Budget 2024 expectation: IP laws, tax relaxations and everything what gaming industry expects


As the entrepreneurial world eagerly awaits the Interim Budget of 2024, the gaming industry, a prominent player in India’s startup ecosystem, has outlined its expectations for the forthcoming budget. Industry leaders and experts, including Kashyap Reddy, Co-founder & CEO of Hitwicket, Lumikai’s Founding General Partner Salone Sehgal, Kavitha Rao, COO and Co-founder of 10club homes, Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Nat Habit, and Raman Khanduja, Co-founder and CEO of Mintoak, have shared their insights on the pivotal areas they believe need attention from the government.

Kashyap Reddy, with a focus on the gaming sector, emphasized the importance of a clear regulatory framework for online gaming and esports. He requested specific regulations to address the ambiguity between video games and real-money games. Reddy also highlighted the need for increased investment in digital infrastructure, particularly in internet connectivity, with a specific emphasis on 5G deployment. This move, he believes, would not only enhance digital connectivity for gaming apps but also promote the use of digital payment modes like UPI.

Intellectual Property rights were another key point raised by Reddy, stressing the importance of support for protecting and monetizing IP in the creative gaming content field. Recognizing esports as a legitimate sport and supporting its infrastructure were also highlighted as crucial elements for the growth of the gaming sector. Reddy concluded by suggesting the establishment of government-supported incubators for gaming startups, which could significantly contribute to channeling the creative energy of the youth towards innovation.

Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner at Lumikai, shed light on the remarkable growth of India’s gaming market, currently valued at $12 billion in 2023. Sehgal emphasized the need for policies that encourage the creation of “Make in India, for India and the world” content and technology. With the rise in mobile phone usage, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, Sehgal stressed the importance of locally relevant, culturally resonant content. Lumikai expects the budget to support sector-specific game upskilling, provide tax breaks for global players investing in the Indian market, and allocate funds for AI research and development.

Kavitha Rao, COO and Co-founder of 10club homes, shifted the focus to the retail industry, projecting it to become the world’s third-largest by 2027. Rao highlighted the need for measures to revive consumer spending, increase disposable incomes, boost manufacturing in various material types, and address the challenge of skilling in the retail sector. The retail industry looks forward to a reduction in GST rates for retail products to enhance affordability, encourage consumer spending, and fuel demand.

Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Nat Habit, emphasized the challenges faced by startups in the beauty and personal care market. Agarwal advocated for tailored policies to address the financial imbalance caused by an inverted GST structure. Additionally, he called for equity in long-term capital gains between public and private companies and proposed a reduced GST rate for essential personal care items. Agarwal urged the government to recognize the transformative potential of direct-to-consumer (D2C) models, seeking comprehensive support for economic growth and national well-being.

Raman Khanduja, Co-founder and CEO of Mintoak, highlighted the role of regulatory and economic environments in making India a global success story in digital payments. Khanduja emphasized the need for increased penetration and awareness of the India stack, including UPI, Aadhar, eKYC, and DigiLocker. He called for government initiatives to drive digital literacy, especially in Tier 3 and beyond, to accelerate the adoption of digital payments.

As the gaming industry and various sectors express their expectations, the nation eagerly awaits the unveiling of the Interim Budget 2024.


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Published: 22 Jan 2024, 05:11 PM IST


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