Japan's SoftBank to invest Rs 60,000 crore in India

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 28 2014, 18:26pm hrs
Softbank indiaThe proposed investment was committed by Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son. (Reuters)
Telecom giant SoftBank has pledged an investment of $10 billion (over Rs 60,000 crore) in India's IT and communications space, one of the biggest investment commitments from a Japanese firm after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to that country.

"CEO of SoftBank and Japan's richest businessman Mr. Masayoshi Son met me today. He expressed great optimism in India's changed investment climate and in the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on his Facebook page.

Softbank -- one of the major telecom and internet corporations of Japan -- will look for opportunities in telecom space and the fast-growing e-commerce sector in India.

The proposed investment was committed by Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son in a meeting with Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, an official statement said.

"Mr Son today assured the Minister that SoftBank would like to invest approximately USD 10 billion in India in the coming years. He placed it on record that India is the top most priority for SoftBank," the Telecom Ministry statement said.

Son told Prasad that the visit of Prime Minister to Japan has created a climate of hope and optimism about greater economic cooperation between the two countries, it added.

With a market cap of USD 92 billion, SoftBank has operations in broadband, fixed line telecom, e-Commerce, finance, media and marketing. SoftBank already has made investments in Indian companies including InMobi and Hike.

India-born Nikesh Arora, a former Google executive, is the Vice Chairman of SoftBank.

"He (Son) further expressed immense faith in the great eCommerce potential of India. He estimated it to become a USD 0.5 trillion business in the next 10 years," the statement said.

Sources said SoftBank has plans to invest in e-commerce firm, Snapdeal. However, Softbank and Snapdeal did not immediately respond to queries on the matter.

SoftBank Chairman also asked Prasad to develop a robust mobile phone infrastructure and resolve spectrum issues.

In 2007, SoftBank had established a subsidiary in India called Japan Telecom India Private Limited.

Earlier this month, SoftBank Corporation signed an agreement to invest USD 250 million in media company Legendary Entertainment.