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Airtel’s $100mn mkt capitalization reflects India’s stable economy, Mittal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance to Sunil Mittal, the chairman of Bharti Airtel Ltd., about the government being neutral and not intervening in the telecom market during a pivotal meeting six years ago marked a significant turning point for the Indian telecom giant.

Facing challenges from the emergence of Reliance Jio in 2016 and regulatory decisions affecting its operations, Mittal sought intervention from Modi in 2018, Airtel chairman told the Economic Times in an Interview.

In the September 2018 meeting, Mittal highlighted the dire situation Airtel faced due to the disruptive impact of Jio’s free services and regulatory measures seemingly unfavorable to incumbents. “I will fight in the marketplace, but I can’t fight the government.” Mittal had told the prime minister. In response, Modi assured him that the government would remain neutral and prioritise actions that benefit the nation as a whole.

“He told me that this government will not tilt towards either side. Whatever is good for the country will be done. You fight in the marketplace. I don’t have a view on that. But from the side of the government, you can be sure that the government will not take sides,” Mittal recalled Modi as saying.

The Mittal, was the turning point for Airtel, particularly amid its recent achievement of surpassing $100 billion in market cap. He had thanked the prime minister after this conversation.

Mittal emphasised that the substantial growth in Airtel’s market value over the past five years is indicative of India’s economic stability.

In the interview, he dismissed notions of government favouritism, asserting that the country’s thriving economy and rising stock market were evidence of a conducive environment for business and investment. NDTV Profit

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