If India wants to create economic, wealth and job creation impact no less industry revolution in Europe, India must promote entrepreneurialism, innovation and create start-up ecosystem that is world-class. Since Intendances day of 2015, Government has expressed its strong desire to promote entrepreneurialism and start-up. During 16th January, Stand-Up India and Start-up India, Government increased its stake in its commitment to start-ups.
So, when the Union Budget got presented, I was hoping government to further increase its stake and commitment for start-up. However, the budget was lacklustre when it came to start-ups.
Here is what I was hoping to see:
This budget is far from the reforms expected. In the start-up ecosystem, entrepreneurs and emerging businesses were hoping for some exciting announcement to encourage entrepreneurism and innovations. However, the silver lining was the announcement for women and SC/ST entrepreneur with Rs. 500 crore allotments. As an entrepreneur, I was hoping that government will include following topics:
1. Capital for entrepreneurs should be more accessible and cheaper
2. Some tax benefits for start-up in terms of capital gain and dividend tax
3. Offering R&D credits and lower costs for innovations
4. Listing rules should have been further streamlined for start-ups
5. Repatriation of capital (from foreign countries) should be more accessible
In my view, the start-up opportunity in India relating to Consumer Internet alone is of the same magnitude, if not higher, as the Industry Revolution in 1740 in Europe, Gold Rush in California in 1850, rise of Japan from World War 1 until 1985, rise of software and Internet in Silicon Valley from 1990 to 2015, Internet in China from 2005. In my view, India Internet alone can create $100bn in new wealth by 2018 and $250bn by 2020 and create 1 mil and 2 mil new white colour jobs during the same time frame respectively. I am hoping, if not Union Budget, perhaps there may be separate events in coming months wherein Government continue to further its commitment for start-ups.