- He took his company to 368 million telephone connections in 17 countrie
A child of liberalisation. The phrase may seem to carry a whiff of everyday cliché to those who didn’t see an epoch turn on its axis, who didn’t experience both worlds. Sunil Mittal is one on whom the phrase sits pat. It’s not enough to cite the fact that he started very small, as a bicycle parts trader in Punjab. Nor will the dry numbers suffice—the founder-chairman of the $14.75 billion Bharti group as the eighth richest Indian, with a personal net worth of $7 billion. It’s the nature of his business: the day is not far when it would get hard for most Indians to conceive of a world without a mobile connection—it’s perhaps been the most democratically spread fruit of liberalisation. And it was in such a world that the son of Congress MP Sat Paul Mittal made a modest beginning—manufacturing crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers in Punjab with a capital investment of Rs 20,000.