At a time when funding in Indian start-ups is drying up, SoftBank Group MD Deep Nishar feels “India is the final frontier for investing”.
Nishar, who was speaking at the TiE Global Summit in Delhi on Friday, observed that as far as investors are concerned Indian internet business will not witness any exit in the next one-two years. “Exits will happen but after 10 years,” he said.
Nishar who joined SoftGroup in July last year from Linkedin said the scene has changed for consumer facing internet businesses in India in the last one-two year.
Nishar added, “If in 2014 and 2015, entrepreneurs were worried about valuation, 2016 onwards the focus has been on value creation.”
In October this year, SoftBank Group Corp teamed up with a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund. The firm plans to invest about $25 billion over the next five years through a fund called the SoftBank Vision Fund. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may also invest an additional $45 billion as the fund’s lead partner.
According to Nishar, while SoftBank as investment firm follows strict rules in terms of the ticket size of the fund, but it invests with a long term strategy in mind. “We took the first dollar out of Alibaba after 15 years, so we are very patient investor,” he said.
Nishar added in India the company looking at investing in areas such as consumer technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
It should be noted that recently SoftBank backed online cab aggregrator Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal along Sachin Bansal, one of the founders of Flipkart said that their foreign rivals namely – Amazon and Uber, are ‘capital dumping’ to win market share.
Speaking on the matter, Nishar said that the concept of free market has proven to be good both for businesses and consumers.