Industry leaders praise ‘growthoriented’ Union Budget 2021


Industry leaders from across media, marketing, advertising, like K Madhavan, President – Indian Broadcasting Foundation, Ashish Bhasin, CEO-APAC and Chairman-India, Dentsu, and other eminent leaders from other sectors like Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltdalong with several others, have welcomed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2021.

Here’s what they have had to say:

K Madhavan, President of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation

This is a growth-oriented budget that will provide a strong and much-needed impetus to the economic growth engines in the wake of the pandemic. The focus on privatisation and providing support for startups and innovation is likely to benefit the overall corporate sector and in-turn help the media and entertainment industry, as it will lead to strong advertising growth.

I believe this budget can pave the way for the resurgence of economic growth in a significant and impactful manner.

Ashish Bhasin, CEO-APAC and Chairman-India, Dentsu

According to me, this is a great Budget for the economy as well as for the advertising industry. It is clearly a growth-oriented budget and I am particularly enthused about the investments in Infrastructure and Health. What is also good is that the taxes have not been raised and the process of taxation has been attempted to be simplified. Disinvestments and Borrowings have been proposed as the preferred funding route, rather than increased taxation, which is helpful.

Whenever the economy does well, the advertising industry benefits. Hence, I feel this economic growth that the budget fuels will result in good growth for the advertising industry this year and we should be positive and bullish, both about India’s economic future as well as for the advertising industry.

I also like the thrust towards increased usage of digital, including in governance, starting from the symbolic usage of an India made Tablet to read the budget from, by the Finance Minister.

However, one has to still see the fine print because the important thing is that the ideas presented must result in smooth on-ground implementation, where our track record has not been that great in the past.

Overall I find this a good, growth-oriented budget, with some benefits for almost every section of the economy and hopefully this should bring our GDP growth into double digits making India the world’s fastest-growing economy this year.

Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

This is a Budget with the head and the heart at the right place. As the industry was looking forward to, this is a growth-oriented Budget, with significant focus on healthcare and infrastructure, two areas where everybody wanted to see a lot of focus.

I am glad that the scrappage policy has been acknowledged in the Budget and expecting the policy to be announced very soon. Though details are not yet out, when the policy comes out, it should have full incentive for scrapping and not just disincentivize for not scrapping.  If I look at the tractor industry there is a lot of incentive on the agri economy and other agri businesses.

Everyone is relieved that there is no Covid cess that has come in or any extra taxation, which is a good thing. We have also seen some bold moves in terms of Bad bank or ARC which were hoping. There is nothing much specific in terms of sectorial intervention, but that is fine since the Budget is focusing on overall growth and increasing denominator which should otherwise help all the sectors. Overall the Finance Minister has delivered a promised Budget that will go a long way and not just for 1 year.

Anand Bhadkamkar, CEO India, dentsu

It is definitely a growth-oriented budget. The Finance Minister has done an excellent job and has made sure that there is no increase in taxes. The disinvestment of PSU banks, LIC, consolidation of SEBI Act, etc. are the right steps ahead and we need to see how she will deliver on that aspect.

What really impressed me about this budget are the six Pillars – one of which is minimum government and maximum governance, which is also very important in the corporate world. The budget intends to bring liquidity into the economy, focus on Infrastructure and offer tax holiday for startups, giving the MSME a higher outlay.

Another beneficial move is the tax relief offered to senior citizens, which is excellent administratively. Insurance and Healthcare have been given a huge boost. Similarly, easing of business rules for NRIs is a step in the right direction. Instead of taxing the taxpayer, the Finance Minister has ensured that the revenue comes from smarter allocation of available resources and better tax management. As a salaried person, I would have liked more benefits. However, aforementioned, we expected positive consumer sentiment to be created by the budget and I am optimistic that this budget is going to do so. The budget aims to bring down the fiscal deficit; and largely sectors like Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education, Automobiles, etc. are seeing positive momentum.

We expect the spending to accelerate, witness positive growth in terms of spends coming in, and consumer sentiments returning. If you see the social sector from an economic growth perspective, which needs to be pushed from the grassroots level, this budget is providing the same with infrastructure development. This can lead to a domino effect for development. Likewise, from the advertising sector perspective, the feeling is similar. Though there are multiple factors involved. If you go category-wise such as FMCG, Consumer Durables and Auto, there is positivity and we expect spends from them.

Mobiles are likely to get costlier. But the government has given more relief to domestic industries to support Atma Nirbhar Bharat. For the Media & Advertising industry,  it is a growth-oriented budget that is likely to support growth in advertising and marketing spends as well.

Reference: Media Brief