Lessons to learn from Masayoshi Son’s latest sermon

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Before SoftBank made it clear that co-sharing workspace company WeWork's Adam Neumann needs to step down as CEO, Masayoshi Son, the CEO of the Japanese investor stressed on the importance of companies becoming profitable before going public.

The shift in Son's approach, who is known for encouraging entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, may have valuable lessons for Indian companies like Paytm, Ola and OYO which plan to launch their initial public offering (IPO) sometime in the near future.

Especially in view of the fact that WeWork had to bid adieu to Neumann, who drew flak from investors after the company filed its draft papers to go public, digital payments major Paytm, ride-hailing company Ola and hospitality giant OYO will have to think twice before going public.

The valuation of WeWork, in which SoftBank made an investment of over $9 billion, declined sharply after it found itself in the midst of a controversy.

WeWork's Board of Directors last week announced Neumann had decided to step back from his role as CEO, and will continue as non-executive chairman of the board.

“WeWork's Artie Minson, formerly co-president and chief financial officer, and Sebastian Gunningham, formerly vice chairman, have been named co-CEOs of the company,” a WeWork statement said.

“As co-founder of WeWork, I am so proud of this team and the incredible company that we have built over the last decade. Our global platform now spans 111 cities in 29 countries, serving more than 527,000 members each day,” said Neumann.

As SoftBank has also invested in Paytm, Ola and OYO, these companies would have to tread their path carefully.

But much to the credit of these three companies, they appeared to have focused on becoming profitable, before Son's latest sermon hit the headlines.

While Ola has been focusing on making every ride profitable from last year, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma also talked about his intention of generating more cash before getting the company listed. OYO too is focusing on garnering more profit before going public.

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