In this episode of the State of the Economy Podcast, businessline’s Kurmanath K V, talks to Srikanth Velamakanni, Co-Founder, Group Chief Executive of Fractal and Shruti K.P, Partner, IndusLaw, and unravels the intricacies of India’s startup ecosystem and explores the recent announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the interim budget .  

Kurmanath kicks off the episode by highlighting the challenges faced by startups in accessing funding, despite the growth of the ecosystem. He sheds light on the significance of the budgetary schemes aimed at benefiting startups.  

Srikanth identifies existential challenges startups encounter, including talent acquisition, product-market fit, and managing cash flows. He emphasises the cyclical nature of investment flows and the abundance of capital waiting to be deployed, particularly in deep tech startups.  

The discussion delves into the budgetary proposals, such as the allocation of ₹1 trillion for promoting research and innovation in startups. Srikanth views this initiative optimistically, anticipating its potential to encourage startups to dream bigger and invest in cutting-edge ideas. However, he cautions against delays in accessing funds, urging policymakers to streamline the process to support startups effectively.  

Shruti elaborates on the extension of tax benefits for startups, emphasising the stringent eligibility criteria and the limited number of startups that benefit from such incentives. The conversation goes on to acknowledge the need for more comprehensive support mechanisms beyond tax exemptions to aid startups in their initial years.  

In the latter part of the podcast, the experts stress the importance of targeted investments in critical sectors like AI, quantum computing, and defence technology to bolster India’s startup ecosystem. They express hope that the government’s initiatives will materialise into tangible benefits for startups, driving innovation and economic growth.

(Host: Kurmanath K V, Producer: Amitha Rajkumar)

About the State of the Economy Podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups.