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Translation - English “How much money will the Japanese government give?” On September 12th, 2014 at the Imperial Hotel, Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank, was face-to-face with an important person.
It was Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India. It was during a five-day visit to Japan for a summit meeting between India and Japan, and President Son pried out an appointment by gate-crashing where the prime minister was staying, finally getting a long-awaited secret face-to-face meeting.
After the summit, ¥3.5 trillion of investments and loans from Japan to India had been announced, but when President Son heard that the net investment was worth ¥1 trillion, he played his hand.
“In that case, I will invest ¥1.5 trillion in India, 1.5 times that amount. That is 1.5 times more than the Japanese government. All we can do is shake hands on it.” President Son said that and extended his hand to clasp the hand of Prime Minister Modi, who was so surprised he did not know what to say.
About two months after that meeting, President Son was in India. He again visited Prime Minister Modi, and again committed to investing ¥1 trillion in India over the next 10 years. And then he himself began to search for companies that would suit his investment in India.
At the Leela Palace New Delhi, a luxury hotel in Delhi, he invited Indian entrepreneurs, meeting with about 30 people over two days. Not only did he fire them with questions about their business models and growth potential, but he also invested on the spot, putting ¥67.7 billion into the wildly popular mail order site Snapdeal, and ¥22.7 billion into ANI Technologies that operates the taxi booking service “Ola”.
Such a figure of President Son was reminiscent of about 15 years ago. In 1999 was when he found Chairman Ma Yun (Jack Ma), founder of the Alibaba Group, while meeting with about 20 entrepreneurs in China.
At the time, President Son was deeply impressed with Alibaba and promptly decided to invest ¥2 billion. At the time of the initial public offering (IPO) 15 years later, that amount had transformed into ¥9 trillion. In order to reproduce such a miracle in India, President Son set foot in India together with his buddy Indian-born Nikesh Arora, a vice chairman at Softbank and a former top executive at Google.
India is currently getting a lot of attention from the world. In a few dozen years it is expected to become an economic power contesting for the first or second spot, and will be an IT power with the spread of the Internet and mobile phones. This is because it is enjoying an economic boom since Prime Minister Modi was appointed, which is being called “Modinomics”. However, there are many rivals who are aiming for India. At the end of September 2014, Indian-born Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, visited India. In mid-October Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, had a meeting with Prime Minister Modi in India. The top executives of global IT companies are flocking to India. In an India that is showing aspects of such a mini-bubble, can President Son come out ahead?
Bachelor's degree - Brigham Young University
Years of translation experience: 4. Registered at ProZ.com: Mar 2015. Became a member: Mar 2015.
Expertise in translating business and financial documents from Japanese to English. Have over 25 years experience as a business professional living and working in Japan. Excellent English language skills with experience as a business reporter and editor for a real-time financial news service.
Oversaw a team who translated into English major Japanese-language business news stories for a financial news service.
Also worked as a Tokyo correspondent covering such areas as financial markets, corporate news and central bank policy. Spent many years developing and managing specialist, multi-lingual news and information services for business and financial market professionals in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hold a Masters Degree in Journalism from Columbia University, and a BA in Japanese and Asian Studies from Brigham Young University. Have passed Level One (the highest level) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
A U.S. citizen who is based in Seattle, with a permanent residency permit for Japan.