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India's Deep-Tech Goals in Budget 2024: Urgent Call for Enhanced Financial Support

By Ritwik Ghosh,Kolkata India

India's Deep-Tech Goals in Budget 2024

As anticipation mounts for Budget 2024, all eyes are on India’s burgeoning deep-tech sector. With its potential to lead the nation into the next technological frontier, experts emphasize the critical need for tailored incentives and increased funding.

The Indian government’s emphasis on deep-tech is evident as Startup India gears up for its second phase. This initiative aims to foster innovation and strengthen domestic research capabilities, positioning India as a knowledge-driven economy.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Information Technology, envisions a future driven by startups in deep-tech domains such as AI, HPC, Quantum, Semiconductors, and Web3.

While 2023 saw a slowdown in funding across various sectors, deep-tech emerged as a standout performer globally and in India. Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), highlights the sector’s remarkable productivity during this period.

However, challenges persist, primarily due to insufficient and delayed funding. Despite notable successes like IdeaForge and Tata Technologies entering the public market, concerns remain regarding the level of funding required.

Raj Kumar Waghray, Head of the Entrepreneurship Cell at the Foundation for Science Innovation and Development (FSID), underscores the substantial capital needed for deep-tech ventures, particularly in the early stages of product development.

Investors call for dedicated schemes for deep-tech akin to the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) programs, aiming to bolster local manufacturing.

Anil Joshi, Managing Partner of Unicorn India Ventures, suggests introducing a specific classification for deep-tech to bridge the funding gap.

Despite India’s rich pool of tech talent, the lack of timely funding hampers the ability to attract skilled individuals, creating challenges in a competitive job market.

Shashwath T R, Co-founder and CEO of Mindgrove Technologies, emphasizes the need for additional skilled workforce in semiconductor design, underscoring the demand for specialized talent.

Katragadda advocates for clear priorities and increased transparency in fund allocation, urging a focus on specific areas to drive innovation.

Manoj Kumar Agarwal, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Seafund, proposes support programs for micro-VCs to stimulate early-stage capital, with tax incentives for investors.

As Startup India’s second phase targets deep-tech, experts emphasize a cohesive approach, prioritizing key areas and consolidating funding programs.

Addressing academic challenges, Katraggada highlights the need for enhanced research in deep-tech and emerging fields to realize India’s deep-tech aspirations.

This article delves into India’s deep-tech ambitions, highlighting the urgent need for enhanced financial support to propel the sector forward in Budget 2024.

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