Startups Hope Budget 2018 Would Raise Period Of Tax Exemption

"We are competing with brands that get funds at an interest rate of 2-3% but here in India we get that at 13% and that too not all that easily," said Akash Nangia, Founder, TechJockey.

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Startups Hope Budget 2018 Would Raise Period Of Tax Exemption

Hundreds of startups shut shop every year but the process isn't easy.

A vibrant office space, bean bags, abstract furniture and an open workspace- this is TechJockey, a startup launched by Akash Nangia and Arjun Mittal. TechJockey has found a niche in helping small and medium enterprises or SMEs adopt a suitable technology to increase productivity and efficiency. It has strength of 60 young minds and runs operations in Gurugram, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Bengaluru. It has partnerships with big software vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Symantec and Adobe. But it hasn't been all hunky-dory for this startup.

"The government says they are promoting digital India and Startup India but when we are online, we are also universal. We are competing with brands that get funds at an interest rate of 2-3 per cent but here in India we get that at 13 per cent and that too not all that easily," said Mr Nangia.

Mr Nangia ran an IT manpower services for four years, before ceasing operations in 2014. But as in most cases of startups, his business idea did not work. He soon realised shutting shop was just as hard as starting up, if not harder. Mr Nangia then had to wait for three years to completely shut down the operations of his firm.

Hundreds of startups shut shop every year but the process isn't easy. Liquidation can stretch from six months to years, depending on whether the books are clear, creditors and courts raise no objections, and the company is asset-light.

"The TDS (tax deducted at source) deducted was 10 per cent on IT professional services and that was way more than the income generated. But it took us three years to get the income tax returns and until then we had to keep the system running," said Mr Nangia.

However, the duo partners are upbeat for future. They do have a wish list for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who will be presenting the Union Budget for fiscal year 2018-19 on February 1.

Mr Mittal said that startups are no holiday. Not only do they have to raise funds but also ensure that their strategies stand out as does their talent pool.

"The government must increase the number of years of income tax exemption from three years to seven years. For the first three years we were busy with R&D (research and development) and an increase in window will give us more time to reach a stage when we can start earning profits. Only then can we exercise the option for income tax exemption."



 

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