1. The Nikesh Arora challenge: Derive value, from US, India, other bets

The Nikesh Arora challenge: Derive value, from US, India, other bets

Nikesh Arora made a personal investment of 60 bilion yen ($ 482 million) in SoftBank with revenues of 8.7 trillion yen ($ 70 billion).

By: | Updated: August 21, 2015 12:02 PM
Nikesh Arora Softbank

Nikesh Arora made a personal investment of 60 bilion yen ($ 482 million) in SoftBank with revenues of 8.7 trillion yen ($ 70 billion). (Reuters)

In today’s world, the top gun normally picks up a share of the company he runs in the form of ESOPs. But, with Nikesh Arora, representative director, president and chief operating officer, SoftBank, things are different. The man who is considered to be the potential successor to SoftBank CEO, Masayoshi Son, made a personal investment of 60 bilion yen ($ 482 million) in SoftBank with revenues of 8.7 trillion yen ($ 70 billion).

What Arora has done is something simply unheard of till now. Arora who moved from Google to the Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation is different. The 47-year old who married Delhi-based businesswoman Ayesha Thapar last year stated in a Softbank filing to the Tokyo Stock Exchange that: “As a measure of my commitment, I have decided to take a personal bet on the SoftBank Group and ensure an alignment of vision, with our founder and Chairman & CEO, Masayoshi Son. This is a large transaction for me, and involves taking an enormous risk in my life once again. However, I am confident about the future of the SoftBank group…”

Even going by the fact that Arora was paid $ 137 million last year, still $ 483 million is seriously big bucks on a personal bet. After all, only the top 220 Indian companies had reveneues of over Rs 3,150 crore during 2013-14. While it’s not clear what stake he has picked up in SoftBank, it will to some extent depend on a large extent how well the operations of Sprint―the US telco that SoftBank acquired in 2012―go. Also, both Son and Arora have been spending time in India. SoftBank has invested in e-commerce company Snapdeal and domestic online cab company Ola. As if that was not enough, SoftBank is also looking for a play in the Indian solar industry with Taiwan-based Foxconn. Obviosly, one will be hearing more on Arora and his investment.

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