”Arora also assembled a reliable, well-connected team of assistants and advisers within SoftBank. A weekly conference call connecting members of “Team Nikesh” in Tokyo, London, India and on the U.S. West Coast to their leader to discuss possible investments has become established practice — an arena for information to be brought in from around the world, and the merits of promising ventures debated.
One of SoftBank’s early — and often talked about — investments is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Son funded Alibaba with 2 billion yen ($19 million at current rates) out of a fondness for founder Jack Ma, who was unknown at the time. That stake has yielded some 10 trillion yen in latent gains 14 years later. Though Son is famed for his sharp foresight, what lurks behind his investment decisions is “something akin to a hobby,” he has said. “It’s produced success on occasion, but quite a few failures as well.”
Arora’s team has instilled in SoftBank’s investments a sense of order and rigor to balance its founder’s intuition — a change met with gratitude from Son himself. Arora “has brought professional analysis, negotiation and management,” the chairman has said. SoftBank’s overseas investment portfolio has expanded to nearly 20 projects, all of which are growing rapidly………”
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Source: Nikkei Asian Review
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