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    Sunil Mittal is 'Businessman of the Year 2002'
    Business India Award credits Mittal 'as the man who has got India talking'

    New Delhi , December 10, 2002: Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, the 45-year-old Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd, has been selected as 'Businessman of the Year' by Business India. Mr Mittal will be felicitated at an award ceremony and lecture on December 14 in New Delhi where Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani will be the Chief Guest.

    A delighted Mr Mittal said, "This is one award which every businessman aspires to be a recipient of. I am therefore extremely grateful for the honour bestowed on me."

    Mr Mittal was selected by an eminent panel of distinguished captains of Indian business and industry, which included Dr Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories; Mr Analjit Singh, Chairman, Max India Ltd; Mr Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Merrill Lynch; Mr Jerry Rao, Chairman, Mphasis BFL; Mr Pradeep Poddar, Managing Director, Heinz India; Mr Sanjay Nayar, Chief Executive Officer, Citibank; and Mr Sanjiv Goenka, Vice-Chairman, RPG Enterprises.

    The citation for the prestigious award recognises Mr Mittal as ''clearly the man who got India talking''. It compliments Mr Mittal for his accent on competitive pricing which has enabled lowering communications costs in all the arenas he has entered.

    The panel noted that, ''in 2002, Mr Mittal presided over one of the biggest telecom rollouts ever by a private company and Bharti also became the first private national long distance operator in the country.'' His managerial and financial skills are reflected in the fact that ''he has secured over $1 billion in foreign equity, the largest foreign investment to date in the telecom sector. Over the past two years, Bharti has recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 70 per cent.''

    The annual 'Businessman of the Year' award, instituted by the Business India Group, is conferred on a businessman for his contribution to the business environment during the year. Some noted previous recipients have been Dr Anji Reddy, Dr Reddy's Laboratories; Mr Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro; Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons; Mr Rahul Bajaj, CMD, Bajaj Auto; Mr Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC; Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, Reliance Industries.

    The Business India Group is a leading media, information and communication company in India with some of the strongest brand names in magazine publishing. Business India is the flagship publication of the group and the country's leading business magazine.

    About Bharti Tele-Ventures

    Bharti Tele-Ventures is India's leading private sector provider of telecommunications services based on an aggregate of approximately 2,908,000 customers as of October 31, 2002, consisting of approximately 2,511,000 mobile, 279,000 fixed-line and 118,000 dial up Internet customers. The Company through its subsidiaries also provides fixed-line, VSAT, Internet services and network solutions. The Company has also commenced offering national and international long distance services.

    The company seeks to capitalize on the growth opportunities that it believes are available in the Indian market and consolidate its position to be an integrated telecommunications service provider, with a focus on mobile services.

    The Company today offers mobile services in Fifteen out of 22 circles in India. As of October 31, 2002, approximately 94% of India’s total number of mobile subscribers resided in Bharti’s existing and proposed mobile circles, according to COAI reports. Bharti Tele-Ventures was the first private sector operator to provide fixed-line services in India when it commenced providing services in the Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh circle in June 1998. BTVL recently launched its fixed-line services in the license areas of Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and thus became the first private sector service provider to provide fixed-line services in all its licensed areas.

    Bharti Tele-Ventures has always believed in creating strong partnerships with its joint venture partners. Today, SingTel and Warburg Pincus are its leading partners. The other partners include leading international financial investors such as International Finance Corporation, Asian Infrastructure Fund Group and New York Life Insurance.