Sunil Bharti Mittal was born on October 23, 1957 and he is an Indian billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises .

Sunil Mittal Biography

Sunil Bharti Mittal was born into a Punjabi family. His father, Sat Paul Mittal , had been a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha (Indian National Congress) from Ludhiana, Punjab , was elected from Punjab for two terms (1976 and 1982) and nominated to the Rajya Sabha once (1988). 

He first joined the Wynberg Allen School in Mussoorie , but later attended the Scindia School in Gwalior and graduated in 1976 from Panjab University, Chandigarh with a Bachelor of Arts and Science for which he studied at Arya College, Ludhiana . His father died of cardiac arrest in 1992.

Sunil Mittal Net Worth

Bharti Airtel , the group’s flagship company, is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and the second largest in India with operations in 18 countries in Asia and Africa with a customer base of over 399 million.

Bharti Airtel posted revenue of over US$14.75 billion in fiscal year 2016. Forbes lists him as the sixth richest person in India with a net worth of $11 billion.

He is one of the richest business men in India.

Css Corp Sunil Mittal

He is the Chief Executive Officer of CSS Corp, and that is a global customer experience and technology consulting services company, with over 10,000 employees in five continents.

Sunil Mittal Career

A first-generation entrepreneur, Sunil started his first business in April 1976  at the age of 18, with a capital investment of  20,000 (US$280) loaned by his father. His first business was making crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers. 

In 1980, together with his brothers Rakesh Mittal and Rajan Mittal , they started an import business called Bharti Overseas Trading Company. 

He sold his bicycle parts and thread factories and moved to Mumbai . In 1981, he purchased import licenses from exporting companies in Punjab. 

He then imported thousands of portable electric power generators from Suzuki Motors of Japan. The importation of generators was suddenly banned by the then Indian government.

In 1984, it began assembling push-button telephones in India,  which it previously used to import from a Taiwanese company, Kingtel, replacing the old, bulky rotary telephones that were used in the country at the time. 

Bharti Telecom Limited (BTL) was incorporated and entered into a technical link with Siemens AG of Germany for the manufacture of electronic button telephones. In the early 1990s, Sunil manufactured fax machines, cordless phones, and other telecommunications equipment. 

He was saying: In 1983, the government was imposing a ban on the importation of generator sets. 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 the opportunity came.While I was in Taiwan, I realized the popularity of the push-button phone, something that India had not seen at the time. 

We were still using those rotary dials without speed dials or redials. I felt my chance and embraced the telecommunications business. I started marketing telephones, answering/fax machines under the Beetel brand and the company recovered very quickly.”  He named his first push-button telephones ‘Mitbrau‘. 

In 1992, it successfully bid for one of the four mobile phone network licenses auctioned in India. One of the conditions for the Delhi cellular license was that the bidder had some experience as a telecommunications operator. 

So, Mittal closed a deal with the French telecommunications group Vivendi. He was one of the first Indian entrepreneurs to identify the mobile telecommunications business as a huge growth area. His plans were finally approved by the government in 1994 and launched its services in Delhi in 1995, when Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was formed to offer cellular services under the AirTel brand in 1997.

Within a few years, Bharti became the first telecommunications company to cross the 2 million mark of mobile subscribers. Bharti also lowered STD/ISD mobile phone tariffs in India under the ‘Indiaone’ brand.

In May 2008, news broke that Sunil Bharti Mittal was exploring the possibility of buying MTN Group, a South African-based telecommunications company with coverage in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The Financial Times reported that Bharti was considering offering $45 billion for a 100% stake in MTN, which would be the largest overseas acquisition by an Indian company. 

However, both sides stress the tentative nature of the talks, with The Economist magazine noting, “If anything, Bharti would get married,” as MTN has more subscribers, higher revenues, and broader geographic coverage.

However, the talks broke down when the MTN group tried to reverse the negotiations by making Bharti almost a subsidiary of the new company. 

