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Study of an Entrepreneur
Sunil Mittal

Prof. In charge
M. R. Koshti

Submitted by:
Deep Sutaria
MMS - B [ 96 ]

Sunil Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal (born 23 October 1957) is an Indian entrepreneur,
philanthropist and the founder, chairman and Group CEO of Bharti
Enterprises, which has interests in telecom, retail, financial services, and
agri business. The Group flagship Bharti Airtel, with operations in 20
countries across Asia and Africa and a customer base of over 275 million,
is India's largest telecom company and world's fourth largest mobile
operator. Bharti Airtel clocked revenues of over USD 14.5 billion in FY2013.
In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian
honor.On 1 July 2013 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the International
Chamber of Commerce

Success story of Sunil Bharati Mittal:

Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti
Group can be labelled as the most ambitious telecom entrepreneur in India.
Sunil a former student of Harvard Business School, graduated from Punjab
University. The son of a parliamentarian, Sunil did not want to follow his
fathers footsteps. He had shown an interest in business even from his
teenage days. So after graduation, Sunil got together with his friend and
formed a small bicycle business with borrowed capital in the1970s. But by
1979, he realized that this business would remain small. So he moved out
of Ludhiana, spent a few years in Mumbai and in 1981, was running an
import and distribution operation out of New Delhi and Mumbai.

By 1982, Mittal had started a full-fledged business selling portable
generators imported from Japan and that gave him the chance to involve
himself in activities like marketing and advertising. Things went smoothly
until the government banned the import of generators as two Indian
companies were awarded licenses to manufacture generators locally.

Sunil Mittal got interested in push button phones while on a trip to Taiwan,
and in 1982, introduced the phones to India, 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.

The turning point came in 1992 when the Indian government was awarding
licenses for mobile phone services for the first time. One of the conditions
for the Delhi cellular license was that the bidder have some experience as
a telecom operator. Mittal clinched a deal with the French telecom group
Vivendi. Two years later, Sunil secured rights to serve New Delhi. In 1995,
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. The company is
also instrumental in bringing down the high STD/ISD, cellular rates in the
country by rolling the countries first private national as well as international
long-distance service under the brand name IndiaOne. In 2001, the
company entered into a joint venture with Singapore Telecom International
for a $650-million submarine cable project, the countries first ever undersea
cable link connecting Chennai in India and Singapore.

Always on the move and making an impact and excelling in whatever he
did, this clear thinking risk taker has changed the face of the Indian ICT
space. For his contributions he has been honoured with several awards. He
was chosen as one of the top entrepreneurs in the world for the year 2000
and amongst Stars Of Asia, by Business Week, he received IT Man of
the Year Award 2002 from Dataquest and CEO Of the Year, 2002 Award
(World HRD Congress). He is the member of National Council of
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Chairman, Indo-US Joint Business Council,
Member, Advisory Committee constituted by Ministry of IT. Mittal has to his
credit the breaking up of the 100 year old monopoly of state run companies
to operate telecom services in India. Now he heads a successful empire
focused on different areas of business through independent Joint Venture
companies with a market capitalization of approximately $ 2 billion,
employing over 5,000 people and still growing. Bharti Foundation has
funded over 50 schools in Madhya Pradesh and also donated Rs 200
million to IIT Delhi for building a Bharti School of Technology and

In spite of his deep involvement in work, Mittal the man, is calm, seldom
ruffled and very down to earth. He says he achieves a sense of detachment
and peace with regular practice of yoga. He is thankful for a supportive
family including a daughter and twin sons, with whom understandably he
doesnt get much time to spend. His brothers Rakesh and Rajan are with
him in the business.

He is a pioneer, a dreamer, an achiever. Ranked 125th in the Forbes list,
Sunil Bharti Mittal is not a man to rest on his laurels. Whenever the next big
revolution is happening, he is there busy being a part of it. What inspires
and drives this trailblazer? We hear it in his own words.

Indian telecom tycoon Sunil Mittal saw his wealth decline by $1.1 billion
despite big moves to cement his Bharti Airtel's position as India's biggest
mobile operator with 200 million domestic customers. In a recent
government auction, he bought additional telecom spectrum worth close to
$3 billion. In February, he inked a $113 million deal to acquire smaller rival
Loop Mobile to become the largest player in Mumbai city. Last year, he
signed an infrastructure sharing pact with potential rival Reliance Jio
Infocomm, Mukesh Ambani's new telecom venture. Bharti Airtel recently
faced a setback in Africa when a Lagos court ruled against it in an
ownership dispute involving its Nigerian unit. Mittal was also was in the
news last year for breaking off with Wal-Mart, his partner in a six-year old
joint venture that was troubled by allegations of wrongdoing. The U.S.
retailer took over the wholesale business while he continues to own a
separate chain of grocery stores, for which he hired the former head of
Wal-Mart India. Mittal is due to appear in court in an ongoing case involving
granting of additional telecom spectrum.

