Bharti Airtel chief plans to invest Rs 18,000cr in India, hints at collaboration with Mukesh AmbaniTarush Bhalla
“India will no longer stay behind the curve in terms of technology, following the world by two to three years. It will rather keep pace with what is happening globally,” stated Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Sunil Bharti Mittal, in his speech at the Indian Mobile Congress today.
Reinstating the same, he said, “India’s time has come to make a world showcase for technology.”
He remarked that artificial intelligence-backed cloud computing, robotic surgeries and bots are the trailers of the coming times. Speaking of India, he added,
Wherever I’m going around the world, the attention towards India seems to be large.
Giving examples, he talked about his recent visit to Google’s campus, where products like Android’s new phone, Android Go; and YouTube Lite, were being created keeping India in mind.
“This is a huge departure from the concept of making products in the Western world,” said Mittal. “With more than 1.3 billion people and a market of three plus one telecom players, India offers a great opportunity.”
Urging the government
A market of 1.3 billion for digital media consumption and a Prime Minister who uses digital platforms to serve society also make India a leading telecom market, remarked Mittal.
“I’m happy that issues around the ease of doing businesses is being dealt with. It is the digital platform which the government has rightly picked up as a cornerstone for transforming India and it will deliver.”
However, he commented that ‘Right of way’ or legal right to pass through certain grounds is expensive and getting permission from the government is also difficult. He said,
The local government should understand the power of ‘Digital India’ and the importance of what we are trying to do.
He stated that by September, this year, Bharti Airtel would have put Rs 10,000 crore in the country’s hard infrastructure, and will invest another Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 crore in the coming year.
“But, government policies, which can help us enable this investment on ground faster, will greatly help us to reach your version,” added the Bharti Enterprises Chief.
He assured that the Bharti Group which started in 1983 by launching India’s first push button phone, cordless phone and answering machine will reward the country with latest technologies, as 5G starts to develop globally.
“Our generation is definitely lucky to see early changes through digital technology. It will be our next generation which will see an entire new world. I can only conjure some images of flying cars or autonomous cars at your door step. There is no sci-fi, things are actually happening in reality, around the world.”
Summing up his talk, he quoted William Wordsworth,
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!
“But I wish that we would be living into the next generation, and hope that other friends like Mukesh (Ambani) will be building something for the future,” he concluded.
Tarush is driven towards delivering unbiased and accurate reportage while engaging with as many mediums as possible to narrate a fresh perspective. Working for the past few years in the digital space with YourStory, he has covered the Indian technology ecosystem extensively, focusing on new age Fintech companies, while building strong connects within the industry.