Name: Sunil Bharti Mittal
Born: 23 October 1957
Educational qualification: Bachelor of Arts and Science, Punjab University
Occupation: Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Group
About Sunil Mittal:
Sunil Bharti Mittal
- IT Man of the Year Award 2002 from Dataquest
- CEO Of the Year, 2002 Award (World HRD Congress)
- 'Stars Of Asia', by 'Business Week'.
- Member of National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Chairman, Indo-US Joint Business Council, Member, Advisory Committee.
born 23 October 1957) is an Indian telecom mogul, philanthropist and the founder, chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises. The US$8.3 billion turnover company runs India's largest GSM-based mobile phone service and world's fifth largest wireless company with over 190 million customers across 19 countries in Asia and Africa. He is the son of Sat Paul (former MP) and Lalita. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honor.
Sunil Mittal was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. His father, Sat Pal Mittal had been the Member of Parliament (M.P) from Ludhiana. He first joined the Wynberg Allen School in Mussoorie, but later attended Scindia School at Gwalior and he graduated in 1976 from Punjab University, Chandigarh, with a Bachelor of Arts and Science. His father died of cardiac arrest in 1992.
A first generation entrepreneur, Mittal started his first business in April 1976 at the age of 18, with a capital investment of Rs. 20,000 (US$444) borrowed from his father. His first business was to make crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers.
In 1980, he along with his brothers Rakesh, Rajan started an Import Enterprise named Bharti Overseas Trading Corporation. He sold his bicycle parts and yarn factories and moved to Mumbai.
In 1981, he purchased importing licences from exporting companies in Punjab. He then imported thousands of Suzuki Motors's portable electric-power generators from Japan. The importing of generators was suddenly banned by the then Indian Government and just two licences to manufacture generators in India were issued to two companies.
In 1984, he started assembling push-button phones in India, which he earlier used to import from a Taiwan company, Kingtel, replacing the old fashioned, bulky rotary phones that were in use in the country then. Bharti Telecom Limited (BTL) was incorporated and entered into a technical tie up with Siemens AG of Germany for manufacture of electronic push button phones. By the early 1990s, Mittal was making fax machines, cordless phones and other telecom gear. Mittal says, "In 1983, the government imposed a ban on the import of gensets. I was out of business overnight. Everything I was doing came to a screeching halt. I was in trouble. The question then was: what should I do next? Then, opportunity came calling. While in Taiwan, I noticed the popularity of the push-button phone -- something which India hadn't seen then. We were still using those rotary dials with no speed dials or redials. I sensed my chance and embraced the telecom business. I started marketing telephones, answering/fax machines under the brand name Beetel and the company picked up really fast. He named his first push-button phones as 'Mitbro'.
In 1992, he successfully bid for one of the four mobile phone network licences auctioned in India. One of the conditions for the Delhi cellular license was that the bidders have some experience as a telecom operator. So, Mittal clinched a deal with the French telecom group Vivendi.
He was one of the first Indian entrepreneurs to identify the mobile telecom business as a major growth area. His plans were finally approved by the Government in 1994 and he launched services in Delhi in 1995, when Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was formed to offer cellular services under the brand name AirTel. Within a few years Bharti became the first telecom company to cross the 2-million mobile subscriber mark. Bharti also brought down the STD/ISD cellular rates in India under brand name 'Indiaone'. India One was India’s first private national as well as the international long-distance service provider, and, thus, became a major factor in Bharti's success by providing services cheaply.
In November 2006, he struck a joint venture deal with Wal-Mart, the US retail giant, to start a number of retail stores across India.
In July 2006, he attracted many key executives from Reliance ADAG, NIS Sparta and created Bharti Comtel.
In May 2008, it emerged that Sunil Bharti Mittal was exploring the possibility of buying the MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company with coverage in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The FinancialTimes reported that Bharti was considering offering US$45 billion for a 100% stake in MTN, which would be the largest overseas acquisition ever by an Indian firm. However, both sides emphasize the tentative nature of the talks, while The Economist magazine noted, "If anything, Bharti would be marrying up," as MTN has more subscribers, higher revenues and broader geographic coverage. However, the talks fell apart as MTN group tried to reverse the negotiations by making Bharti almost a subsidiary of the new company.
In May 2009, Bharti Airtel again confirmed that it was in talks with MTN and the companies agreed to discuss the potential transaction exclusively by 31 July 2009. Bharti Airtel said in a statement "Bharti Airtel Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has renewed its effort for a significant partnership with MTN Group". Talks eventually ended without agreement, some sources stating that this was due to opposition from the South African government.
Mittal has also been working towards educating India through the Bharti Foundation. The foundation has established over 200 schools on its 2009 list of the world's top 25 philanthropists