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Will Nikesh Arora’s resignation hurt India’s startup ecosystem?


With Nikesh Arora’s resignation as president of SoftBank, India’s startup ecosystem may have lost one of its biggest champions .The man leading SoftBank’s investment foray in India, on Tuesday, announced that he would step down as president and chief operating officer of the company, just days after the Japanese tech giant cleared him of charges of alleged misconduct and poor performance.

Arora, an electrical engineering graduate from Banaras Hindu University, is perhaps best known for having been the highest paid employee at Google and certainly the most famous Indian executive at the search engine giant until Sundar Pichai was appointed as CEO.

After quitting Google in 2014 — which some say was prompted by the company’s impending corporate restructuring to Alphabet, after which Pichai was anointed as CEO of Google — Arora headed east to head SoftBank’s Internet and Media business. Within one year, Arora surprised the global corporate community by being promoted to to president and chief operating officer, with, with CEO Son announcing that the Arora was a “strong candidate” to succeed him.

image source: www.moneycontrol.com
image source: www.moneycontrol.com


Under his leadership, Softbank’s investment in India crossed $1 billion (Rs 6652.75 crore) mark in 2014 .  At Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Start-up India event earlier this year, which both Softbank’s CEO and Arora attended, the SoftBank CEO announced that the company’s investments in India would easily exceed $10 billion in the coming years.

SoftBank’s investment bucket includes India’s e-commerce majors like Snapdeal, OYO Rooms, Housing.com, PayTm Grofers and many more. In fact, after recent Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to Japan in May end, the company will be investing in solar power projects.

In June last year, Softbank along with contract manufacturing giant Foxconn, had partnered with Bharti Enterprises with plans to invest $20 billion in solar power projects in India.


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