Budget 2021: Focus on innovation, R&D to benefit tech firms

Union Budget 2021 India: Top tech executives see enhanced adoption of digital engineering capabilities in the manufacturing sector

Budget 2021: Focus on innovation, R&D to benefit tech firms
India also houses the largest healthcare manufacturing and technology services companies in the world.

By Srinath Srinivasan

Indian Union Budget 2021-22: Budget 2021 Has been welcomed by the startup community for its many opportunities in the near and long term. Large corporations are also looking ahead to the opportunities as the Budget turned out to have umbrella policies and announcements, covering a wide spectrum of business areas.
Large corporations benefit from digital adoption in core engineering services. “The move to provide greater impetus to India’s manufacturing sector with outlay of almost `2 trillion over the next five years is welcome. This will pave the way for enhanced adoption of digital engineering capabilities by domestic players, especially in the Industry 4.0 segment, to give them a global edge,” says Keshab Panda, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services. Talking about manufacturing sector, Akshay Bellare, president, Honeywell India, says, “The announcement to spend on PLI schemes will encourage strategic foreign direct investments in the manufacturing sector, enabling India to become truly Atmanirbhar.”

Corporations welcome the announcements on taxes and technology innovation. “Focus on setting up of Fintech Hub at Gift City, enhancing digital payments and use of AI in governance—all provide a strong platform for Digital India. Allocation of Rs 50,000 crore towards National Research Foundation will work towards boosting India’s Innovation Quotient on the global map and is a welcome move,” says Karthikeyan Natarajan, president and chief operating officer, Cyient. Tax holidays for the startups was also welcomed by the coporations as they closely work with the startup ecosystem. “The tax holiday extension proposed for the startups will bring in a new cheer in the ecosystem and help in creating a favourable atmosphere for the growth of innovation and engineering R&D sector in the country,” says Rajendra Shreemal, chief financial officer, QuEST Global.

Akshay Bellare, President, Honeywell India

The IT services sector welcomed the increased focus on innovation and ease of doing business. “From an IT services perspective, the industry is facing intense global competition and needs tax incentives and digital infrastructure support to ensure seamless work from anywhere ecosystem, which is the new normal. This is a critical requirement for the sector,” says Sanjay Jalona, CEO & MD, L&T Infotech. Executives also welcome the announcement on digital initiatives and gig work as a move towards maximising opportunities in the sector.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, says, “The focus on innovation and R&D as an important pillar is a critical step in increasing the export income of Indian IT sector. Along with this, the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Budget also outlines initiatives for gig economy, digital payments, human capital while also setting up fintech hub and National Natural Language Translation Missions.”

CP Gurnani MD&CEO- Tech Mahindra

India also houses the largest healthcare manufacturing and technology services companies in the world. “We wish to partner with the government and other players to strengthen and bring to reality the newly launched Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna,” says Shravan Subramanyam, managing director, Wipro GE Healthcare. “A strong push by the government on the outlay for effective implementation of the National Digital Health Mission will give a fillip to the digitalisation in the health services, which is the need of the hour and will go a long way to bridge the infrastructural gaps in healthcare,” shares Vivek Kanade, executive vice president Zone India, Siemens Healthineers.

Vivek Kanade, Executive Vice President Zone India, Siemens Healthineers

Technology businesses, including data centres and consumer electronics have found the budget impactful. “There is a strong focus on Digital India be it through setting a fintech hub at GIFT city, enhancing digital payments and use of AI, ML, etc., in governance, or making tax appellates faceless and tech enabled—all provide a solid foundation for a forward looking data-economy.” says Vivek Sharma, MD – India, Lenovo Data Center Group. “For manufacturers, introduction of PLI scheme across 13 sectors reaffirms the intent to provide impetus to domestic manufacturing, while elevating India’s position as a global manufacturing champion,” says Manish Sharma, president & CEO, Panasonic India & SA.

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