Winds of Change are Blowing & Growth for Startups is at the Anvil

The month of February is often characterized by transitions. As old leaves fall giving way to fresh life, the cold weather gradually makes way for warmer months ahead. As through personifying this period of transition is the significance of February 1st, ie: the day India's Union budget for the year is announced. The entire country, corporate world and industry awaits the ushering in of news policies, ideas and regulations.

This year, the wait was especially bitter sweet. 2020 was a rough year for everyone. The pandemic induced lockdown that had the entire nation and various parts of the globe shut indoors was an economic dampener for one and all. The entire tech startup industry was looking forward to a budget that could bring in relief and reparations.

And we can gladly say that the budget did not disappoint. One of the key aspects of the budget was the allotment of Rs 1500 crore for a new fund to further accelerate growth and incentivize businesses to offer digital payments. India has a strong digital payments economy which grew immensely over the past one year. The proposed fund will spur on the digital payments' industry's growth. The Finance Minister also announced the government will facilitate setting up of a world class `fintech hub' in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) city.

Keeping in mind the startup eco-system, the budget brought with it the announcement that the tax holiday for startups has been extended by one more year and startups will get capital gains exemption by one more year to 31 March 2022. This move will incentivize startups and funding in startups alike. Another positive announcement was that the incorporation of OCPs will be incentivized by allowing one person companies to attain growth without restriction on the paid up capital and turnover.

Other than the positive steps taken by the government to boost startups and tech industry in general; this budget was also the very first digital budget. Union Minister NirmalaSitharaman emerged in-front of shutter bugs along with a tablet that replaced the age old red Swadeshi 'bahikhata'. It carried India's very first paperless Union Budget. This move signifies India's steps forward into becoming a digital first nation.

February also brought along a great piece of news. A report by HSBC Global Research about India's Internet said that, India's internet start-up leaders that operate business ranging from food delivery, e-commerce to online insurance are now on the cusp of listing. Their combined value stands at a whopping $180 billion by 2025.

Things are certainly looking up for the Indian tech startup landscape.

Do let us know your thoughts.