Heir to one of the largest business families in the country, Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Mittal is clear that he will focus on his own venture Bharti SoftBank (BSB) and won't join the family business any time soon. An Economic Times report quoted him stating that for at least the next 5-10 years, he will focus on growing the group's mobile internet startup that he currently manages.
Kavin founded his first venture AppSpark in the last semester of his master's degree in electrical and electronics engineering and management from Imperial College, London. In 2011, he came back to India and became head of strategy and product development at BSB, Bharti Group's privately held joint venture with Japan's SoftBank. The company's instant messaging app Hike is already boasting of a decent traction for a homegrown app. Earlier this year, BSB also put in $7 million more in the messaging app to fuel growth. Recently it launched its gaming venture called TinyMogul in India, which was the company's third venture after Hoppr and Hike.
"I do not have any active role in Bharti group's businesses. My focus will be BSB for the next 5-10 years," Kavin told ET. "People do not realise this, but I have staked a large part of my reputation in this. If this goes down, I go down," he said on rumours that BSB is just a hobby for him.
Talking to Techcircle.in in an interview last year, Kavin had stated that he felt BSB fits in as one of the verticals in the Bharti group. He had said that it's very much a part of the family business. "I personally feel that for Bharti to be relevant 5-10 years from now, we need something like BSB. My kick comes from starting something new," he had said at the time. On being asked why didn't he think of building BSB within the ecosystem of Bharti Airtel, he said that the firm could have built it within Bharti Airtel, but the way telcos work, it is a very different culture and something like BSB needs its own set-up. "There is a massive cultural difference. I feel that if BSB was sitting inside Airtel, it would not be a success; it wouldn't even have a chance."
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)