Chairman, GSMA and Founder and Chairman
Sunil Bharti Mittal is the Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading conglomerates with diversified interests in telecom, insurance, real estate, agri and food, besides other ventures. Bharti has joint ventures with several global leaders: Singtel, SoftBank, AXA, Del Monte amongst others.
Bharti Airtel, the group’s flagship company, is amongst the world’s largest telecommunications companies, offering mobile, fixed broadband and digital TV solutions to over 350 million customers across India, South Asia and Africa.
Sunil has been the pioneer of the mobile revolution in India. At a time when mobile telecom was considered inaccessible for the masses, Bharti Airtel revolutionized the business model to offer affordable voice and data services. Starting from operations in one Indian city in 1994, to presence across 18 countries today, Bharti Airtel has transformed the quality of lives of millions of people globally, providing connectivity and digital empowerment. The company continues to focus on driving data as the ensuing growth frontier, and is leading the rollout of next generation data networks across India and Africa.
Sunil is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors, awarded to individuals for demonstrating distinguished services of high order. He has also been awarded Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Honor – the utmost honor accorded by the institute to its alumni. He is the recipient of GSMA’s prestigious Chairman award, besides being decorated with numerous industry honors. Sunil has been conferred Honorary Doctorates by several leading universities in India and UK.
Sunil serves on many international bodies and think-tanks- he is the Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Chair of the World Economic Forums (WEF) Telecommunications Steering Committee, Member: International Business Council-WEF, GSMA Board, Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Commissioner of the Broadband Commission, International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Prime Minister of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the Board of Qatar Foundation Endowment.
Sunil is closely associated with spearheading the Indian industry’s global trade, collaboration and policy – he has served on the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade & Industry. He is also a member of the India-US, India-UK and India-Japan CEO Forums. He is Co-Chair of the India-Africa Business Council and India-Sri Lanka CEO Forum. He was the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the premier industry body in India in 2007-08.
Deeply associated with the cause of education, Sunil is on Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council, Board of Dean’s Advisors at HBS and Governing Board of the Indian School of Business.
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 operates 254 schools as well as remedial centers to impart holistic education to over 1,00,000 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