o doubt we are passing through a very dangerous and poisonous phase. Some forces are bent upon sowing the seeds of hatred in the country under the garb of communalism and religion. This is fraught with danger. The latest victim of this canard is the leading mobile service provider of the country Bharati Airtel Limited. The company is being blamed for spreading hatred against Muslims.
It all started with a tweet of a woman in Lucknow. It was enough to trigger troll against the Airtel in the social media. Some people who are hyperactive in social media have not spared the founder chairman of Bharati Airtel Ltd. Sunil Bharati Mittal. These elements are demanding the public apology from Mittal. This class is threatening to disconnect their mobile service with Airtel, some have even claimed that they have surrendered their Airtel service. Just by one tweet, some people have branded Airtel as anti-Muslim. The company is providing mobile service in India, Africa, and Bangladesh.
It so happened that the woman in Lucknow asked the Airtel service center to send some Hindu customer care representative to her home since she would not accept any service from Muslim representative. Puja Singh the woman under reference has Airtel connection for her smart Television. The TV developed some snag. The company assigned the job to one Shoeb Akhtar to attend the complaint of Puja Singh. Getting the message that Shoeb Akhtar would fix the snag in here TV set, she tweeted that since Shoeb is a Muslims she does not trust his work. There might be a different interpretation of customer service in Quran.
The tweet created uproar. The Airtel issued a clarification that the company does not discriminate against customers and its employees on the basis of caste or religion. Whoever is available at the time of the call of customer we send him for the job. If you look at it the entire controversy should have died down after the clarification of Airtel on the issue. But this did not happen. Is it right to bring Sunil Mittal in the dock for this minor and trivial matter? Mittal is no ordinary industrialist. His views on economic policy and on India Incorporate are taken seriously by the government. He is the real entrepreneur of his generation. Once he had said that he had decided to do business and go for enterprise in the early years of his life. He was not interested in studies. He said that he had only two options before him; to join politics or do business. He chose the latter.
Ludhiana was a good place to do business. “I started doing business at a young age”, Mittal says. He started making parts for Hero Cycles of Hero Group. He never looked back.
The year 1982 was a special year for Sunil Bharati Mittal. He was doing a roaring business of Generators imported from Japan. This was the time when he learnt the secret of marketing and advertisement. When everything was doing well, the government put a ban on import of Generators because two Indian companies were given license to manufacture generator sets in the country.
Ten years later, in 1992 when the government was issuing a license for mobile service in India for the first time, Mittal did not let the opportunity slip out of his hand. He got the license and what he has achieved in the field is a grand achievement and it is a story of making of an industrialist. It is the story of a man who climbed at the top from the ground.
Today lakhs of technocrats and professionals work in his company. He was also President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2008. It is condemnable that a handful of people should charge Mittal and his company Airtel as communal. His company is providing mobile service to Africa and also to Bangladesh which is a Muslim majority nation. Airtel provides mobile service in Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. Mittal has special recognition in the international corporate world. His words carry weight even in International forums. Within India, senior Ministers and even Prime Minister consult Mittal on matters of industry and economy.
If you get an opportunity to do what you want to do. Then only you can achieve something in life. If you don’t get an opportunity, in that case, you can only lead an average life. Success does not come easily and there is no ‘easy success’.
Mittal once said that his father married outside his caste and had taken the decision not to use the surname indicating caste. He decided that his children should have ‘Bharati’ as surname instead of ‘Mittal’.
Sunil Bharati never went to any Business School. He has learnt from what he saw on streets. He developed strong willpower and determination to do something ‘big’.
Sometime back, he donated 10 per cent of his wealth to charitable organization Bharati Foundation which was approximately rupees seven thousand crores of rupees.
Those who call him communal should better go to some psychiatrist for treatment.
BY R K Sinha
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