A&M leaders weigh in on Interim Budget 2024

A&M leaders weigh in on Interim Budget 2024

Leaders share views on how fiscal policies impact campaigns, innovations, and consumer engagement.

The Interim Budget 2024

Mumbai: The Interim Budget 2024 unveiled on 1 Feb has set the stage for a symphony of perspectives within the advertising and marketing industries. From applauding the focus on digital transformation and entrepreneurship to expressing cautious optimism amid economic growth strategies, industry leaders share their perspectives on how fiscal policies might shape the landscape for campaigns, innovations, and consumer engagement.

Here’s what various marketing and advertising agencies have to say:

Boomlet Group co-founder and MD Preety Singh

In the wake of the recently announced union budget, the emphasis on empowering women through financial support is a promising stride towards our nation's vision of achieving developed status by 2047. The disbursement of 30 crore loans to women entrepreneurs signals a crucial step in catalyzing their economic prowess. The noteworthy 37 percent surge in female workforce participation in the fiscal year 2022-23 underscores the success of our collective efforts in fostering an inclusive economy. As a woman entrepreneur, I believe that this financial impetus not only propels our businesses but also serves as a beacon for gender equality and socio-economic progress. To ensure that Indian MSMEs compete globally, sustained commitment to the empowerment of women is indispensable. This interim budget continues to pave the way for a future where the entrepreneurial spirit of women becomes a driving force in our nation's journey towards prosperity and development.

Tagglabs founder Hariom Seth

This interim budget strikes a prudent balance between driving economic growth through infrastructure expansion and putting more money in the hands of middle-income groups. This twin-engine approach can accelerate demand across sectors, creating ripe conditions for advertising and marketing.

However, how increased public capital expenditure influences private corporate spending will be key. If crowding-out effects emerge, advertising budgets may face cuts as companies watch their bottom lines.

Therefore, this budget provides reasons for tempered optimism rather than outright euphoria for marketers and agencies. Government capital spending should drive ancillary advertising as infrastructure projects necessitate promotions. But patchwork policy measures specifically targeted to incentivize digital adoption and urban consumption could have provided a steroid boost.

Pulp Strategy founder & MD Ambika Sharma

The union budget 2024 has presented a groundbreaking roadmap for India's digital transformation, bolstering the IT and internet landscape across the nation and expanding connectivity. This translates to more opportunities for businesses to thrive in the digital realm and captivate audiences with potential for greater outreach. The budget's attention to skilling and training programs for media and entertainment professionals is a game-changer, nurturing a highly skilled workforce that can deliver awe-inspiring content and consumer experiences. Additionally, initiatives such as tourism promotion and rural development have the potential to boost advertising demand. The Union Budget 2024's focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through tax benefits, credit guarantee schemes, and fund launches creates a fertile environment for startups and MSMEs to thrive and make a positive impact in society. The budget also highlights the importance of the media and entertainment industry in promoting India's culture and soft power worldwide, tapping into the power of technology to create immersive experiences, showcase the beauty and diversity of India, and drive meaningful change in society.

Media Care Brand Solutions director Yasin Hamidani

The Interim Union Budget 2024 places a strong emphasis on the upliftment of economically vulnerable sections, women, farmers, and the youth, recognizing their pivotal role in the nation's progress. The commendable commitment to construct an additional two crore houses over the next five years through the PM Awas Yojana Grameen highlights the government's dedication to ensuring housing for all. Finance Minister Sitharaman's announcement of an upcoming scheme tailored for the middle class, especially those in rented houses, slums, and unauthorized colonies, marks a positive step towards fostering inclusive growth. With expectations for a comprehensive roadmap for Viksit Bharat in the full budget this July, it is anticipated that it will further reinforce the government's commitment to both economic development and welfare.

A reassuring development is the decision to eliminate long-pending and minor income tax disputes. This aligns with the government's ongoing efforts to minimize legal conflicts. Notably, there are no alterations to tax rates or structures, and no adjustments have been proposed in personal taxation. This might be a bit disappointing for those who were anticipating such announcements.

KlugKlug co-founder and CPO Vaibhav Gupta

In this interim budget, the acknowledgment of the transformative impact wielded by new-age technologies and data on individuals and businesses resonates deeply with Klug Tech's core values. The emphasis on fostering economic opportunities and ensuring affordable, high-quality services reflects a commitment to inclusivity, reaching even those at the 'bottom of the pyramid. As innovators and entrepreneurs, we stand poised to contribute to India's rising global potential through our cutting-edge solutions. This budget sets the stage for a future where innovation and entrepreneurship drive positive change, elevating India's position on the global stage.

