The most fabled Indian global telecommunications services company Bharti Airtel is known to all for its competent services, and social presence in the country as well as globally. For the past 22 years, the group has achieved success and brand that creates a benchmark for other associations.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, the premier of Bharti Airtel Company, is the actual director of the company’s triumph. A person, who at the age of 18, borrowed Rs 10,000 from his father to make crankshafts for local bicycle manufacturers; today, has a net worth of around $8 billion. Starting with bicycle crankshafts, importing electric generators, assembling push-button phones in India, and then finally moving towards mobile phone network licenses. A journey brim-full of experiences was a result of Sunil Mittal showcasing his generosity towards the underprivileged.
Recently, the Bharti Mittal family has pledged Rs 7,000 crore to philanthropy and to open a new university that offers free education to meritorious students from underprivileged background. The Bhartis aim at guiding the dreams that somehow fade away owing to money constraint and so, the family has committed to give away 10 percent of their personal wealth, including the three percent stake in Bharti Airtel.
The philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, known as the Bharti Foundation, has decided to expand one of its flagship initiative which is the Satya Bharti School Programme by forming the University. The Satya Bharti University levels itself to focus on advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Internet of Things also adding the electrical and electronics engineering and management degrees.
As said by Sunil Mittal, “Given our attachment to technology we would like it to be very significantly focussed on technology on the lines of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stanford, Berkeley.” Making education easy and cost efficient in these fields was a necessity for the underprivileged students, which has led Bharti family and many other affluent families to show their wealthy support.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the University is expected to be held early next year planning the first academic session to start from 2021. Linking to global tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple, the University will be ready to set global standards for education.
The initial setting up cost will be Rs 1,000 crore which will later keep on increasing as Sunil Mittal noted, “In Satya Bharti School programme there is zero fee, we do not charge anything, and even here, the idea is to bring meritorious underprivileged students to give them education… it will require a lot of money.”
Recently, Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani also joined “The Giving Pledge’, committing half of their wealth to philanthropy. These moves of the market giants are not only reinforcing the 50 percent of youth today but also the 100 percent of India’s future.