Airtel is born and the rest as they say is history
Sunil Bharti Mittal
In 1995, the Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was established and the brand Airtel was launched. The rest as they say is history. Within a few years Bharti became the first telecom company to cross the 2 million mobile subscriber mark. The company is also instrumental in bringing down the high STD/ISD, cellular rates in the country by rolling the countries first private national as well as international long distance service under the brand name IndiaOne.In 1996, cellular service was extended to Himachal Pradesh. In 1999, Bharti Enterprises acquired control of JT Holdings, and extended cellular operations to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In 2000, Bharti acquired control of Skycell Communications, in Chennai. In 2001, the company acquired control of Spice Cell in Calcutta. Bharti Enterprises went public in 2002, and the company was listed on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. In 2003, the cellular phone operations were rebranded under the single Airtel brand. In 2004, Bharti acquired control of Hexacom and entered Rajasthan. In 2005, Bharti extended its network to Andaman and Nicobar. This expansion allowed it to offer voice services all across India. In 2009, Airtel launched its first international mobile network in Sri Lanka. In 2010, Airtel acquired the African operations of the Kuwait based Zain Telecom. In March 2012,Airtel launched a mobile operation in Rwanda.
Today Airtel is the worlds third largest mobile telecommunications company with over 261 million subscribers across 20 countries as of August 2012. It is the largest cellular service provider in India, with 186.9 million subscribers at the end of August 2012. Airtel is the third largest in country mobile operator by subscriber base, behind China Mobile and China Unicom.Forbes magazine ranks him among Asias self made billionaires with a whopping net worth at some USD 11 billion. Mittal resides in South Delhi with his wife Nyna and have three children.