Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunil Bharti Mittal: The Unsung Hero of the Telecom Sector.

The Unsung Hero of the Telecom Sector.

The son of a politician, Sunil Mittal is from the town of Ludhiana in Punjab. He has built the Bharti group, along with two siblings, into India's largest mobile phone operator in just ten years. The UK based telecommunication giant, Vodafone and Singapore's SingTel both own stakes in the recently renamed flagship company Bharti Airtel. The group also has partnerships with Axa for insurance and with the Rothschild family for exporting fruits and vegetables.

He has been Chairman & Managing Director of Bharti Group since October 2001.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Residing in Delhi, he is married, with three children. A first generation entrepreneur, he started his first business in 1976 at the age of 18, with a capital investment of Rs 20,000 (U$1500) borrowed from his father. His first business was to make crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers.

In 1980 he sold his bicycle parts and yarn factories and moved to Mumbai.

In 1982 he became the exclusive dealer for Suzuki Motors's portable electric-power generators imported from Japan. The importing of telecom equipment were banned by the Indian Government as ITI (Indian Telecom Industry ) monopoly practices & sole OEM for Department of Telecommunication.[citation needed]

He established the first company to manufacture push button telephones in India. He was one of the first Indian entrepreneurs to identify the mobile telecom business as a major growth area and launched services in the city of Delhi and the National Capital Region in the year 1995.

Tie-Up with Wal-Mart

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.

How 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 there's no stress. As you come to the top of the pyramid, the intensity of competition, of jealousy, is high."

What about his family? "I have a daughter who's 17 and twin sons who are 13. I don't get to spend much time with the family. Everybody has a job to do and I think I was ordained to do what I'm doing. My family is supportive, however. Whenever I'm with them I try to spend some quality time. We have an occasional holiday. First generation entrepreneurs always have this problem."

Is the business environment in India changing to enable operations with integrity? Replies Mittal: "I've walked the corridors of power and there's a big positive change, which is very palpable at the higher level, since licensing has mostly been dismantled. At the lower levels, however, things are quite the same. But once change starts from the top there is some impact downwards..."

1 comment:

krishna said...

Whenever I hear and read stories of our great real life heroes, it really inspires me a lot. I had ideas of buying used telecom equipment, recycle and sell it to third world countries, Hope i succeed in my endeavor