Bajaj, the industrialist who minced no words in calling a spade a spade, is no
more. He was the cowboy of Indian auto industry, who feared no one. Rahul
Bajaj, who was ailing for some time, breathed his last on February 12, 2020 at
around 2.30pm. He was 83.
Bajaj who was conferred the Padma Bhushan for his services as an industrialist,
was a recipient of several awards, besides having honorary doctorates from many
is with deep sorrow that I inform you about the passing away of Rahul Bajaj,
husband of the late Rupa Bajaj and father of Rajiv and Deepa, Sanjiv and
Shefali and Sunaina and Manish. He passed away on the afternoon of February 12,
2022 in the presence of his closest family members,” a statement from Bajaj
on June 10, 1938, Rahul Bajaj completed his graduation in Economic Honours from
St Stephen’s College, Delhi University. This was in 1958. He also had a degree
in Law from Bombay University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Bajaj became the CEO of Bajaj Auto in 1968 and served the company as its boss
till in 2005 when he stepped down from his executive role for his son Rajiv Bajaj
to take over as the company’s managing director. In April 2021, Rahul Bajaj
stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto. The Bajaj Group consisted
of almost 25 companies that included the likes of Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance,
Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Electricals and Bajaj Allianz, among others.
“in your face” statements and views always ensured that journalists had no
dearth of “spicy” stories. As president of the Confederation of Indian Industry
(CII) for two terms, he was quite frank when it came to his honest views on
government policies. In his post Budget statements to the media as the CII
president, he minced no words when it came to either praising or criticising
the Budget. It is this bold, no holds barred spirit that has clearly been
inherited by his son Rajiv Bajaj.
Unlike his dear friend, the late Brij Mohan Lall Munjal of #HeroMotoCorp
(then #HeroHonda), his closest rival, who was well guarded in his
statements to the media, Rahul Bajaj was like a cowboy from the good old
western movies who fired with precision from his hip. It was a treat
to see the stalwarts of the Indian automobile industry...#RahulBajaj, #BrijMohanLalMunjal
and #VenuSrinivasan backslapping each other and sharing great moments
together at events that brought them all together. Real MEN who walked this
planet. #VenuSrinivasan of #tvsmotorcompany will now surely miss
those golden moments!
“Rahul Bajaj strode across the Indian
industrial landscape like a colossus. He was among the few stars who created
the Indian automotive industry. He was a
pioneer who established a culture of quality and technology. He stood for high
integrity in business and stuck to his principles. Rahul played a key role in
industry bodies around the world like World Economic Forum and CII and was very
well respected. He will be sorely missed” said Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS
Motor Company in a press statement.
entire Automobile Industry joins me in expressing our deep sorrow on the sad
demise of Shri Rahul Bajaj, Chairman Emeritus at Bajaj Auto.
Ayukawa, President, SIAM said in a statement, “He was a great industrialist who
built an empire on sound principles and left a legacy that makes India proud
with presence in several countries. He was SIAM President during 1976-77 and
made invaluable contribution to the Indian Automobile industry. The greatness
of his personality lay in his simplicity, accessibility, frank and honest
communication just like his visionary entrepreneurship. SIAM pays homage to
this great leader. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this
tragic time. May God bless the departed soul.”
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