Birthday: October 23, 1957
Age: 62 Years, 62 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Sunil Mittal
Born in: Ludhiana
Famous as: Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprise
Spouse/Ex-: Nyna Mittal
father: Sat Paul Mittal
siblings: Rajan Mittal, Rakesh Bharti Mittal
children: Eiesha Mittal, Kavin Mittal, Shravin Mittal
Founder/Co-Founder: Bharti Enterprises, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Foundation, Airtel digital TV
education: Punjabi University, Harvard University, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Thapar University, Harvard Business School
awards: Asia Businessman of the Year (2006)
Padma Bhushan (2007)
Sunil Bharti Mittal is an Indian entrepreneur who founded the Bharti Enterprises, a business conglomerate headquartered in New Delhi, India. The corporation which deals in multiple industries across sectors including telecom, retail, and financial services is India’s largest telecom company. Born as the son of a politician, Mittal was the first one from his family to venture into the business sector. Being a first generation entrepreneur is no easy task and he had to face several challenges before reaching the height of success that he has reached today. Blessed with a high level of ambition and an astute sense of business, he dared to tread into the business sectors dominated by industrial giants like the Tatas, Birlas, and the Ambanis. With his relentless hard work and sheer determination not only did he manage to carve a niche for himself, but also emerged as one of the industry leaders in the telecom sectors with his flagship company Bharti Airtel which operates in countries across South Asia and Africa. In fact the success of his business prompted the Prime Minister of India to select him as Co-Chair of the India-Africa Business Council. He is also a philanthropist who believes in giving back to the society. He has been working towards educating the weaker sections in India through the Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of his enterprises.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born on 23 October 1957 in an Aggarwal family in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. His father Sat Paul Mittal was a much respected politician. Sunil has two brothers, Rajan Mittal and Rakesh Bharti Mittal.
He attended the Wynberg Allen School in Mussoorie for a while before moving on to Scindia School at Gwalior. Later on he enrolled at the Panjab University from where he graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts and Science.
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Sunil was ambitious and business minded from a young age. He began to import scraps and bicycle parts when he was just 19 and went on to build a small-scale project to manufacture stainless steel sheets.
Eventually he moved to Mumbai to pursue his business dreams where he started on a small scale, selling his stainless sheets. This experience taught him that he had the potential to become a successful businessman as he was good at making sales and persuading people.
Along with his brothers he started an import enterprise named Bharti Overseas Trading Company in 1980 and the next year he purchased importing licenses from exporting companies in Punjab.
He obtained a dealership with Suzuki Motors and imported thousands of their portable electric-powered generators from Japan. Soon his business was thriving and he became a millionaire.
He faced a crisis when the government banned the import of generators in order to promote manufacture of generators within the country. He had to look for other business avenues now.
He saw a push-button phone while in Taiwan and in 1984 he started assembling push-button phones in India. He launched Bharti Telecom Limited and by the early 1990s he was manufacturing fax machines, cordless phones, and other telecom gear.
The government invited bids for mobile telephony in 1992 and Sunil was successful in bidding for one of the four mobile phone network licenses auctioned.
He collaborated with the French telecom group Vivendi who agreed to do business with him in spite of the fact that he was still a small-timer that time. He launched services in Delhi in 1995 when Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was formed to offer cellular services under the brand name AirTel.
Under his direction the company became very successful and within a few years became the first telecom company to cross the 2-million mobile subscriber mark.
By launching ‘IndiaOne’, the country’s first private national as well as the international long-distance service provider, he brought down the STD/ISD cellular rates in India. This contributed to Bharti’s success greatly.
Over the years he went from one success to another and his enterprise grew manifold to become India’s largest telecom enterprise. Today Bharti has joint ventures with several global leaders like SingTel, SoftBank, AXA and Del Monte.
He is currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and is also on the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade & Industry, World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, and Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
A humble and unassuming person in spite of all his success, he believes that it is his duty to give back to the society. Thus the Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic branch of Bharti Group was launched to support social causes. The foundation operates more than 254 schools and provides education to over 46,000 children from weaker sections of the society.
Awards & Achievements
The Fortune Magazine named him the Asia Businessman of the Year in 2006.
He was honored with the Padma Bhushan—one of the highest civilian awards in India—in 2007.
Philanthropist of the Year Award was presented to him at The Asian Awards in 2010.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is married to Nyna which whom he has three children: daughter Eiesha and twin sons Kavin and Shravin. Theirs is a close knit family. Mittal is also very close to his brothers, and he had a deep relationship with his father who passed in 1992.