Here’s how Startups like Alibaba, Oyo, Paytm, Snapdeal reacted to Budget 2017

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We can’t say the Union Budget had a lot in store for start-ups, but it did leave the start-up community feeling encouraged going by the way a few of them reacted following Arun Jaitley’s announcements.

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Here’s a look at what eight tech companies had to say.

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Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO
“The launch of the Incredible India 2.0 campaign will result in greater tourist interest and inflow from overseas, creating a huge demand and opportunity for the Indian hospitality industry. The proposed creation of 5 special tourism zones in partnership with state governments will also provide excellent fillip to domestic tourism. It is encouraging to note the government's focus on infrastructure development as it forms the backbone of tourism and hospitality sector. Furthermore, reduction in tax rate for SME and the push towards digital economy by de-incentivizing cash transactions will support new-age businesses and start-ups.”

Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal

Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal
“We commend the focus on growing the digital footprint in the country - enhancing digital infrastructure, capping cash transactions, reducing cash donations, using Adhaar Pay to enable more digital payments are significant measures. Initiatives make an impact when there is continued attention and the announcement of today builds on the demonetization efforts of last few weeks.

We also welcome the emphasis on skill development and technical education - this will enable India to successfully harness the demographic dividend. The attention to affordable housing, greater employment in rural areas are the right interventions to build a more equitable society”.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm
"It is a digital economy budget. Government has pushed the digital theme in every area of the budget. Every person from a small shops to consumers are pushed towards the digital economy. Tax benefits, incentives to use digital payments and extending loans based on a digital footprint will create a larger merchant ecosystem for digital payments. Incentives for labour intensive sectors including housing, farming and dairy will help SMEs to create new jobs. Focus and attention to bank NPAs, as well as increasing bank capitalisation is great step towards strengthening the financial system of the country. Finally, the income tax rate changes will encourage more people to report their incomes and create a larger tax net for the country. Overall, it is a great budget that will encourage people to move to the formal economy and derive benefits."

Kenny Ye, GM-Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group

Kenny Ye, GM-Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group
Union Budget 2017-18 is a big relief for the common masses – from reduction in personal income tax to sops for affordable housing- the Finance Minister has announced various measures to benefit farmers and weaker sections of the society. On the corporate side, abolishing of FIPB is a bold step and further liberalization of FDI policy will cheer foreign investors. While last year’s auctions removed spectrum scarcity in the country, expansion of Bharat Net project will ensure high-speed broadband to 1.5 lk gram panchayats via Wifi. With increasing smartphone penetration and push for high-speed broadband connectivity in rural areas, a massive digital revolution is imminent in India. Lastly, reduction of corporate tax for MSMEs is a welcome step but larger Indian conglomerates looking to compete with global peers will continue to find the tax rate challenging.

Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder, ShopClues

Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-founder, ShopClues
"Budget was overall a populist budget; a move in the right direction but short of expectations. Push for Digital transformation & financial inclusion is applauded but the government has deployed lot more sticks rather than carrots too to push the “less-cash” agenda. I would have expected zero TDR for small value digital transitions. Investments in infrastructure, focus on Bharat & employment guarantee & women empowerment, political trans is welcome. Corporate tax break for SMES is very nice, and much awaited, it is important that Government recognizes SMES to be the engine of India’s GDP growth. Incentive for Startup fell short of expectations. There is not much clarity around FDI, FIPB so let’s see how it pans out in coming days.”

Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder, UrbanClap

Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder, UrbanClap
"The new policy proposed in the budget, allowing startups a 3 year tax holiday in the first 7 years of their existence is a welcome change. However, this policy could have been more impactful had it included startups incorporated prior to 31 Mar'16, and extended the period when the tax holiday can be availed from 7 to 10 years. Equally importantly, while the present Ministry and Department are very committed to their work, to avoid future mis-use of this policy, clear guidelines and definition of a startup should be laid out, and any subjectivity in the granting of these tax holidays avoided."

Meena Ganesh, MD & CEO, Portea Medical

Meena Ganesh, MD & CEO, Portea Medical
This year's budget has focused on rural areas, infrastructure, health, and poverty alleviation, but maintains fiscal prudence as well. A positive development this year is the government's commitment towards taxation. Reduction of taxes to 25% for small firms with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore is a good move. The period for profit-linked deduction has also been revised to 3 years out of 7 years as against 5 years and both these moves should encourage startups, since most ventures may take a while to achieve profitability.

There are some encouraging steps that have been taken on the healthcare front. The FM's announcement regarding new rules to reduce costs of medical devices is a good step in the right direction. It is particularly welcome for an organization like Portea since medical devices are an important component of our in-home healthcare offering.

The government has targeted the elimination of some communicable diseases, and aims to convert 1.5 lakh health sub-centres into health and wellness centres. Setting up of new AIIMS hospitals and moves to increase the number of doctors in secondary and tertiary care, as well as reforms in medical education are all welcome moves. In addition, provision of Aadhaar-based smart cards to senior citizens which will carry their health details has the potential to improve patient outcomes - particularly in rural areas.
Adhil Shetty, CEO & Co-founder BankBazaar.com

Regulatory support plays an important role to build an encouraging start-up environment. At present, India is at a very interesting position. The reforms in FDI policy have streamlined the entry of FDI into the country, leading to a 36% increase in FDI inflow despite a 5% dip in global FDI inflows. To add to this, FM also mentioned potential amendments to the excise and labour laws, investments on skill development and tax rebates for start-ups. Most of these companies are into digital space and government’s push to promote usage of online services is having a positive impact on the growth on these start-ups. With India tagged as “Engine of global growth” by international institutions, this is a great time to do business with us. This will boost the start-up sector even more.

Falguni Nayar, CEO and Founder, Nykaa.com

Falguni Nayar, CEO and Founder, Nykaa.com
“Budget 2017 has been a balanced one with many revolutionary announcements. It is for sure a good day for Indian start up sector. The announcement of 5% tax exemption for companies having turnover below Rs. 50 crores will help around 96 percent of MSME’s and start ups of our country which is a big relief. This move will not just support the already running small businesses but will also boost entrepreneurship in our country. Also the announcement by Finance Minister on tax reduction for income holders below Rs 5 Lakhs and radical announcements on agriculture will facilitate in acceleration of GDP.
The restrictions for cash payments above 3 lacs will help us move from a cash driven to a digital economy which is good for ecommerce.
Above all it’s a tax holiday for startups now for not just 3 years but 7 years.”
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