Prior to joining SoftBank Investment Advisers in 2019, Vishal served as a vice president with TPG Capital and as an associate with Credit Suisse. His early career included time at Audax Group, in Boston, and at Procter & Gamble. He has a bachelor of technology degree in industrial engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and he earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. At Vision Fund, he focuses on the disruptive opportunities created by technology.
How did your background prepare you for your role with Softbank?
I’m an engineer by training, which keeps me curious about new technologies. I spent my initial years in an operations role, but wanted a broader exposure to business, which is why I pursued my MBA and also completed the requirements for a Chartered Financial Analyst charter. My stints at Credit Suisse and at TPG Capital gave me a unique perspective into private equity over the last decade. The SoftBank Vision Fund is the perfect platform to draw on the engineering, finance, and business elements from my background. It also allows me to use my experience and network to source new opportunities for investing and adding value for our portfolio companies.
What excites you most about the work you’re doing at Vision Fund?
I’m most excited about meeting the entrepreneurs and learning about the new disruptive business models that get created across the world. As a global fund, we learn from trends across geographies and swiftly apply those learnings across the globe, resulting in multiplying our gains and reducing failures. The other differentiator is that the SoftBank Vision Fund allows the freedom to invest in opportunities across the life cycle—from early- to late-stage companie
What do you enjoy about the combination of finance and engineering?
From an engineering perspective, I’m interested in knowing how technology can affect a business model and provide competitive advantage, and whether it is temporary or sustainable. On the financial side, I love understanding the unit economics, scalability, and other factors of a business that ultimately drive returns for the fund. A successful combination of all of these factors is what gives me conviction to pursue an opportunity.
Which sectors come to mind when you think about emerging opportunities?
We are at a very nascent stage in terms of technology in India, and most of the traditional sectors are getting disrupted and moving toward tech-oriented business models. This implies significant opportunity across the spectrum, including fintech, consumertech, and healthtech. This is also evident from the significant increase in tech investments in India over the last few quarters. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has significant growth potential, and niche verticals such as educational and real estate technology are also attractive opportunities long term.
What do you admire about your Vision Fund colleagues?
We are a very diverse group at Softbank, which makes us extremely effective as a team. Every team member contributes, and we’re able to ensure that all possible angles have been explored and we have done comprehensive diligence before a decision is made. Softbank is very entrepreneurial in its culture and allows everyone freedom to evaluate any opportunity that they are passionate about. We are a perfect example of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.