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SoftBank appoints Manoj Kohli as India head


SoftBank Group is beefing up its team in India. After roping in Google India’s Vikas Agnihotri as an operating partner in India, SoftBank has appointed Manoj Kohli as country head.

Kohli, who has experience of over 40 years, would be responsible for government relations and public policy efforts.

He will be working closely with portfolio company founders and CEOs to address government and policy issues and secure required approvals to enable their businesses to run smoothly, as per SoftBank statement quoted by TOI.

The new role for Kohli comes after his five-year stint as the chairman of SoftBank’s renewable energy business SB Energy.

Previously, he was the Managing Director and CEO of Bharti Airtel. Under his leadership, Airtel’s customer base skyrocketed to 150 million from 2 million.

Kohli was later moved to Airtel’s Africa division.

After facing a setback from its two most coveted investments in recent times – Uber and WeWork – the Japanese conglomerate has been going through tough times.

In India too, companies like OYO has been in the dock over its uncontrollable losses and layoffs. In the past year, SoftBank has also tweaked its existing strategy for India. Primarily known for investing in hefty rounds with hefty amounts, the investment firm now planning to invest relatively smaller amounts of $100-200 million.

Softbank has put some of its announce investments on hold for over six months despite getting a green signal from its Indian and global team.

Meanwhile, SoftBank’s plans to build a new team started with the hiring of Sumer Juneja, who was previously with Norwest Venture Partners, in November last year to lead investment in the country.

Two weeks ago, Vikas Agnihotri joined Japanese investment major as its first operating partner in India.

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