Learning's from the Leader :

Practice is the real thing, rest is all theory.
I didnt go to a B-school, instead learnt lessons on the streets and at every
opportunity, tried to assimilate, gather and absorb some of the practices
that were required to create an enterprise.

I dream BIG.
Everything beings with a small step, but you have to dream big to take a
leap. I graduated from Punjab University. After graduation, I along with my
friend formed a small bicycle business with borrowed capital in the 1970s.
But by 1979, I realized that this business would remain small. I moved out
of Ludhiana, and tried other things so that I would be noticed.

Trust your reflexes.
In 1982, I had a full-fledged business selling portable generators imported
from Japan. This gave me a chance to be involved in activities like
marketing and advertising. Things were smoothly until the government
banned the import of generators as two other Indian companies were
awarded licenses to manufacture generators locally. Then I made it a point
that whenever the opportunity knocks on the door next time, I will be ready
for it. The turning point came in 1992 when the government was awarding
licenses for mobile phone services for the first time. I took that up

Recognition is momentary.
You have to move on to achieve more, take more risks and be mentally
alert. Being featured in the Forbes, or receiving the IT Man of the Year
Award did make me feel great. It was a momentary high. Right now I just
have competition here in India, but I have to work hard to that I am the
competition from India for the world.

Everything comes at a price, even a smile.
A boy of 8 or 9 years selling roses at the signals can make anybody feel
worthless. How could I sit back in my chair and just run my business when
the next generation of this country still hasnt made its foundation? You can
dream of a beautiful India, but you have to wake up from your dream to
make it beautiful.

Business Overview:

Founded in 1976, by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti has grown from being a
manufacturer of bicycle parts to one of the largest and most respected
business groups in India. With its entrepreneurial spirit and passion to
undertake business projects that are transformational in nature, Bharti has
created world-class businesses in telecom, insurance, retail, and foods.

Bharti started its telecom services business by launching mobile services in
Delhi (India) in 1995. Since then there has been no looking back and Bharti
Airtel, the groups flagship company, has emerged as one of the top
telecom companies in the world and is amongst the top four wireless
operators in the world.

Through its global telecom operations Bharti group operates under the
Airtel brand in 20 countries across Asia and Africa India, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, Seychelles, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar,
Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and
Zambia. In addition, the group also has mobile operations in Jersey and

Over the past few years, Bharti has diversified into emerging business
areas in the fast expanding Indian economy. The group has forayed into
the retail sector by opening retail stores small and medium formats. The
group offers life insurance and general insurance to customers across
India. Bharti also serves customers through its fresh and processed foods
business. The group has growing interests in other areas such as mobile
internet, real estate, training and capacity building, and distribution of
telecom / IT products.

What sets Bharti apart from the rest is its ability to forge strong
partnerships. Over the years some of biggest names in international
business have partnered Bharti. Currently, SingTel, Qatar Foundation
Endowment, IBM, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent are key
partners in telecom. AXA Group is the partner for the insurance business
and Del Monte Pacific for the processed foods division.

Bharti strongly believes in giving back to the society and through its
philanthropic arm the Bharti Foundation it is reaching out to over 39,000
underprivileged children and youth in India.

Dynamics of Entrepreneurship:

Commitment & Determination: Committed towards his goals and
he knew what he wanted to achieve in his life.

Leadership: Started small bicycle business with borrowed capital in
the1970s and now he is leading entire Airtel Group.

Opportunity obsession: In 1992 when the government was
awarding licenses for mobile phone services for the first time he took
that up immediately.

Tolerance of risk: Adapting to any situation and taking risk in any
unknown business.

Creativity: Came up with idea of selling push button phone which out
dated bulky phone and also came up with an idea of low price cellular

Self reliance: After realizing that the business of bicycle remain will
remain small he moved out of of Ludhiana, and tried other things so
that he would be noticed.

Ability to adapt: He made it a point to educate himself on the latest
technological progress that had taken place over the years all around
the world so that he may use it for the betterment.

Support from significant others: Father provided him capital of
Rs.20000 to start new business.