Mad Influence CEO and founder Gautam Madhavan

Mad Influence welcomes the government's commitment to maintaining stability in taxation, ensuring continuity for startups and IFSC units by extending tax exemptions till 31 March 2025. The finance minister's decision to withdraw outstanding direct tax demands up to Rs 25,000 and provide relief to one crore taxpayers is a positive step towards improving taxpayer services. As the economy strides towards sustained growth, Mad Influence acknowledges the government's prudent approach in maintaining existing tax rates and embracing the positive impact of GST on trade and industry. However, Mad Influence looks forward to more targeted initiatives for startups in the upcoming full Budget in July. The overall budgetary estimates, with a focus on interest-free loans, reflect a balanced approach towards economic growth. Mad Influence anticipates further details in the detailed roadmap for 'Viksit Bharat' promised in the full Budget, paving the way for a more prosperous and inclusive India.

Vivify Asia founder and director Vikram Bhalla

As the union budget 2024-25 is presented, the budgetary figures outlined reflect a prudent approach to fiscal management. The finance minister's estimate of total receipts, excluding borrowings, at Rs. 30.80 lakh crore and total expenditure at Rs 47 lakh crore for the upcoming fiscal year demonstrates a commitment to responsible financial planning. The continuation of interest-free loans at an outlay of Rs 1.3 lakh crore is a strategic move to support key sectors. The targeted fiscal deficit of 5.1 per cent of GDP for 2024-25 aligns with the government's commitment to gradually reduce the deficit to 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26. This shows a balanced effort to stimulate economic growth while maintaining fiscal discipline.

The mention of revised estimates for 2023-24, with revenue receipts expected to surpass the budget estimate, reflects the positive momentum in economic activities and formalization. The government's ability to manage expenditures effectively is evident in this upward revision. While the overall vision for 'Viksit Bharat' is ambitious, the budget strikes a balance between addressing immediate concerns, investing in long-term growth drivers, and maintaining fiscal prudence.

GOZOOP Group chairman and co-founder Rohan Bhansali

India's union budget 2024 heralds a golden era for our tech-savvy youth, epitomizing our nation's high aspirations and the transformative journey our economy has undertaken over the last decade. The announcement of a 50-year interest-free loan represents not only a visionary step but also a testament to the government's unwavering commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation amongst the youth. Furthermore, the budget's focus on empowering the youth with access to affordable capital is a testament to the government's proactive approach towards addressing the evolving needs of our dynamic workforce. By providing avenues for skill development, training, and access to capital, we are not only nurturing talent but also creating a conducive environment for inclusive growth and prosperity. At GOZOOP Group, we are committed to partnering with the government and other stakeholders to leverage our expertise, resources, and technology-driven solutions to support the realisation of India's vision for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

GOZOOP Group global CEO and co-founder Ahmed Aftab Naqvi

I think it's a forward-looking interim budget. The allocation of Rs one lakh crore for a 50-year period as a support to tech-savvy youth at low or no interest rates will fuel more energy in Bharat. The certain tax benefits given to startups signal direction of innovation and economic dynamism. As an entrepreneur this ignites optimism. With the government’s focus on rural development, FMCG as a category will get the much-needed boost. In the post-election budget, I would like to see emphasis on privacy regulation for AI, which is a critical aspect for the A&M industry.

PromotEdge founder and CEO Saurav Agarwal

We are pleased to acknowledge the visionary steps taken by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the union budget, paving the way for a digitally advanced, globally sustainable, and healthy India. This budget reflects a progressive approach, focusing on inclusive growth, leveraging the potential of cutting-edge technologies, and implementing crucial business reforms. Over the past decade, the Indian economy has undergone a remarkable positive transformation, and this budget is a testament to our commitment to sustaining this upward trajectory. The consumer tech startup sector will surely be stimulated by the proposed tax advantages, which would encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. The allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore for a 50-year interest-free loan is a game-changer, providing our tech-savvy youth with a golden era for long-term financing or refinancing at low or nil interest rates. The announcements hold particular significance for startups and the digitisation drive. Since this was an interim budget, there was not much regarding the digital sector, we expect much more in the upcoming budget in July.

Viral Pitch founder Sumit Gupta

With the outstanding success of PM Mudra Yojana, which has approved an amazing 43 crore loans worth ₹22.5 lakh crore, our country is on track for an entrepreneurial revolution. This excellent backing is evidence of the dedication to promoting youthful goals. As a result of the collaborative efforts of programs like Fund of Funds, Start-Up India, and Start-Up Credit Guarantee, ambitions have been achieved on this transforming path. Our youth evolves as 'rozgardata' - the creators of their destinies and contributors to the development of the country - when these ambitious plans come to fruition. This enormous step toward economic independence indicates a better future for our country, one in which industry and creativity flourish and bring in a new period of opportunity and progress.

Grapes founder and CEO Shradha Agrawal

The government’s initiative to provide adequate finances and advanced technologies to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is indeed a positive step which will benefit the overall economy.

Also, there's a notable reduction in the corporate tax rate. For instance, domestic companies will now face a reduced rate of 22 per cent, down from the previous 30 per cent. This aims to boost business growth in India and enhance the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, contributing to overall economic development.

Additionally, the budget also allocates considerable attention to the development of modern infrastructure in all its forms—digital, social, and physical—opening up new opportunities for the M&E sector, particularly in the realm of digitalization.