Success journey of Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal was born in India. His father’s name is Sat Paul Mittal and he was the Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha in Indian National Congress Party from Ludhiana, Punjab, he was elected from Punjab for two terms and nominated to the Rajya Sabha also. He did his schooling from Wynberg Allen School in Mussoorie, but later started Scindia School at Gwalior and graduated in 1976 from Panjab University, Chandigarh, in Bachelor of Arts and Science from Arya College, Ludhiana.

He is an Indian billionaire, businessman, founder, and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, he has interests in telecom, insurance, real estate, education, malls, and hospitality. He is listed as the 6th richest person in India by Forbes with a net worth of $8.2 billion. Now he is a founder and chairman of Bharti Airtel Limited which is the Largest Indian Telecom Company


  • Sunil started his first business of local bicycle manufacture in April 1976 at the age of 18, by an investment of ₹20,000 borrowed from his father.
  • In 1980, he lived with his brothers Rakesh Mittal and Rajan Mittal started an Import Enterprise named Bharti Overseas Trading Company where he sold his bicycle parts.
  • In 1984, he started assembling button phones in India, which is imported from a Taiwan company, Singtel.
  • In the 1990s, Sunil made fax machines, cordless phones, and other telecom gear.
  • In 1992, he successfully earned one of the four mobile phone network licenses auctioned in India.
  • In 1994 his plans were finally approved by the Indian Government.
  • In 1995 he launched his services first in Delhi and the Brand name was “Airtel”.
  • After a few years, it became the first telecom company over the 2-million mobile subscriber mark.
  • In 2012, Bharti tied up with Wal-Mart and started several retail stores across India.
  • In 2015, he announced that he will join the board of OneWeb, a space internet company where he gets lots of revenue in this.
  • In 2016, he made changes at Bharti Airtel to compete against the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and become India’s largest telecom company.
  • In 2017, Mittal announced “war on roaming” by removing charges for outgoing and incoming calls within India.


In 1983, the government banned the import of gensets. He lost business overnight. He came to a pause. He was in trouble. Then, the opportunity came calling. While in Taiwan, he noticed the popularity of the push-button phone, something India hadn’t seen then. He viewed his chance and started the telecom business. He started marketing telephones, fax machines with brand name Beetel and the company increased very fast.

In May 2008, he was finding the possibility of buying the MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company. Then Financial Times reported that Bharti was offering US$45 billion for a 100% stake in MTN, which will be the largest investment ever by an Indian firm where he got success. 

In May 2009, Bharti Airtel again talked with MTN and the companies finally agreed to discuss the problems by 31 July 2009 but at the end, he got the final success.


  • In 2007, Padma Bhushan, Government of India, Transforming India Leader, NDTV Business Leader Awards
  • In 2005, Best Asian Telecom CEO, Telecom Asia Awards, Best C.E.O, India, Institutional Investor, Business Leader of the Year, Economic Times.
  • In 2006 Asia Businessman of the Year, Fortune Magazine, Telecom Person of the Year, Voice & Data magazine (India), CEO of the year, Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards, CEO of the year, 2005–06, Business Standard.
  • In 2008, the GSM Association’s chairman’s award.
  • In 2010, Philanthropist of the Year Award, The Asian Awards
  • In 2011, INSEAD Business Leader Award
  • In 2016, Honoris Causa Doctorate of Sciences (D.Sc.) Degree, Amity University Gurgaon.
  • In 2018, Honoris Causa Doctorate of Sciences (D.Sc.) Degree, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, J&K, Doctor Honoris Causa, ESCP Business School, ESCP Europe, Paris.
  • In 2019, he got Global Mobile Industry Honours Sunil Bharti Mittal for his contributions to the Global Mobile Industry as Chairman of the GSMA Board.

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