Sunil Bharti MittalImage: Chesnot / Getty Images
As india’s second-largest telecom firm by subscribers, New Delhi-headquartered Bharti Airtel has seen its share price jump 42 percent in the past year. The net worth of its chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, was up 34 percent to $10.2 billion.
Increased data consumption by those stuck at home during the pandemic led to a 73 percent surge in Bharti Airtel’s data use in the quarter ended June, boosting revenue 15 percent in that quarter to $3.2 billion compared to a year ago. Average revenue per user, a key industry metric, increased 22 percent to 157 rupees. Mittal declined to comment.
It’s been four years since rival Jio, owned by Reliance Industries, unleashed a price offensive that thinned the privately owned telecom sector from ten companies to three. Fellow billionaire Kumar Birla’s Vi, formerly Vodafone Idea, got a crucial breather from a Supreme Court ruling in September that extends the time to pay $7.9 billion in government dues from a lump sum to a staggered payment over ten years.
(This story appears in the 20 November, 2020 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)