Executive Managing Partner & CFO
Prior to joining SoftBank, Navneet held senior corporate officer roles for publicly traded multinational corporations. Most recently he was at CA Technologies, where he served as SVP of Finance and Strategic Pricing. He has also held finance positions at Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer, and Fortistar Capital. He has MBA and MEng degrees from Cornell University.
How did you get started in finance?
When I was in college as an engineering student, I had the opportunity to do summer internships at Motorola in R&D as well as in manufacturing. I was curious to know how the company allocated resources to make money, and I thought to myself, “How do they decide how much to spend in R&D or manufacturing or advertising?”
That led to my interest in what's known as project finance. I became an investment banking analyst after my undergrad, working on building businesses that were self-sustaining.
What's the most exciting part of your job?
It's several things. It's the opportunity to work at the largest private investment fund in the world and to use that platform to accelerate technological advancement for the benefit of humanity. It’s also simply the pleasure of working with a finance team that we have built from scratch. I've hired each of the 50 or so people on my team, and I feel a personal responsibility for their development and growth. Finally, the Fund is, in its own way, a startup. And that's an incredibly exciting thing to be part of.
Integrity is everything. That goes for the people we hire and for our actions.
What principles guide you in your work with the Fund?
In terms of principles, I'd say that integrity is everything. That goes for the people we hire and for our actions. We always have to do not only what is legal but what is ethically right, and to be fully transparent. It's a higher standard. Another essential principle is collaboration. That's a crucial part of the startup experience.
How would you describe your management style?
I like to think that my style is to empower and enable. I would like my team to be viewed as great partners and enablers by the investing teams. I see it as my job to make it possible for the Fund to prudently invest in order to deliver on our commitments to our investors, to our portfolio companies, and to our employees. I would like to lay a strong foundation for the Fund so it is set up for success for decades to come.
What's something that most people don't know about you?
I was born and raised in Zambia, and I spent many years in a small, rural area called Nkumbi. There was no elementary school there, but my father ran a college for refugees from neighboring countries, and he helped start an elementary school that expanded as I progressed from grade to grade. So it's humbling that from there I've had the privilege of studying in some of the best universities in the world, and built my career helping technology companies scale.