Chairman and Managing Director (since 1965),
“ A great prominent industrialist who created an industrial revolution in the country by producing two-wheelers, and at the same time, nurtured the heritage of his family’s political and social work”
Rahul Bajaj, an iconic, straight forward and outspoken entrepreneur of India, especially popular in manufacturing path-breaking two-wheelers, took up the reins as Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Group in 1965 as an inherited business. Under the leadership of Rahul Bajaj for more than three decades, the company has released many successful brands of two-wheelers like Bajaj Chetak and recently the highly sold top brand of motorbike Bajaj Pulsar etc.
As a great strategist and business analyst, Rahul Bajaj visualized the necessity of safe and hazel free transport availability, for the average Indian household. He played key role in the design and development of Bajaj Chetak scooters in India. This shows his concern towards common-man.
Even today, we see many two-wheelers and three-wheelers on Indian roads with the logo of Bajaj. Bajaj Group has a very old history of 85yrs (found in 1926 before independence); today the company takes pride to be in the list of top ten business houses of India, with a market cap of about Rs. 78,000 cr. and functions with deep social commitment and practices the highest norms of good corporate governance.
Bajaj Auto ranks fourth in the world in manufacturing scooters (two-wheelers) and three-wheelers.
Rahul Bajaj is an industrialist with new thoughts and ideas; therefore his entrepreneurial spirit is recognized internationally. He made up to his mark and established Bajaj Group as India’s top companies. He maintained his reputation with healthy competition and never involved in making business at the cost of others’ ideas all the time and remained spotless and clean entrepreneur in the industry.
At the time when Rahul started his business, strict licenses and permits predominantly invaded the markets. Liberalization in India has posed many challenges to the business and there was a deep slump in sale of scooters in 2001. None of these factors stood in the way of the strong entrepreneur from reaching the heights of excellence and investing in RD for innovation and introducing high quality, performance, and new models of two-wheelers.
Under the helm of Rahul, Bajaj Group has diversified into various business verticals ranging from automobiles, home appliances, lighting, iron and steel, insurance, travel and finance; serving needs of all categories of consumers. Rahul Bajaj applied his cross-pollinated ideas on the growth of the company and turned it around from a company of Rs.72 million to Rs.46.16 billion.
Bajaj group works in various corners of the globe across several countries in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South and South East Asia. This was possible by striking decisiveness and assertiveness of Rahul Bajaj even at turbulent times and his great business acumen.
On personal front, he is more a human than a businessman. He is very liberal to his employees and gives them lot of independence and room to learn, create and innovate while at work. This makes his employees involved and interested in working in an open and friendly environment, which is not possible by coercion.
This shows his empathy towards employees and his relationship with them. This resulted in smooth operations of Bajaj Group ever since and paved way for building a great organization. He often featured regularly in magazines like Asia week; Pune times etc.
Rahul Bajaj became exemplary for young entrepreneurs of India, due to his achievements and worth following leadership qualities.
After completing his MBA at Harvard in USA, Rahul Bajaj returned to India with plans of extension of business. Rahul Bajaj started working as the CEO of Bajaj Group at the young age of twenty-six in 1965. He established Bajaj Group as top player in India with his tremendous efforts and seamless hard work.
After thoroughly understanding the business environment as a whole, he set up factories at Akurdi and Waluj.
Rahul Bajaj was very much inspired by the famous Vespa scooters made by Piaggio of Italy and became the Indian licensee for the make in 1960. Bajaj Auto began manufacturing their first two-wheelers in the following year. In 1977 Piaggio of Italy, maker of vespa scooters filed patent infringement suit and blocked the sales of Bajaj scooters in United stated, United Kingdom, West- Germany and Honkong, after the expiration of technical collaboration agreement with the company.
The export of Bajaj scooters was negated from Rs 133.2mn in year 1980-81 to Rs 54mn in year 1981-82. By the year 1970-1977, Bajaj Autos produced 100,000 vehicles, including the three-wheeler goods carrier early in the decade, the Bajaj Super and three-wheeled rear engine Auto rickshaw later.
In 1980’s although it was tough time to get licenses and permits, Rahul as a man with will power succeeded in establishing factories at Akurdi and Waluj. In 1980, Bajaj Auto was India’s topmost scooter manufacturing company. After enjoying a decade of success, Bajaj Chetak was launched. The sale of two-wheelers was at its peak due to oil crisis and two-wheelers were cheaper in price, maintenance and more fuel-efficient as compared to cars.
There was a very high demand for Chetak and the waiting time for the scooter was unbelievably high as 10yrs. In 1996, Bajaj Auto was the only large Indian company without any foreign investment or partnership.
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