Startups & Education-Budget Impact

Education, Skill Development Gets Boost, Startups Get a Kickstart

But wait for the Fineprints

Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures,

The Budget tries to address employment generation issues, providing access to education, emphasized on embracing tech and next-gen concepts like IoT, AI and ML. We are happy to see that the FM has kindly agreed to the long pending demand from industry on ESOP. The new guidelines will certainly help startups attract good talent and reward suitably through ESOP.  The ESOP guidelines will help in structuring the benefit to deserving employees. The increase in the turnover limits from Rs 25 cr to Rs 100 cr for claiming off-set on profits is a welcome announcement. It will boost cash flow situation at early-stage startups who sometimes fail before take off because of liquidity crunch. Also, by exempting companies with turnover upto Rs 5 crore, from audit, reduces compliance burden on them. The Govt has also proposed a policy on early life and seed stage funding for startups to validate their business idea and run POCs. This would help grass root development and will encourage more university led IPs would good boost for innovators.

However, the fine print will tell us what kind of financial support the early stage startups would actually get in the coming months. We hope the procedures to avail these services are less complicated. Also, our industry’s demand on tax parity still remains unattended. However, we are hopeful that the Government will give it thought in time to come as we are continuously seeing the focus on startups and investors increasing in the last 5 years. Overall, it is a Budget with an aspiration to revive the economy from its current slowdown.

Kavita Mehta, Founder & CEO, Caymus Tech Ventures 

.The Union Budget 2020 has allocated over Rs 1 lakh crore for education and skills upgradation in India. That the focus on education and skills was well rounded and did not seek to push one or two top verticals like technology and management streams was especially promising. The FM focused on providing access to education for people from underserved and poor sections, making technology and digital formats the delivery mechanisms. Further, in order to open up employment opportunities the creation of initiatives such as one-year long internships and apprenticeships for. Clearly, the idea is to use technology to reach more young people, provide access to education, and empower them to land in-demand jobs.

It is encouraging to see announcements like the New Education Policy, financing the education system to attract top talent, online degree courses, bridge courses for support staff, and making India a global education hub. The Government recognizes the urgency with which the world’s largest working age population needs to upskill in order to have a positive impact on society and the economy. FM’s repeated emphasis to deliver education through portals, designing of new courses and providing viability gap funding for colleges and State Government, will help meet aspirations of young Indians who are comfortable using technology to educate and upskill themselves.

Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO, Betterplace, 

The Budget has a good move in terms of taxation on startups. All startups are looking at the road towards profitability and deploying that back into the company to expand thereby increasing employment. Increasing the revenue limit to Rs 100 crore and duration to 10 year,  a great move forward. The other key aspect is ESOPs. Employees who come on board with ESOPs help build a company along with the founders. It has been a long-standing demand to tax them only at the realisation of ESOPs. The proposed deferred payment of 5 years in tax liability will ensure people get what they deserve and also encash at the first potential opportunity. This would excite them to be part of startups and increase the importance of ESOPs. This would also encourage more employees to participate in the program. Moreover, this would also help more liquidity in the market as the transactions would take place. This could be a win-win for startups and its team.

Jobs generation across the spectrum was also a key point in the Budget. There is a need to generate both blue and white-collar jobs for the Country’s youth. While on one hand setting up of online degree courses and internships would give a boost to the education sector, we believe that the infrastructure sector which is set to see massive govt-funded projects being rolled out would generate jobs for grey and blue-collar workers.

We work closely with the National Skill Development agency and would be awaiting keenly for a detailed plan to employ youth in construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure being built in the Country. Furthermore, we find the proposal to design bridge courses for nurses, caregivers and paramedical staff for postings abroad quite promising for the semi-skilled sector. The Ministry should take a leaf out of this and see if the same can also be implemented in India as we see demand for such roles also growing rapidly in the domestic market too.

Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera

Government’s announcements related to the development of emerging technologies like AI, ML, Data Analytics ecosystem in the country and skilling opportunities for the youth, clearly reflect the focus on preparing the youth for jobs of tomorrow. Also, the introduction of online degree programs highlights the growing acceptance of online education in its capability. Aided with a boost in infrastructure and high quality content, online education will not only accelerate skill development initiatives but also help ‘right-skill’ the workforce of the futureWe anticipate that the announcement to improve the online education ecosystem will facilitate greater collaboration between educational institutions and online education platforms.

Shailen Mehta, Founder and Managing Director, eJOHRI 


Digital revolution plays a crucial role in the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem and initiatives like online tax assessment, facial assessments, facial KYCs will provide the much needed stack, essential for the growth of startups. ESOPs have become instrumental in Indian corporate and startup ecosystem to woo high-value employees and retain talent. Exemption of taxes on ESOPs will further encourage companies to introduce ESOPs in their companies at a large level, which in turn will allow them to attract world-class talent while keeping employee costs in check.  India is the third largest startup hub in the world , the introduction of an Investment Clearance Cell and  seed funding will provide a boost to young entrepreneurs of India who are enthusiastically looking to build a bootstrapped business, and build sustainable revenue businesses.

Vamsi Krishna, CEO & Co-Founder, Vedantu

The vision of making education accessible to the farthest corner of the country will greatly benefit students. The allocation of budget to hone the skill sets of teachers and educators will positively impact quality learning and thereby provide a boost to the education sector. Additionally the allocation of budget to BharatNet will also have a deep impact on skilling rural India as it has the potential to open up online learning to students and professionals from remote villages. With better bandwidth internet, a qualified teacher located in a metro city can impart LIVE online classes to students in small town India, where there’s a dearth of quality education. Technology will soon disrupt the entire concept of the classroom and make it an extremely personalized, one to one teaching-learning experience tailored for each mind.

Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India.

Data from Indeed reveals that technology-related job roles in India are among the most promising for job seekers, as these job openings have grown consistently in the past five years. Last year alone saw tech job roles grow by 31%. Despite ups and downs, hiring is stabilizing as companies shift gears to skill their workforce. The proposition to provide internship opportunities for young engineers at urban local bodies is a very good move in helping young talent make good use of their qualification and scale from there.

The onus of creating a culture of learnability and skilling that can ensure sustained employment is now shifting to the industry. Companies need to invest strongly in L&D initiatives that can help their employees stay industry relevant in the race to profitability. In fact this could be a positive move towards employee loyalty and retention that can in-turn help organisation’s find sustainable growth.


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