Sunil Bharti Mittal is the Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises which is one of India’s leading conglomerates with heterogeneous work in telecom, real estate, agricultural field etc. Bharti Airtel Limited is the forerunner company of Bharti Enterprises, it has stepped into being one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies,as it has established operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa. It’s base of operations is in New Delhi, India. The company ranks in top 3 mobile service providers worldwide. Bharti Airtel provides 2G, 3G, 4G and wireless services and mobile commerce.
Sunil Bharti’s Journey
He grew up in Ludhiana, a large city in North Delhi, graduating from Panjab University at the age of 19, he and a friend started a small bicycle-parts manufacturing business. “My mind was always in business development, sales, and closing deals,” says Mittal, widened the field of work from bicycle parts to wool blankets then stainless steel surgical equipment. Eventually Mittal moved to Bombay, which increased his resourcesand reach, Mittal began to focus on importing goods.“There were three fat books of Indian import policies, and I knew them backwards and forwards,” recalls Mittal, sitting in his office at the New Delhi headquarters of Bharti Enterprises, the multinational conglomerate he has built over the past 40 years. By the age of 24, Mittal became India’s largest importer of portable generators. In 1982, however, the government banned importation of “gen sets,” a move that would have ruined a less ambitious entrepreneur. Mittal easily parlayed his knowledge and drive into his next opportunity. On a business trip to Taipei, he had seen electronic push-button phones and soon began introducing them in India, which eventually led to his rise in the telecommunications business. While others ignored him, Mittal installed fiber-optic cables throughout India. By the time anyone noticed, it was too late. Bharti’s flagship Airtel is now the third-largest telecommunications company in the world. Mittal and his wife of 33 years, Nyna, are the proud parents of three grown children and have been thrilled to welcome their two grandchildren over the last few years. While none of his offspring is part of Bharti Enterprises, Mittal works closely with his two brothers. Rajan Mittal, who followed his brother’s lead and attended HBS’s OPM Program, serves as vice chairman of the company, and Rakesh Mittal oversees various emerging businesses as well as the Bharti Foundation.
Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s most successful companies, with more than 30,000 employees. In addition to Airtel, its diverse concerns include realty, financial services, and an agri- and food business. One of the keys to Bharti’s growth is Mittal’s remarkable talent for partnering with others, including IBM, Ericsson, and Del Monte. He is also known for his creative problem solving. Instead of working against his rivals and duplicating efforts, he creates win-win opportunities.
Bharti’s Ethics and Work towards betterment of country
A brainchild of Sunil Mittal, the foundation works to improve rural education and has launched 254 schools throughout the country, serving 70,000 underprivileged children, who otherwise would not have access to education. “These children are going to change the lives of many,” says Mittal.
Sunil Bharti Mittal’s life story is partially based on an ability to find new ways when encountering an obstacle and on realizing dreams that others see as farfetched. One of his current dreams is to see a student from the Bharti Foundation attend Harvard. Looking at the determined and hopeful faces of these promising children, it seems like it is only a matter of time.