Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nikesh Arora with Rs. 850 Crore Annual Salary

Written By - Arjun ( rakesh-jhunjhunwala.in )

There is an unwritten law in the jungle which says that you must never ask a woman her age and a man his wage. However, Shweta Rajpal Kohli, the battle-hardened journalist with NDTV, is not deterred by such niceties. She cornered Nikesh Arora, President of Softbank, and pointblank asked him whether it is true that his salary was an astounding $135 million (Rs. 850 crore).

To Nikesh Arora’s credit, he didn’t blink at all. He stared back at Shweta Rajpal Kohli and said “A lot of the math around my compensation is sensational. People don’t have the numbers right”. He did, however, admit that he gets “paid well”. Unfortunately, he did not quantify what the “paid well” means. What is astonishing is that Nikesh Arora’s salary, assuming it is close to the figure of Rs. 850 crore, is higher than that of Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Pepsi chief Indra Nooyi. He is the highest paid India-born executive today and the third-highest in the World according to Bloomberg. Nikesh Arora’s salary for a day is about Rs. 2.72 crore (assuming he works 6 days a week). His annual take home is more than the cumulative net worth of three of our favourite stock pickers, Dolly Khanna, Vijay Kedia and Ashish Kacholia.

Nikesh Arora has the credentials to justify the stratospheric salary that he commands. He was the top brass at Google responsible for its mobile dominance and has a lot of experience in managing start-ups.
In SoftBank, Nikesh Arora has the challenging task of ensuring that the numerous e-com ventures that SoftBank has invested in turn profitable.SoftBank has a lot of expertise in making investments in the digital field. Its investment of $20 Million in Alibaba is now worth a mind-boggling $80 Billion. Bouyed by the success of Alibaba, SoftBank is now the largest investor in the Indian e-commerce segment. Its portfolio boats of Housing.com ($90M), Snapdeal.com ($627M), Ola Cabs ($210M), ScoopWhoop, etc.

SoftBank’s latest investment is $100 Million (Rs. 630 crore) in Oyo Rooms, a budget hotel aggregator, founded by Ritesh Agarwal, a 21-year old college dropout. Here again, Shweta Rajpal Kohli cornered Nikesh Arora and asked him pointblank how he could invest such large sums of money in start-ups run by 21-year old school dropouts. However, Nikesh Arora had his answer pat “I have met many entrepreneurs around the world. He (Ritesh) will match them dollar-to-dollar in his maturity and ability to talk about business, ability to absorb and ability to listen“, Nikesh said.

Nikesh Arora is understandably gung ho about the Indian e-commerce space and is looking for more start-ups to fund. “India’s time has come. There will be a huge amount of growth in the next 10 years in India. Start-ups will create a new kind of consumerism in India” he said. He also hinted that the future Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs of the world could be from India. 

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