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HomeNewsBusinessAirtel overcame adversity and grew stronger: Sunil Mittal

Airtel overcame adversity and grew stronger: Sunil Mittal

Bharti Airtel has put up an uphill battle and has bolstered itself as a “very stable organization” after a five-year storm in the telecom industry marked by declining revenues and high debt, said the company’s chief executive, Sunil Mittal said on Tuesday. Speaking at an event organized by the All India Management Association (AIMA), he said the top Airtel executive said the big turning point in his life was when he got his first mobile phone license in 1992 under very difficult circumstances. In a casual conversation with Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, Mittal said his early leadership experience helped him.

Additionally, he said the situation required raising more capital and the company did just that. Of the industry’s struggles, Mittal said, “We’ve raised over $18 billion in the last 30 months. We’ve diluted a lot and sold some assets, but we’ve continued to invest and we’ve managed this very difficult time. He wanted to make sure he had the cash to fight a tough battle. “It is with great satisfaction and pride that I must say that we have maintained the course despite some very difficult times.

“My employees never send me anything that could jeopardize the company’s operations. I never ask them anything that could jeopardize our governance.” said Mittal. He recalled that the past four to five years had revealed a sharp drop in industry revenues despite heavy spending. “There isn’t a year that we haven’t spent $3-4 billion and that’s a lot of money. In addition to Rs 20,000 crore each year, the industry has to constantly No, I’m just talking about India,” he said.

When the 2016 “onslaught” hit the industry in the form of fierce competition, some took shortcuts and short-term decisions to survive rather than be guided by a vision of sustainable business. “We are staying here for a long time, so it was clear that we would not take any shortcuts, we stayed on track,” Mittal said.
In response to a question, the telecom emperor said that large companies that reach enormous scale may turn to a “professional managed, professionally supported or PP model.”

“When a company is young, growing and on its way, you need a very specific sponsor who can take risks,” he said. Airtel is one of the “most professional” companies in the country, he said, Mr Mittal, adding that thanks to its robust organizational structure, the telecommunications company has emerged strengthened from a wave of trouble. He believes Airtel is fully managed by world-class professionals.

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