Tax breaks, govt schemes: Edtech Budget wishlist

As the countdown to the 2024 Interim Budget nears, industry stakeholders, startups, and MSMEs are hopeful the Finance Minister will meet their asks.

Tax breaks, govt schemes: Edtech Budget wishlist

Monday January 29, 2024,

5 min Read

Hello,

As the countdown to the 2024 Interim Budget nears, industry stakeholders, startups, and MSMEs are hopeful the Finance Minister will meet their asks. 

Read all about Budget 2024 coverage here. 

Meanwhile, Bernard Arnault, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of global luxury goods brand LVMH, dethroned Elon Musk as the wealthiest person in the world.

Speaking of Musk, Tesla will spend $500 million to build one of its so-called “Dojo” supercomputers at its Buffalo, New York factory. Dojo, announced at Tesla’s “AI Day” event in 2021, is a supercomputer meant to help advance the company’s still-unrealised goal of building a self-driving car. 

Tesla plans to use the supercomputer to process reams of video data that come off of its electric vehicles to train the AI that now powers its most advanced driver assistance software, Full Self-Driving Beta. 

Elsewhere, the world's largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, has set sail from Miami, Florida, on its maiden voyage in the Caribbean. However, environmentalists are concerned about the vessel's methane emissions.

ICYMI: Apple’s best-selling product, iPhone, has changed the world, and how!

As Steve Jobs said, indeed a “revolutionary product”!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Edtech Budget wishlist for 2024
  • Cracking the K-beauty business 

Here’s your trivia for today: Which river is considered the longest in Asia?


Union Budget

Edtech Budget wishlist for 2024

Edtech

India’s edtech sector has been in a state of turbulence for some time now, marked by significant layoffs, a liquidity crisis, and a funding crunch. 

Edtech firms are fervently hoping that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Interim Budget for 2024 will offer some relief. They anticipate various measures such as tax exemptions, reduced GST rates, improved digital infrastructure, and an increase in fund allocation to fuel the sector’s growth.

Key takeaways:

  • Prateek Maheshwari, Co-Chair of India Edtech Consortium, and Co-founder of Physics Wallah, proposes reducing the GST slab on educational products and services from 18% to 5%. 
  • A few edtech players also believe the government must look at how ESOPs are approached, as part of public market investments.
  • Akshay Munjal, Founder and CEO of Hero Vired, the Hero Group’s edtech firm for professionals, highlights the need for recognition of online degrees and says expediting technology adoption is crucial to the skilling industry.


Startup 

Cracking the K-beauty business

Toinali Chophi beauty barn

Toinali Chophi's search for a solution to severe acne problems led to the launch of Beauty Barn—a beauty and skincare platform that offers a handpicked selection of brands using safe and potent ingredients—one of the first brands in India to capitalise on Korean beauty (K-beauty) products.

Beauty Barn offers over 20 K-beauty products, including brands like Claire’s, Beauty of Joeson, Cosrx, and Holika Holika, among others. 

Beauty secrets:

  • After realising the importance of bringing K-beauty to India—Chophi, a government teacher at the time—plunged into entrepreneurship fully aware it was a huge risk. 
  • Beauty Barn has two physical stores in Dimapur and Aizawl—down from the four it had two years ago. 
  • Talking about challenges, Chophi reveals the tedious process of registering the brand as one of the biggest, followed by logistics problems—unique to Northeast India as shipping takes longer than usual. 


News & updates

  • Australian Open: Jannik Sinner overcame a two-set deficit to defeat Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in a thrilling five-set final and claim the men’s Australian Open title on Sunday, becoming the first Italian man to win a grand slam since 1976.
  • New hires: X, formerly Twitter, will hire 100 content moderators for a new office in Austin, Texas, to focus on fighting child abuse content, a goal it hopes to complete by the end of 2024. It announced the new "Trust and Safety Center of Excellence" ahead of a US Senate hearing on January 31 about online sexual exploitation of children. 
  • Trading: China's securities regulator will fully suspend the lending of restricted shares effective from Monday, in policymakers' latest attempt to stabilise the country's stock markets following recent sharp falls.


What you should watch out for

  • Budget ahead: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Interim Budget for 2024-25 on February 1 (Thursday). The Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be held on January 30 and 31.
  • Stock markets: The Interim Budget, the US Federal policy decision, and quarterly earnings will be the major drivers for stock markets, which may also see some consolidation this week. In the holiday-shortened week gone by, the BSE Sensex and Nifty 50 declined 1% each to end at 70,700 and 21,352, respectively.
  • Results: Adani Green Energy, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Maruti Suzuki India, Titan, and InterGlobe Aviation will announce their quarterly earnings this week.


Which river is considered the longest in Asia?

Answer: The Yangtze River. It is the longest river at 3,915 miles (6,300 km) in China and Asia, and the third-longest river in the world.


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