SoftBank has appointed Manoj Kohli as its India head. Kohli, who comes with more than 40 years of experience, will be in charge of government relations and public policy efforts.
This comes after a nearly five-year stint as the chairman of SoftBank’s renewable energy business SB Energy. In his new role, Kohli will be supporting SoftBank, SoftBank Vision Fund, and the banking giant’s portfolio companies’ interests in India, says TOI.
Kohli is expected to help secure necessary approval for the smooth functioning of the company’s operations. He was formerly the managing director and CEO of Bharti Airtel.
SoftBank also recently appointed Vikas Agnihotri as its first operating partner in India. The company said that to continue its expansion in India and bolster portfolio companies, SB Investment Adviser (SBIA) has appointed Vikas Agnihotri as its first Operating Partner to foster closer connections with the region’s technology ecosystem and the SBIA’s global network.
SoftBank Vision Fund was set up in 2017 with a total corpus of $100Bn. Most of this vision fund was raised from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. The company has invested around $10 Bn so far in Indian startups.
At the backdrop of losses incurred by portfolio companies like WeWork, Wag, Slack and Uber, SoftBank has reportedly slowed down its investment spree. According to media reports, the company backed out of multiple deals such as San Francisco-based home care company Honor, San Diego-based B2B company Seismic, and San Francisco-based robotics company Creator.
SoftBank has also reportedly set a five-year deadline for Paytm to go public. If Paytm is not successful in meeting the deadline, then SoftBank might sell its 19% stake in the company to other investors.
The company also said that it wants to continue its initiative of accelerating new-age technology by investing in startups that show the most potential for its Vision Fund 2. The Fund expects to reach $108 Bn in fund size based on the memorandum of understanding (MoUs) it has signed with investors.