Brands cutting across industry segments have welcomed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget Speech on Tuesday in which she said that the economic growth of India is expected to be around 9.2%. Brands have welcomed the Centre’s decision to focus on infrastructural growth, increasing capital expenditure, and more, which they believe is going to do wonders for the economy as a whole.
Mohit Burman, Vice-Chairman, Dabur, said, “The biggest takeaway for me in this year’s Budget is the government's bold move to focus on higher capital expenditure and investments to pump up the economy. It's also heartening to see the government's continued focus on Bharat, or rural India, with Rs 2.37 lakh crore worth of MSP direct payments to wheat and paddy farmers and greater thrust on financial inclusion by bringing the entire 1.5 lakh post offices into the core banking system. The higher MSP allocation will ensure disposable income in the pockets of farmers, which would, in turn, drive consumerism and consumption of branded daily use products.”
“The thrust on infrastructure development and rural connectivity would also aid companies to enhance their rural presence and ride this demand growth. This would go a long way in improving penetration and driving consumption of FMCG products in the hinterland,” he added.
The agricultural industry was waiting for a long time for the Budget for some relief to the industries dependent on agriculture. Vignesh Soundararajan, Executive Director, Suguna Foods, said, "We are happy to hear a lot of pro-farmer friendly announcements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which definitely will boost our agricultural economy and will accelerate benefits with other sectors connected to agriculture namely poultry, farming, animal husbandry, food processing etc. Sustaining the momentum of much-needed reforms in the agricultural sector, we are optimistic to witness pre-pandemic levels of growth with agriculture and its associated networks in the industry. Capital and technological infusion into these sectors will definitely help build a long-term vision to yield greater results in the coming years."
Similarly, on the agricultural front, Mayank Shah, Senior Category Head at Parle Products, said, “The government would have ensured on the rural front was increased allocation to MGNREGA or direct benefit transfer. In fact, they chose the other way. In terms of rural demand, when you're talking about putting money in the hands of rural consumers by increased MSP and increased MSP allocation, it is also going to have an impact on inflation because if you increase the MSP, that eventually is going to increase the cost of agri products, primary inputs in food processing. So, procurement is going to be increased. The current challenge ahead of most FMCG companies, which is managing inflation, probably would be aggravated, so I consider it to be neutral. Probably placing this money in the hands of consumers through MGNREGA or DBT would have ensured demand to remain robust."
Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO, Marico Limited, said, “It has undertaken some key initiatives targeted towards credit growth, farmer welfare, improving the health and education infrastructure, digital currencies and start-ups which will benefit young aspirational Indians. If executed well, the budget will trigger the virtuous cycle of economic growth and employment creation, leading to momentum in growth. I believe that the budget has several inclusive measures and policies that balance consumer needs with industry requirements. It encapsulates the spirit of an Atmanirbhar Bharat and takes strong steps towards fulfilling that vision.”
With the boom in online retail, the ‘Digital Revolution’ Budget will give a much-needed push to the e-commerce industry as per Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO, Snapdeal.
Bahl said, "This is the Digital Revolution Budget. We welcome the government's emphasis on creating new digital touchpoints to empower multiple aspects of our society and supercharge the start-up ecosystem. New initiatives across currency, banking, education, skilling, health, passports, and logistics will enable a large part of the country to benefit from India's growing digital revolution. The government's focus on augmenting India's road, rail, and telecom infrastructure will help further accelerate growth opportunities across Bharat."
Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO of Meesho, said, “From our perspective, we have been keenly watching the developments that impact our sellers and their ecosystem and we see positive moves on those aspects. Emergency credit guarantee scheme (ECLGS) extension up to March 2023 will be helpful for the MSMEs to regain their business above the pre-pandemic levels. Further, the revamp of CGTMSE will also help the banks extend lending to the credit-starved MSMEs. Finally, duty concessions to promote electronics manufacturing, wearables and hearables devices and mobile phones will boost Indian manufacturing and thereby reducing imports in these critical sectors."
Speaking about the digital currency and the net banking system, Nikhil Sahni, Country Corporate Officer, India & Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said, “Mastercard welcomes the continued focus on digital and financial inclusion in the Finance Minister’s Budget 2022 speech. Setting up Digital Banking Units (DBUs) and bringing post offices into the core banking system, will help expand the reach of financial services to the last mile. The extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) will boost MSME recovery and growth by providing them with liquidity and helping them meet working capital requirements. Start-ups will benefit from tax benefits that will spur further innovation and boost employment in the country.”
The Indian gaming industry is booming and more focus has been driven by the animated gaming industry generating huge revenue amid the pandemic.
Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 and Dream Sports, said, "We welcome the budget's focus on promoting start-ups and giving impetus to the Digital Economy. Our aim at Dream Sports is to keep growing India’s digital sports tech ecosystem to become the largest in the world, just like the Indian Fantasy Sports industry has become the world’s largest with 12 Crore users. The task force for promoting the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) sector will provide the much-needed clarity and certainty for the Fantasy Sports and Esports sectors by providing more upskilling and career opportunities for the youth to be a part of India's sunshine sectors.
“The rollout of 5G services will further accelerate the adoption of online sports engagement platforms and promote investments, innovation and wealth creation, while contributing to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of making India a sporting superpower both in the real and digital worlds,” he added.
Agreeing on the Budget giving a big boost to the gaming industry, Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL), said, “It is very encouraging to see that the Union Budget has taken into consideration some of the long-pending suggestions for the AVGC sector, while noting the strong potential this industry holds for employment-generation as well as taking ‘Made in India’ game titles global. The Budget rightly mentions that promoting the digital economy and sunrise sectors will be a priority in the next 25 years (75 to 100 years of India's Independence)—the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of India. With a renewed focus on the AVGC sector, blended financing for deep tech and IT, hardware and electronics manufacturing combined with deployment of 5G and affordable internet in underserved areas, it is clear that the government is committed to take the Indian start-up ecosystem to the next level.”
Hospitality and tourism sectors were among the worst sufferers due to the Covid pandemic phase, businesses are still recovering from the losses incurred from the last two years. Players from these sectors have welcomed the move of introducing e-passport.
Aloke Bajpai, Group CEO and Co-founder, ixigo, said, “International travel is likely to recover soon despite the progress being slowed by the current variant. The introduction of innovative initiatives like e-passports will boost security and will enhance the convenience of international travellers by cutting down long queues at immigration counters. This will help support a faster revival of international travel in a pandemic-driven environment. Extension of ECLGS will also provide additional support to the hospitality industry which has borne the maximum brunt of the pandemic. The current budget’s focus on modernising infrastructure and expansion of highways under PM Gati Shakti will give impetus to intercity mobility by connecting major economic hubs and saving travel time for people.”
Similary, the real estate sector had also been severely affected by the successive Covid waves and is recovering slowly with the stabilisation of the economy.
Sanjay Chatrath, Managing Partner, Incuspaze, said, “The Union Budget announcement for 2022-23 by finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is painting a promising future for the next 25 years. Infrastructural development has always been a foundational block for budget allocation, and focusing on strengthening it further under the Gati Shakti Yojna is a positive step. However, while the development of road networks, expressways, affordable housing, and more have been the core focus of the fiscal allocation for infrastructural development, what would be interesting to see is how we manage the ‘execution’ of all the projects given the need for close coordination between ministries, to fulfil the objective of inclusive development.”