US venture capitalists hope Budget 2023 supports growth, startup ecosystem

Business Standard

US venture capital firms investing in India are expecting the Union Budget 2023 to support the growth and development of the startup ecosystem in the country, according to a top investor.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to table the Union Budget for the financial year 2023-24 before parliament on February 1. The venture capitalist community here in the US is very excited given the large number of unicorns emerging out of India in recent years.

According to Arun Kumar, managing partner of Celesta Capital, the venture capitalists want to capitalise on Indian talent and invest in them.

As a US-based venture capital firm investing in India, we are keenly interested in policies and initiatives that will support the growth and development of the startup ecosystem in the country, Kumar told PTI.

Signals and allocations in the Budget that further the growth of new ventures based on innovation and entrepreneurship would be particularly welcome, Kumar said.

Kumar served as assistant secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) during the Obama Administration.

We are eager to see in the Budget, the government’s continued commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment that encourages foreign investment and supports the growth of new and emerging companies, including in the deep-tech space, Kumar said.

The geopolitical scenario and the pandemic induced the need to diversify supply chain sources and present India with an opportunity to enhance its participation as a trusted node in global value chains, he said.

Such an aspiration would call for policies that make it easy and cost-effective to both import and export in such a way that the efficiency of supply chains can be enhanced, boosting the competitiveness of Indian manufacturing, said Kumar, who also served as the Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India for a five-year term that ended last February.

According to Kumar, the growth of the manufacturing sector is already spawning attractive new opportunities both to make products for domestic and global use and to develop technologies and solutions that enhance manufacturing capabilities.

We believe that with the right policies in place, India has the potential to become a global leader in many technology sectors, and we are excited to be a part of that journey, he said in response to a question.