SoftBank of Japan to invest $10 b in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with SoftBank Corporation CEO Masayoshi Son in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Telecom giant SoftBank has pledged an investment of $10 billion (over Rs.60,000 crore) in India’s IT and communications space, one of the biggest investment commitments from a Japanese firm after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to that country.

Softbank — one of the major telecom and internet corporations of Japan — will look for opportunities in telecom and the fast-growing e-commerce sector in India.

The proposed investment was committed by Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son in a meeting with Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, an official statement said on Monday.

“Mr. Son today assured the Minister that SoftBank would like to invest about $10 billion in India in the coming years. He placed it on record that India is the top most priority for SoftBank,” the Telecom Ministry statement said.

Mr. Son told Mr. Prasad that the visit of the Prime Minister to Japan had created a climate of hope and optimism about greater economic cooperation between the two countries, it added.

With a market cap of $92 billion, SoftBank has operations in broadband, fixed line telecom, e-commerce, finance, media and marketing. SoftBank already has made investments in Indian companies, including InMobi and Hike.

“He (Mr. Son) further expressed immense faith in the great e-commerce potential of India. He estimated it to become a $0.5 trillion business in the next ten years,” the statement said.

Sources said SoftBank had plans to invest in e-commerce firm Snapdeal. However, Softbank and Snapdeal did not immediately respond to queries on the matter.

SoftBank Chairman also asked Mr. Prasad to develop a robust mobile phone infrastructure and resolve spectrum issues.

Mr. Prasad shared the Prime Minister’s ideas and informed Mr. Son about the incentives such as electronic manufacturing clusters and the package scheme that the government was providing to boost electronic manufacturing in India, the statement said.

“The Minister also informed Mr. Son about the vision of the government to transform India into an IT product nation,” it added.

Besides, Mr. Prasad discussed the smart city project of the new government for which Rs.7,060 crore had been earmarked in the current year’s Budget.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:05:17 PM |

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