The media and advertising industry is looking forward to some key announcements, especially about the rollout of GST, as part of the tax reforms from the Union Budget 2016.
We spoke to some advertising and media agency leaders to understand their expectations from the Union Budget 2016 and here is what they had to say:
Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands:
I hope the Budget has something for the SME- which is the flavour of the season. The growth of India will come from there, so let’s see what they do. How they build ‘Start-up India’ is not only for start-ups, but also for regular small scale entrepreneurs.
Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO Madison Media & OOH, Madison World:
I hope they can balance the books; my biggest worry has always been the fiscal deficit because that causes inflation. Therefore, I wish they can come up with something where the fiscal deficit is managed. I will love it if the Budget allows more investments, makes it an easier place to work and actually a whole lot of things which were being talked about in the past, they just need to start operationalizing those. If GST becomes a reality, it will be absolutely brilliant. I hope the Finance Minister is able to give a credible case of the deficit not being too high. Given the way, all prices are right now, he has a chance of doing this and I hope he does.
Sunil Lulla, Chairman & Managing Director, Grey Group India:
If at all it’s possible, less the intervention to business the better. Give a big thrust to education, development and infrastructure. It will boost the economy and the M&E industry.
Dhunji Wadia, President, Rediffusion Y&R:
There is a perceptible change in the functioning of the Government and a genuine effort to take India forward. One hopes that GST sees the light – this itself will simplify life from the various current measures that are in place like Service Tax, VAT and Swachh Bharat Tax. What’s more, a well-established GST system would be capable of helping the GDP grow by a couple of percentage points.
KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro:
Last year, with the government easing the FDI norms, it has become easier to do business. The market has become a lot mature, and there is a lot of opening up in different sectors, including retail. The local kiranas have realised that they can even generate business despite the presence of Reliance and Walmart. No one is a threat to anyone; there is room for everyone to co-exist!
Budget is only an indication; it is heartening to see what is happening in the country. I am hoping a lot of policies will be scrapped and there might be some changes in the corporate taxing which will simplify things. There will be some ‘popularist’ announcements related to Swachh Bharat or the Vikas Yojana initiatives.
Suresh Eriyat, Founder and Creative Director, Eeksaurus:
I hope the country becomes clean for the Swachh Bharat cess which we are paying. Towards the end of last year we saw that the corporate sector was little afraid of getting into businesses. They have not been in a spending mode because of the changing environment. There is a lot of scepticism among big companies as a result of which they are re-using their resources and are wary of experimenting, which doesn’t suit a creative environment.
I hope the mood changes and the economy stabilises. Also the music industry is on a down swing, there needs to be something to encourage original music. After all it will even help advertising and film making.
Naresh Gupta, CSO, Managing Partner, Bang in the Middle:
As a communication industry we are completely dependent on how the primary industry in India works. Last year has been tough; business is slowing down, and coming months look tougher. It would be good if the budget frees up liquidity for the companies, make it easier to raise money from market, from bank and rationalise service tax, this will go a long way in building confidence.
Saurabh Dasgupta, ECD, Innocean Worldwide:
The advertising industry is completely dependent on other industries. Currently spends have come down and there is an overall atmosphere of procrastination. I personally expect the budget to brighten things up, bring in more investments, and make our clients more optimistic so that they are willing to take more creative risks.