Nikesh Arora after helping Google, as its chief business officer, to become a profit making behemoth had stepped down and joined a Japanese telecom conglomerate, SoftBank and as CEO-in-waiting, he invested heavily in startups all around the world. It came as a shocking decision when he decided to resign from SoftBank, citing the reason that Masayoshi Son, CEO SoftBank, decided to stay in that post for another 5 to 10 years.
Very few investors have put money in India as frenetically as Softbank since the joining of Arora. After a series of venture investments in China, SoftBank invested more than $ 1 billion in Indian startups like Oyo Rooms, Ola Cabs, and Snapdeal, searching for the next humongous, growth-driving tech business. Although he agrees that not all of the investments have been successful including the once very promising, Housing.com.
Arora joined SoftBank at a time when it needed lots of disciplined investing. It had a complicated network of holdings that ranged from a simple pro-baseball team to the giant Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce website. He helped current CEO Masayoshi Son, to make the company truly global and tech-focessed.
Owing to all the distinction the organisation was getting, Masayoshi Son had earlier said publicly that Nikesh Arora was going to succeed him imminently. To which Nikesh told Forbes in an interview, “That [5 to 10 years] is a long time frame, which is your prerogative, you can make that decision. You’ve gone and told people I’m your successor and given the impression that you’d change things when you turned 60. I’m not worried if it’s 60, 61 or whatever but if it’s five to ten years, then you’re telling me something different.”
Therefore, Nikesh decided to become an advisor for a year and help out and keep the continuity with the portfolio of companies and the team the organisation hired.
Softbank invested in Didi Chuxing, the Chinese startup which is so huge now that Uber is facing troubles in expanding in China. Didi has a valuation of $28 billion.
He believes one makes money based on how one invests and when one sells. In the last one and a half months Softbank sold Supercell, Alibaba and GungHo.
Following his resignation, he has been getting offers from big companies like Yahoo and Skype, but he plans to take a break because before joining Softbank his plans for a vacation wasn’t successful as CEO Masa had called him saying, “Let’s go to India”, Arora told Forbes.