In May 2009, Bharti Airtel confirmed again that it was in talks with MTN and the companies agreed to discuss the potential transaction exclusively by July 31, 2009. The talks ultimately ended without agreement, some sources claim this was due to the opposition of the Government of South Africa

In June 2010, Bharti, led by Mittal, acquired Zain Telecom’s African business for $10.7 billion (enterprise value), making it the largest acquisition ever made by an Indian telecommunications company. 

In 2012, Bharti partnered with Wal-Mart, the American retail giant, to start a series of retail stores across India.  In 2014, Bharti planned to acquire Loop Mobile for INR 7 billion, but the deal was later cancelled.  His son Kavin Bharti Mittal is the CEO and founder of Hike Messenger. 

In September 2010, Mittal’s son, Shravin Mittal, joined Bharti Airtel as a manager after having worked for Merrill Lynch in New York and Ernst & Young in London. 

In 2012, Mittal took Bharti Infratel public with an initial public offering that raised $760 million. Mittal noted that the sale, seen by many as a modest success, was “strongly endorsed by qualified investors.”

The board was restructured before the IPO, with Mittal remaining as chairman and CEO.  After the IPO, shares of Bharti Infratel fell sharply at the start of trading. 

In 2013, Mittal was ordered to appear before a special court in Delhi  to answer questions about the additional allocation of airwaves to certain companies. 

The accusations against Mittal allege that there was collusion with key telecommunications officials in the government to illegally secure additional spectrum. No charges were filed against Mittal, however, the trial court judge noted that there was enough material on record to proceed. 

Sunil Mittal Awards And Honours
  • Padma Bhushan, Gobierno de la India, 2007 
  • Transforming India Leader, NDTV Business Leader Awards
  • GSM Association President’s Award, 2008 
  • Asian Entrepreneur of the Year, Fortune Magazine, 2006
  • Telecom Person of the Year, Voice & Data Magazine (India), 2006
  • CEO of the Year, Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards, 2006
  • CEO of the Year, 2005-06, Business Standard 
  • Best Asia Telecommunications CEO, Telecom Asia Awards, 2005
  • Best CEO, India, Institutional Investor, 2005
  • Business Leader of the Year, Economic Times, 2005 
  • Philanthropist of the Year Award, The Asian Awards, 2010 
  • Award  INSEAD Business Leader, 2011 
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.), Amity University Gurgaon, 2016 
  • Doctorado Honoris Causa en Ciencias (D.Sc.), Universidad Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, J&K, 2018
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, ESCP Business School, ESCP Europe, Paris, 2018
  • Global Mobile Industry honors Sunil Bharti Mittal for his contributions to the global mobile industry as Chairman of the GSMA Board, 2019

Sunil MittL Industry Associations And Affiliations
  • President, GSM Association, 2017-19 
  • Honorary President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 
  • Member of the Telecommunications Board of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the main agency of the United Nations for Information Technology and Communications Commissioner of the ITU Broadband Commission for Digital Sustainable Development
  • Chairman of the Telecommunications Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum 
  • Member, International Business Council, World Economic Forum 
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Foundation Endowment
  • Member of the Board of Directors of SoftBank Corp. (2011-2013)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Unilever PLC and Unilever NV (2011-2013)
  • Member, International Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors, NYSE Euronext (2008– 2011)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Standard Chartered Bank Plc (2007-2009)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Hero Honda Motors (2006-2009)
  • President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) (2007-2008) 
  • Co-chair, Annual Meeting, World Economic Forum, Davos (2007) 
  • Global GSM Association Board Member (2003-2007)

Sunil Mittal Private Life

He has been married “for decades” to Nyna Mittal, a philanthropist who focuses on education.  The couple have a daughter and two sons, who are twins, born on 31 August 1987.

The daughter, Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, a “lifestyle investor”, lives in London with her husband, businessman Sharan Pasricha, and her two sons. 

One of his sons, Kavin Bharti Mittal, is an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Hike, a New Delhi-based internet and technology startup.

The other son, Shravin Bharti Mittal, is the founder and CEO of Unbound, a London-based private equity and venture capital firm, and a director of Bharti Global Ltd, a London-based company of the Bharti business family. 

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