Personalities of India
R. D. Tata
A. P. J. Abdul
Marshal Sam Maneckshaw
B. K. S.
P. T. Usha
Bharti Mittal is the
biggest name in Indian telecom. The man who built the brands of
"Bharti" and "Airtel" and made them household names. The
fact is that he has built a massive business empire from almost
Sunil Mittal’s sprawling corporate office is in the shadow of the
The positive undertone hits you as you enter the office. Satisfied
employees are seen everywhere; probably this is the business secret of
great Sunil Mittal.
Sunil’s parents were
different castes, which created uproar at that time. They were forced
the surname of "Bharti" (they gave up their family name of Mittal as
they were ostracized by their community). But later on, Sunil reclaimed
family of "Mittal", and came to be known as Sunil Bharti
Mittal. Sunil's father was a Member of Parliament, had always been
public life. But right from a young age, Sunil wanted to create a big
himself in the world of business.
was just 18, he
a small factory manufacturing cycle spare parts in Ludhiana. He
by borrowing Rs. 20000 as capital. The business began to grow slowly
steadily but Sunil's sights were on something much larger. After a few
he shifted his base to Delhi. He started operating from Delhi and
had become the nation’s commercial capitals. He was
business of importing products from abroad, and distributing them in
1983, Sunil set up his
company, Bharti Healthcare, manufacturing capsules. But the break
Sunil was looking for came to him in a totally different and unexpected
dimension. At that time, the Indian government wanted to encourage
manufacture of goods within the country itself. As a result of this,
many products was banned, and this opened up a world of opportunity for
entrepreneurs. Sunil was quick to identify this, and move forward. The
revolution was beginning, with push button telephones being introduced
country. Sunil saw the opportunity and set up a facility to manufacture
button telephones in India.
was just the
and the group moved into manufacture of Cordless phones, answering
fax machines and others, soon after. In all these product segments, the
group had been the first to launch them in India. But Sunil
Mittal’s vision was
wide; he knew that the Indian economy was at the threshold of becoming
the largest emerging economies in the world. In the early I990's mobile
were slowly becoming popular in the world. Once again Sunil seized the
opportunity and dived headlong into this business. The Bharti
launched the “Airtel” brand of mobile telephone service in
Delhi in 1995. Today,
the Airtel brand is the biggest mobile phone brand in the country.
the Bharti group's telecom business, worth Rs.1200 crores today, put
him in the
bracket of the richest people in the world. Once when asked what he
his success to, Sunil replied, "Right from the beginning, ours was
trading or money making mentality, but of wanting to be recognized in
and to establish a corporation. We did things never tried before in
are very fair to the people we work with (suppliers, buyers, staff). We
to prove that even with meager capital we could do big things. Now a
corporation, we are working to make it an institution."
excellent initiative in
Bharti management is that all employees own stocks of the company.
therefore have a sense of belonging. There is no "owner-worker"
kind of feeling that prevails in the Bharti's corporate environment.
popular "Hire and Fire" policy does not exist in his company either. So
each individual is motivated and works towards the common goal
ones. Sunil has not neglected his role towards society. The
group is conscious about their social obligations and has set up the
"Bharti Foundation'', which works towards furthering the cause of
Madhya Pradesh, they
funded over 50 schools, which are in rural and semi urban locations.
also donated Rs. 20 crores to IIT Delhi for building a Bharti School of
Technology and Management. On the personal side, Sunil is an ardent
He has a daughter and twin sons. He spends quality time with them
can spare time from his hectic schedule. He meditates and chants
morning, besides yoga and exercise. He once said “Having a
positive frame of
mind can help overcome extremely bad situations.”
all this pressure,
does he relax? “I used to play golf before, now sometimes I play
tennis. But I
thrive on my work. For me, work is love, not stress. But I won't say
stress. As you come to the top of the pyramid, the intensity of
jealousy, is high,” says Sunil Bharti Mittal.
July 2006, Sunil attracted many key
executives from Reliance ADAG, NIS Sparta and created Bharti Comtel. In
November 2006, he struck a joint venture deal with Wal-Mart, the US
giant, to start a number of retail stores across India. Today, the
has a turnover of US$5 billion. On February 13, 2008, Sunil Bharti
awarded the GSM Association Chairman's Award 2008. This Award, which is
highest honour in the global telecom sector, was conferred on him for
tremendous contribution to the development of India’s telecom
his vision has transformed the lives of millions across India.
Ho Chi Minh
Joan of Arc