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Budget 2023: Make going public easy, says Dhiresh Bansal of Meesho

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Shiv Joshi
Shiv Joshi
An editor with over 20 years of experience across industry verticals and content formats from tabloids to magazines, he is the Deputy Group Managing Editor at Images Group.

Easier listing on Indian bourses is on the Budget 2023 wishlist of Dhiresh Bansal, the chief financial officer of Meesho which will help pave the way for the social commerce company’s IPO

India has 100 unicorns—technology startups that have crossed a $1 billion valuation. Interestingly, owing to tax and regulatory complications in the country, almost 20% of these are headquartered overseas. Singapore and UAE are the top choices for startups to set up their bases according to Henley & Partners’ ranking. Startups get attracted to these destinations due to a friendlier business environment. This involves access to cheaper capital and talent in addition to acceptance of fintech, Web3 and digital or cryptocurrencies.

For internet commerce company Meesho, steps to ease foreign incorporated startups to go public is the primary ask from the Budget 2023.

“A large number of Indian startups, including unicorns, are currently incorporated overseas. With scores of startups potentially looking to go public over the next few years, making domestic listing easier for foreign-incorporated entities will add to the depth of our capital markets,” said Dhiresh Bansal-CFO, Meesho that has more than 7,00,000 resellers on its platform.

Explaining the reason behind the ask, Bansal said, “The room for growth is enormous — India has over $3 trillion worth of market capitalisation, of which ~1% can be attributed to new-age tech companies. The move will enable our market participants, including retail investors and mutual funds, to derive a larger share of the value-creation driven by these firms.”

The SoftBank-backed social commerce company’s expectation from the Budget 2023 is in line with its plans to float an IPO in the near future. In September 2022, Vidit Aatrey, founder and chief executive officer of the company announced at a townhall meeting with its employees in September 2022, as reported by VCCircle.

To help with its public listing, Bengaluru-headquartered Meesho is aiming to turn Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) positive by mid-2023, the report added.

The entrepreneur might even consider listing not only on Indian bourses but also in the US, like Infosys and HDFC.

Founded by IIT Delhi alumni Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho in 2015, Meesho has more than 125 million active users on its platform every month. With an eye on the IPO, the company’s focus this year will be on profitability.

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