SoftBank Group Corp. expects to invest “several billions” of dollars a year in promising startups and established businesses as the Japanese company tries to evolve into a truly global corporation and identify its next generation of leaders, company chairman Masayoshi Son said.
SoftBank is searching for passionate entrepreneurs with good ideas who are targeting the right markets — someone like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma, Son said Thursday during a two-hour broadcast streamed live on the Internet. SoftBank owns a stake of more than 30 percent in Alibaba.
SoftBank, which owns Overland Park-based Sprint, is particularly interested in India, a nation that — like China — has been on a technological upswing during the past decade, Son said. SoftBank led investments of $627 million in Snapdeal.com, an Indian e-commerce provider, and $210 million in the owner of Indian taxi booking service Ola Cabs.
“In services, in content, there is a local championship,” Son said at an event for SoftBank Academia, a program designed to groom future company leaders.