Sunil Bharti Mittal is the Founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises and the Chairman of BhartiAirtel. Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, retail, realty, financial services and agri-products. BhartiAirtel is the flagship company of Bharti Enterprises, which is among the leading global telecom company with operations in India, South-Asia and Africa. Bharti has joint ventures with several global leaders: Singtel, Softbank, Wal-Mart, AXA and Del Monte.
Sunil started his career at 18 after graduating from Punjab University in India in 1976 and founded Bharti. Today, at 55, he heads a successful enterprise which employs over 30,000 people.
Sunil has been recognized with the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards. He has also been conferred the LalBahadurShastri National Award for 2009. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade & Industry. Sunil is the Vice Chairman elect of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and has served as the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the premier industry body in India (2007-08). He also serves on the Board of Directors of Unilever PLC, Unilever NV and SoftBank, Japan.
Sunil has been awarded the INSEAD Business Leader for the World Award 2011 and the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Award 2011 for “Corporate Conscience”. He has earlier received the Global Economy Prize 2009 by The Kiel Institute, Germany and the US-India Business Council also honored him with the ‘Global Vision’ Award 2008. Sunil has received the GSM Association Chairman's Award for 2008. In 2006, he was chosen Asia Businessman of the Year by Fortune and Asia Pacific CEO of the Year by Frost & Sullivan. He has been named Business Leader of the Year by several important media houses, including The Economic Times, Business Standard, and NDTV. Sunil was the Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. He is also a member of the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs, Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Sunil was the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2007 and is a member of its International Business Council. He is a member of several premier international bodies – Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Reuters Editorial Advisory Board, Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council, Telecom Board of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the leading UN Agency and also a Commissioner of the Broadband Commission at ITU. He has been appointed by the Indian Prime Minister as Co-Chair of the India-Africa Business Council, India-Sri Lanka CEO Forum and the India Myanmar Joint Trade and Investment Forum as well as a member of the India-US, India-UK and India-Japan CEO Forums.
Sunil is associated with several academic institutions - member of Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council, Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard Business School, Governing Body of London Business School and Executive Board of the Indian School of Business.
Sunil has been conferred with the degree of Doctor of Civil Law (HonorisCausa) by Newcastle University, UK, Doctor of Laws (HonorisCausa) by the University of Leeds, UK, Doctor of Science (HonorisCausa) by the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) and Doctor of Science (HonorisCausa) by the GovindBallabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology. He is an Honorary Fellow of The Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, USA.
Sunil believes that a responsible corporate has a duty to give back to the community in which it operates. This belief has resulted in Bharti Foundation, which is operating 254 schools catering to over 37,000 under-privileged children in rural India. Sunil was ranked among the Top 25 Philanthropists in the World in 2009 by the Barron’s Magazine. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation, an initiative of Her Highness SheikhaMozabint Nasser.
Mobile towers are the lifeline of any cellular network. A smooth network depends on uninterrupted and adequate supply of power. In many parts of India, power supply is erratic. Most towers have a diesel generator backup. The telecom industry, with over 2,50,000 towers, is the largest consumer of diesel today.
Bharti Infratel, one of India’s top tower companies, has taken a pioneering step towards replacing diesel generators with solar energy, reducing Co2 emissions by 2.5 tonnes per tower every year.