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What marketers expect from the Union Budget

Demand to improve consumer sentiment, push digitisation

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NEW DELHI: After a massive slump in the economy that 2020 brought in with its unprecedented and uncertain nature, headlined by the Covid2019 crisis, industries are now valiantly trying to keep their heads above water. The road to recovery looks quite challenging from here, however, they are playing their bets on the upcoming Union Budget to improve the consumer sentiment, in turn impacting the advertising industry positively. 

Here’s what the top marketers and ad-land visionaries are expecting from the Union Budget 2021:

dentsu CEO India Anand Bhadkamkar: “2020 has been a difficult year for businesses across the spectrum. What, therefore, is required from the budget is a boost to the consumer sentiment. We are definitely wanting tax rates to not go up further. Additionally, it will be great if the businesses start getting some incentives for advertising and CSR activities. As an industry, we had appealed at the beginning of the pandemic too to give us some relief to businesses on the allowability of advertising spends as advertising eventually helps to boost the economy. On a larger perspective, there should be additional support for MSMEs and start-ups in the budget, which is the backbone of the Indian economy.”

VMLY&R Commerce Encompass CEO Ranjit Raina: “While the road to recovery post-Covid-19 is going to be slow it’s imperative that it stays steady. Budget 2021 will have a major impact on ensuring that the growth remains steady and spurs much-needed growth. Advertising growth is directly linked to GDP growth and any steps that give consumption a boost will inevitably benefit the industry. Personal taxation benefits always tend to help increase consumption, especially in sectors like FMCG, auto, and e-comm. As key contributors to advertising, this naturally has a positive effect on advertising spends. I am hoping that budget 2021 will focus on lowering the personal tax rates. It is very important to revive consumer confidence and give consumption a boost. From a business standpoint, I do feel we need to rationalise the GST in advertising and across the experiential marketing sector. 18 per cent is very high, the fact that cashflows are also impacted by GST rules exacerbates the economic hardship. A review and relaxation of GST would be a very positive step."

Do Your Thng founder Ankit Agarwal: “The media and entertainment industry is at the cusp of reinvention, courtesy the pandemic which the world faced in 2020. The WFH phenomenon, which is here to stay, accelerated shifts in consumer behaviour. The ensuing digital disruption helped the industry reach tipping points earlier than estimated. It is at the cusp of a humongous potential, much of it untapped. I sincerely hope the government recognises the above fact and provides more money in the hands of citizens. It’s all but expected that Budget 2021 will prioritise spending on a few key areas that bolster our battered economy. But we feel, despite the stretched finances the government faces at the moment, addressing the M&E segment will result in higher consumption, fuelling growth. The concomitant creations of more jobs will become another pillar to reinforce the entire economy.” 

Mobile Premier League (MPL) co-founder & CEO Sai Srinivas: “While the current financial year has been almost a washout for most sectors, the mobile gaming sector saw one of its fastest growth periods. Taking note of the potential of the gaming industry, the prime minister had also noted that India should lead the international digital gaming sector. There is a tremendous opportunity to support the game developers in India to make India the hub of gaming in the future. With this in mind, we would look forward to budget allocation for the creation of a gaming fund, which would incentivise more developers to access seed capital to set up gaming development companies; increase funds into the Start-Up India initiative that would encourage more gaming start-ups to flourish in the Country, creating healthy competition that would yield more significant innovation and ingenuity, fuelling the industry.” 

Droom founder-CEO Sandeep Aggarwal: “The aftermath of the COVID- 19 has not only accelerated the need of owning a vehicle but inclined towards online buying for an automobile to avoid physical contact. No country has ever created economic growth unless it has given transportation freedom to its people. With that, we hope the Indian budget 2021 continue to invest heavily in road infrastructure and don't criticize automobile for pollution because great road infrastructure will result in no pollution and no congestion on roads. In India, only five per cent of Indian households have a car, and 25 per cent of Indian households have two-wheeler vs 60 per cent of households with cars in developed economies. The auto industry expects relief from the Union Budget 2021-22 in the following multiple areas. Demonetization, GST, and confusion around EV and BSVI have really tempered automobile demand last several years. The government should aim to announce things in this budget that can simplify the automobile industry including direct and indirect taxation, whether making it more complex. I really hope that the government makes enough rules so that inter-state transfer of vehicles has a very low entry barrier and digitization of extremely important industry for the economy.”  

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