Moneycontrol
Dec 16, 2016 06:38 PM IST IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Free markets are important for every economy: SoftBank MD

"We focus on things that will change the trajectory of how we live and work. First dollar, we took out of Alibaba was 15 years after we invested. We can be very long term and patient."


Priyanka Sahay


Moneycontrol


Free markets are important for every economy as it allows consumers to have enough choices and the only thing required in a country is to have a level playing field, said Deep Nishar, Managing Director, SoftBank Group.


He also added that Indians should not be worried about other people ‘eating our lunch’ as they are doing pretty well globally.


Nishar was speaking at a fireside session with InfoEdge's Sanjeev Bikhchandani at the TIE Global Summit.


The comments came after he was asked about Indian startups playing the domestic card, urging the government to set up favourable policies to help them against the global rivals.


"There are three fundamental rules in which we should be thinking about. The first thing is free markets have been proven to be very good for any economy, whether it is US or Indian economy. Second principle is public good should always triumph private good. Which means that things that are good for a broader population at large should be get precedence over one or two organisations or individuals. Playing field should always be level for every player," he said.


Interestingly, SoftBank's own portfolio firm cab aggregator Ola's founder Bhavish Aggarwal has been very aggressive on this front. The same has received criticism from all corners.


TIE's chairman emeritus, Saurabh Srivastava recently said that Indian startups are losing confidence and that they should rather focus on ways to create an ‘enabling environment’ instead of urging to close the doors for foreign players.


On Thursday, Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick also took a dig at Ola saying he would apply for an Indian citizenship, it is comes to that.


According to Nishar, companies should ensure that public good should always triumph private good.


He added that Softbank is bullish on the India market even as multiple startups report markdowns by investors.


"We focus on things that will change the trajectory of how we live and work. First dollar, we took out of Alibaba was 15 years after we invested. We can be very long term and patient."


The firm plans to focus on startups working in the field of internet of things going forward.


"We continue to be bullish about consumer tech...new technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning. We have huge belief that internet of things (IoT) is completely going change the way we live and work," he said.

According to him, 2016 saw a phenomenal correction in the startup ecosystem. Unlike 2014 and 2015 when companies worried about valuations, 2016 has witnessed the focus shifting on value creation.

priyanka.sahay@network18online.com

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