toward Atmanirbhar Bharat.

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