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Startups looking for fiscal relief, collateral-free debt

Despite being hit hard by the Covid pandemic, entrepreneurs are gung-ho about making a difference

Startups witness Seed and Series A deals this week

Startups witness Seed and Series A deals this week

Mumbai : Startups in the country have pinned their hopes on fiscal relief, collateral-free debt and ease of investment from the forthcoming Union Budget, which is slated to be presented on February 1, 2021.The startup sector has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic. However, the entrepreneurs are still gung-ho about making a difference and persevering. The right nudge from the government could get them back on track.

"Some things that I have discovered on discussion with my clients that could help them would be fiscal relief, collateral-free debt, focused interventions in agritech, ease of investment to name a few," said Ratish Pandey, a business coach at Ethique Advisory.

One place the government can really make a difference is by opening up government departments and PSUs to help create use case for startups. The government needs to realise that startups need support across the various stages of their ecosystem and they should ensure the policies they introduce take that into account, he added.

Startups are set to be the growth drivers of the economy. However, the government needs to devise policies that encourage them to focus on being profitable and sustaining themselves without riding the investment and valuation bubble.

"I believe that funded startups should have an obligation of turning in profits within 2-3 years else face a minor fine. This will force the founders and the mentors to think hard about building a profitable company," says Rohit Warrier, CEO & Founder, Warrier Safe Shields.Working capital is a critical factor for any company but is more so for a startup.

Schemes such as government contribution towards employer contribution of PF during the handholding period will leave the startups with more cash in hand and capital. Awareness of various government schemes on the purchase of capital equipment is currently less amongst the startups.

Increasing their visibility in the startup community will increase the utilisation of these schemes, resulting in the generation of employment and revenue for the government, he said.

Much ignored are formal women-run businesses, while there are State and Government policies to benefit small businesses, there is little support for Start-ups built by women or with women leading them.

"With early-stage companies often running with small resource strength, some benefit in terms of more flexible timelines on taxes/ GST will be much appreciated," Dipika Jaikishan, co-founder & COO, Basis, a startup, said.

Kumud Das
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