Former Bajaj Chairman Rahul Bajaj passed away in Pune on Saturday. He was 83 years old. Bajaj was suffering from cancer for a long time. He was hospitalized for the past one month.
Rahul Bajaj, former chairman of Bajaj Group and founder of Bajaj Motors, has passed away at the age of 83. He was battling cancer for a long time. Rahul Bajaj was born on 10 June 1938 in Kolkata. Rahul Bajaj was from a Marwari businessman family. Rahul Bajaj held the responsibility of Bajaj Group for a long time. In the year 1965, he took the command of Bajaj in his hands.
Rahul Bajaj was the chairman of Bajaj Group for nearly 50 years. In the year 2001, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award. Rahul Bajaj was the grandson of freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj. He did his studies from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi itself, although he reached Mumbai to get a law degree. Under his leadership, the turnover of Bajaj Auto reached from 7.2 crores to 12 thousand crores and became the country’s leading scooter and two wheeler seller.
Rahul Bajaj had close family friendly relations with the Nehru family for three generations. Rahul’s father Kamalnayan and Indira Gandhi had studied in the same school for some time. It was his tenure in which Bajaj became the top scooter maker. During the year 2005, Rahul started giving the responsibilities of the company in the hands of his son and made the son the MD of the company.
On the death of famous industrialist Rahul Bajaj, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said that I knew him for decades. He was our family friend. He and I have spent many moments in the Rajya Sabha as well. Apart from this, talks took place during the session and also in the Central Hall. I had a conversation with him for 30 minutes only a few months back.
Dr. Purvez Grant, Managing Trustee of Ruby Hall Clinic said that he had pneumonia and also had heart problems. Rahul Bajaj breathed his last at 2.30 pm. During this, close members of his family were present with him.
Rahul was born on June 10, 1938 in Kolkata to Marwari businessman Kamalnayan Bajaj and Savitri Bajaj. Family friendship was going on in Bajaj and Nehru family for three generations. Rahul’s father Kamalnayan and Indira Gandhi had studied in the same school for some time. In 2001, he has also received the honor of Padma Bhushan.
In 1965, took over the responsibility of Bajaj Group
Rahul Bajaj took over the responsibility of Bajaj Group in 1965. Under his leadership, the turnover of Bajaj Auto reached from 7.2 crores to 12 thousand crores and it became the country’s leading company selling scooters. He was the chairman of Bajaj Group for 50 years. In 2005, Rahul started handing over the command of the company to his son Rajiv. Then he made Rajiv the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, after which the demand for the company’s products in the automobile industry increased not only in the domestic market but also in the international market.
The first Bajaj scooter was made in the garage shed
The roots of the country’s legendary two-wheeler company Bajaj are associated with the freedom struggle. Jamnalal Bajaj (1889–1942) was a successful industrialist of his era, who also took part in the freedom struggle. He was the ‘Bhamashah’ of Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle. In 1926 he formed a firm named as Seth Bachraj, adopting him to do trading, Bachraj & Company. After his death in 1942 at the age of 53, his son-in-law Rameshwar Nevatia and two sons Kamalnayan and Ramkrishna Bajaj established the Bachraj Trading Corporation.
In 1948, the company launched two wheelers and three wheelers assembled from imported components. The first Bajaj Vespa scooter was made in a garage shed in Gurgaon. After this, Bachhraj Trading Corporation set up a manufacturing plant at Kurla, which was later shifted to Akurdi. Here the Bajaj family, in partnership with Firodiaz, set up separate plants to manufacture two-wheeler and three-wheeler vehicles. In 1960, the company was renamed as Bajaj Auto.
People earn lakhs by selling booking numbers of Bajaj
Very suitable for small families and small traders with low cost and low maintenance Bajaj brand Vespa scooters became so popular very quickly that people had to wait 15 to 20 years to buy Bajaj scooters in the 70s and 80s. Many people in those days earned lakhs by selling the booking numbers of Bajaj scooters and built houses.
Told the teacher ‘You just can’t beat a Bajaj’
Rahul Bajaj, who called his teacher ‘You just can’t beat a Bajaj’ when he was expelled from the class room in his childhood, was not able to work under anyone. There was a dispute between Rahul Bajaj and Firodia family regarding the division of business. After a long legal battle in September 1968, Firodiaz got Bajaj Tempo and Rahul Bajaj became the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Auto. His competitors then were Escort, Enfield, API, LML and Kinetic. All of them had 25% share in the two wheeler market and 10% in the three wheeler market then. The rest of ours was locked by Bajaj.
Received honors like Padma Bhushan and highest civilian of France
In 2001, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the field of industry and trade. He has also been awarded the highest civilian honor of France named ‘Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour’. He was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2010. Rahul Bajaj was elected President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice in 1979-80 and 1999-2000. The then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee honored him with Lifetime Achievement in 2017.
People are paying tribute on the death of Rahul Bajaj
Nitin Gadkari has paid tribute to Rahul Bajaj. He wrote- ‘My heartfelt tribute to Rahul Bajaj ji, a successful entrepreneur, social worker and former chairman of Bajaj. I have had a personal relationship with Padma Bhushan awardee Rahul ji for many years.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has also tweeted expressing grief over the death of Rahul Bajaj. He has written- ‘Rahul Bajaj was the person who gave the common man the power to ride on a two-wheeler. In his death, we have lost a visionary and articulate business leader. I extend my condolences to his family.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has also expressed grief over the death of Rahul Bajaj. He wrote- ‘I am saddened by the death of industrialist Rahul Bajaj at the age of 83. He was a great friend and I will always miss him. The country has lost a great son and country builder. om Shanti.’
NCP leader and former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has also expressed grief over the death of Rahul Bajaj. He wrote- ‘Saddened by the death of Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajaj, who played the role of Chairman for a long time in India’s corporate history. He had made Bajaj a household brand. My condolences to his family. om Shanti.’
Union Minister Raosaheb Danve said- His passing is a big loss for us, industry and Pune. He was not only an industrialist but also a social worker.
Devendra Fadnavis said- The family he belonged to had a big contribution in the independence of the country. This family had a major contribution in the automobile sector. He was not just an industrialist but a social worker running many institutions. His passing is a big loss not only to Maharashtra but to the entire country.
Baramati MP Supriya Sule said- I used to call him Tau ji. He had domestic relations with our family. This is our personal loss. He always worked for the country, state and society. He helped thousands of people. His wife Roopa Aunty was Marathi and we always used to visit her on Holi Deepawali.