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SoftBank to invest $8 billion in India

Masayoshi-Son Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son looks on during the inaugural session of Start Up India in New Delhi | AFP

Japan's SoftBank will invest $8 billion in the coming year taking the Japanese behemoth's total investments to $10 billion in India.

SoftBank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son said Internet and solar are sectors that excite him, but wants the government to develop a robust mobile phone infrastructure and resolve slow internet issues.  

Stating that 21st century belongs to India, he said there exist huge opportunities in India. "Every market is different. I truly think this is really the beginning of Big Bang for India." 

"In the next 10 years India will repeat the growth China saw in the last 10 years and in my opinion, India could be bigger (than China)." 

"We are very happy with the portfolio we have. We will continue to look for new opportunities, " he said. 

Son, Japan's second-richest person with a net worth of $ 14.1 billion, said infrastructure was important and mobile broadband infrastructure was lacking in India. 

"I think mobile Internet is too slow. More spectrum allocation to the mobile carriers is needed so that they can have better mobile broadband," he said. 

Softbank has already put in $627 million into online marketplace Snapdeal and smaller investments in property site 

Its unit, SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. is leading a group of investors putting an investment of $210 million in ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs the Ola Cabs taxi booking service.

It paid $200 million for a 35 per cent stake in InMobi, an Indian mobile-advertising network. 

It also has a joint venture with India's Bharti Group called Bharti SoftBank.

SoftBank in June had entered India's solar energy sector with a venture with Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan. 

The Japanese group will own the majority stake in the new venture, SBG Cleantech that will bid to build 20 GW of solar power plants. Under the partnership, Foxconn will help manufacture solar equipment, and the venture will consider producing some locally. 

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