For Those Asking, Nikesh Arora Is Explaining On Twitter His Reasons Behind Leaving SoftBank

22/06/2016 12:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
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Nikesh Arora, SoftBank Group Corp. President and COO, speaks during the SoftBank Academia Special Lecture with Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son in Tokyo on October 22 , 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

After Raghuram Rajan, it is the resignation of Nikesh Arora, President and COO of SoftBank, which backs startups like OYO Rooms and Snapdeal, that has taken the Indian business community, particularly the startups, by surprise.

On Tuesday, Arora, who was being seen as the successor to SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, said he is stepping down. Masayoshi has said he wants to continue as CEO for longer.

In true startup style, Arora took to Twitter to answer queries about his departure.

He said he will stay until the end of the month but kept a tight lid on his plans.

On why he decided to leave:

He reassured that his leaving won’t impact SoftBank’s India investments.

What this means for SoftBank’s investments in India:

If SoftBank’s focus might shift away from India:

On why SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son would pick him if he had planned to stay in the first place:

He responded with humour when asked if might start a “Shark Tank” in India.

If he regrets any investments:

More on what India means for him:

On Tuesday, Arora announced his resignation from Tokyo-based SoftBank with effect from 22 June and said he will stay in advisory role for a year. The announcement came a day after the bank gave a clean chit to Arora following findings from an internal probe that had alleged conflict of interest in certain investments.

Possible impact on Indian startups

According to a report in the Economic Times, which interviewed 12 industry executives, the impact from the move is unlikely to be as drastic on India's startup ecosystem as it might have been had the decision been taken about a year ago, as SoftBank has slowed investments in the country and not made any fresh deals in the past eight-nine months.

According to media reports, SoftBank has invested nearly $2 billion across six Indian companies, which include InMobi, a mobile advertising network, e-commerce company Snapdeal, grocery delivery startup Grofers, and OYO Rooms.

In an e-mailed statement to HuffPost India, Snapdeal Co-Founder and CEO Kunal Bahl said, “Nikesh has been a great supporter and mentor to our business and we look forward to the same continuing going forward as well. SoftBank will continue to provide financial and strategic support to our company and the transition at SoftBank will have no impact on our business.”

Meanwhile, SoftBank's shareholders appeared unmoved by the move and its stock rose 2.6 percent after the announcement in morning trade, Reuters reported.

According to media reports, SoftBank investors had been unhappy with how Arora had managed some of his overseas deals. According to a New York Times report, investments in start-ups like DramaFever andHousing.com, appeared to have soured.

With Reuters inputs

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