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'Don't lose hope': Airtel supremo Sunil Mittal's big advice to millennials

'Don't lose hope': Airtel supremo Sunil Mittal's big advice to millennials

Mittal had started Bharti Enterprises at the age of 18 with an initial investment of Rs 20,000, which he borrowed from his father. Before diversifying into other sectors, he started manufacturing bicycles. Mittal entered the telecommunications industry in 1995.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises

Indian billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Sunil Bharti Mittal recently gave some precious advice to millennials and young entrepreneurs. He said that one should not lose hope and always chase their dreams.

Mittal, the founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises was speaking at Business Today’s India@100 Economy Summit.

He said, “I am perhaps a living example of 'dreams being successful with empty pockets'. We all must dream big, and aspire for bigger things in life. As an individual, as a society and as a nation, and we all deserve to be having that courage to dream big.”

Mittal had started Bharti Enterprises at the age of 18 with an initial investment of Rs 20,000, which he borrowed from his father. Before diversifying into other sectors, he started manufacturing bicycles.

Mittal entered the telecommunications industry in 1995. Today, Bharti Enterprises is the country’s second-largest integrated telecom company with a customer base of over 400 million customers across Asia and Africa.

During the interaction with Business Today, Mittal shared three habits that every millennial must inculcate to achieve success. According to him, the most important trait is ‘Perseverance.’

He said, “Don’t lose hope, you will have setbacks, and that should not deter you from following your dreams. It goes with hard work.”

“You can't just sit back and hope for your dreams to happen without hard work. And last, what is most important is, do things that you enjoy the most,” added Mittal.

“For me, that is the biggest mantra. Whatever you do, you just don't have to do business or create wealth. Whatever it may be, do things you enjoy. Don't fit yourself in an area which may get you lot of wealth, fame but not for you to do. Pick up your dreams right, so that when you follow them, it becomes enjoyable,” said Mittal.

While talking about what he was like in his 20s, the billionaire entrepreneur said, “I was always a struggling entrepreneur to now a better and more successful entrepreneur. I was neither a trained doctor nor a lawyer or even a trained engineer. I had to find my own way to get to my dream, which was to create an enterprise. I am glad that I got this opportunity in our country.”

Mittal also shared the quote that he lives by: "However long the night, the dawn will prevail.”

The self-made billionaire has an estimated net worth of around $9.7 billion as of March 12, 2020. Apart from Bharti Enterprises, Mittal also owns Airtel Payments Bank, which has around 9.8 million users, in a joint venture with billionaire Uday Kotak-controlled Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Mittal has also won several awards and recognition over the years. In 2007, he was awarded India’s third-highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan and in 2016, was elected as the International Chamber of Commerce’s chairman.