After A Stormy 2016, Softbank Has Smartly But Cautiously Picked Up The Pieces In India

7 views Reading Time: 2 minutes

After lurching from one disaster to another in 2016, Japan’s Softbank is hitting all the right notes this year.

The misfit

“Sometimes it is not about capability, it is about the right fit. Nikesh Arora is a wonderful individual, understands the business really well, but he wasn’t a great fit at Softbank from a cultural perspective,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst, Founder and CEO of Greyhound.

Arora, he says, is a “true American venture capitalist who is aggressive and makes more risky bets,” while Japanese investors traditionally don’t venture into high-risk businesses.

Slow and steady

The company’s recent investments show that, in line with its global approach, the company is going after Indian startups that are winners in their categories, like Paytm and Flipkart. “That’s where Softbank has hit the nail on the head,” Gogia believes.

“The Flipkart investment isn’t an investment in isolation…I think Softbank is playing its cards really well,” Gogia said. It is bringing a balance to its investments by backing later-stage startups. While this move may appear too late, “if you take a little longish view on it, say a five-year horizon, you’ll see the merits (in these investments),” Gogia said.

However, there’s a lot more Softbank still needs to work on. A stronger board in India would be a good starting point, Gogia said. It would also be important for the company, as for its peers, to look at exit strategies and making money on its investments.


Copyright © 2017 Greyhound Knowledge Group. All rights reserved. You may share this research note using the options made available. Please don’t copy this research note (complete or parts) and distribute over the web and emails. Connect with us if you need clarifications.

Have a question on this or other technology and innovation topics? Wish to understand what this means for your business? Click here to engage with a Greyhound Analyst.

Like this insight? Sign up for our newsletter to get our latest insights.

Wish to read more such Insights That Inspire? Access scores of other Free, Freemium and Premium Insights from the menu above.


Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global Strategy & Transformation Research, Advisory & Consulting Firm. To read more about him, click here.

Note for IT Decision Makers – Join Our Exclusive Community! Greyhound Research values your opinion and invites IT Decision Makers and Business Leaders involved in IT projects to join our exclusive, invite-only Greyhound Golden Gate (GQube) Councils. If your project is exclusive and we have your permission, we will write a research note about you and share it with the larger community. Over and beyond, this also gives you access to some of our thought-leading research and analysts. Please write to us on and we’ll take it further from there!

Note for IT Vendors, Telecom Operators and Channel Partners – Did you see our Research Agenda? We have organised all of our insights in a way that allows you to better filter and read what works best for you. Please write to us on and we’ll gladly share a copy of the research agenda with you.

Leave a Reply