Chairman and CEO of Bharti Enterprises, a multibillion-dollar company that ran India's largest GSM mobile phone service.
He started his first company, a bicycle parts manufacturer, with money borrowed from his father.
He ran a push-button telephone assembly in the mid-1980s and prophetically saw the mobile telecom sector as a growing field.
He had three children with his wife Nyna.
He and Ratan Tata, another Indian entrepreneur who founded what became a billion-dollar business, were contemporaries.