Sunil Bharti Mittal, the 45-year-old Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd, has been selected as the 'Businessman of the Year' by Business India.
Mittal has been selected by an eminent panel of distinguished captains of Indian business and industry, which included Dr Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories; Analjit Singh, Chairman, Max India Ltd; Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Merrill Lynch; Jerry Rao, Chairman, Mphasis BFL; Pradeep Poddar, Managing Director, Heinz India; Sanjay Nayar, Chief Executive Officer, Citibank; and Sanjiv Goenka, Vice-Chairman, RPG Enterprises.
The panel credited him with one of the biggest telecom rollouts ever by a private company and making Bharti the first private national long distance operator in the country. He was praised for securing over $1 billion in foreign equity, the largest foreign investment to date in the telecom sector.
Bharti Tele-Ventures is India's major private sector provider of telecommunications services based on an aggregate of approximately 2,908,000 customers as of October 31, 2002, consisting of approximately 2,511,000 mobile, 279,000 fixed-line and 118,000 dial up Internet customers. The company through its subsidiaries also provides fixed-line, VSAT, Internet services and network solutions. It has also commenced offering national and international long distance services. Over the past two years, Bharti has recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 70 per cent.
On the occasion, Mittal said, "This is one award which every businessman aspires to be a recipient of. I am therefore extremely grateful for the honour bestowed on me."