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Who is Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj

About Rahul Bajaj

Who is Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj was the chairman of Bajaj Auto. He was born on June 30, 1938 in Kolkata. Rahul's grandfather Jamnalal Bajaj founded the Bajaj Group in 1926 and his father Kamalnayan Bajaj succeeded him un 1942. Kamalnayan started the precursor to Bajaj Auto. Within three years he expanded into new businesses, including cement, electrical appliances and scooters.
 
Rahul Bajaj graduated from St Stephen's College in Delhi in 1958  and also earned a degree in law from Bombay University. Then he went on to pursue MBA from Harvard Business School in the US and became CEO of Bajaj Auto in 1968.

Rahul Bajaj passed away on February 12, 2022 at the age of 83.
 
Rahul Bajaj's journey as an entreprenuer
 
Rahul Bajaj became a part of his father's group as Deputy General Manager. He was in charge of key departments in the company like marketing, accounts, purchase, and audit. etc. Under the guidance of Naval K Firodia, CEO of Bajaj Auto, Rahul learnt the nuances of the business. Later Firodia and the Bajajs parted ways. After his father passed away in 1972, Rahul was appointed the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto. Under his leadership the company witnessed tremendous growth. Rahul Bajaj built the firm in the 1970s and '80s. He grew the company’s revenues to join the Billion-dollar club. It was through his initiative that Chetak and Bajaj Super models rose to prominence in the Indian market. Originally based on Italian Vespa Sprint, Chetak was an affordable means of transportation for millions of Indians for decades and is remembered as 'Hamara Bajaj'.
 
Bajaj sales hit a low point around 2001 after market liberalisation saw Japanese competitors like Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki introduce new motorcycles and change the dynamics of India's market. But, it soon recovered from the loss with effective marketing and promotion. Bajaj Auto reinvented itself and came up with Bajaj Pulsar Motorcycle.
 
In 2008, he split Bajaj Auto into three units - Bajaj Auto, finance company Bajaj Finserv and a holding company. His sons are now managing the day to day affairs of the company.
 
Rahul Bajaj has been the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
 
Awards and recognitions
 
He was appointed the chairman of Indian Airlines in 1986 and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2001. In June 2006, Rahul Bajaj was elected to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. In 2005, he resigned as chairman, his son Rajiv became the Group's managing director. In 2013, the Bajaj family won the 'Distinguished Family of the Year' award. They won the award for dedicating their wealth and time for the public good.
 
The family runs schools like balwadis, vocational and technical training institutes, which includes adopting ITIs. They train rural women in tailoring and embroidery. They have set up hospitals and rural development programmes under the umbrella of Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha.
 
Rahul Bajaj's 'fearless' approach
 
He was known in corporate circles as the man who does not mince words when it comes to any matter of national interest or echoing corporate India's woes.
 
On November 30, 2019 at an awards event organised by the Economic Times in Mumbai, Rahul Bajaj said that he was “born anti-establishment”.
 
Rahul Bajaj was always regarded as plain-spoken and his friends called him 'fearless'. In the 1970s, when Italy's Piaggio didn’t renew Bajaj's license, he began manufacturing his own brand of scooters with names like Chetak and Super.
 
Under Indira Gandhi, the government regulated production under a system called the License Raj. Owing to the restrictions, buyers had to book and wait for years to receive scooter. However, Rahul protested against the License Raj. In an interview, Rahul said that if he had to go to jail for production of a commodity that most Indians needed, he didn't mind.
 
On November 30,2019 he triggered a sharp debate on Twitter after he said that there is an atmosphere of fear in the country and people are afraid to criticise the government.
 
"When UPA II was in power, we could criticise anyone, now an atmosphere of fear exists," Rahul Bajaj said. He mentioned the NDA government's lack of action against mob lynchings and BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s recent remarks on Nathuram Godse to a room of India Inc veterans and top political leaders. The veteran industrialist's candid remarks were well received by the critics of the incumbent government.  

 
 

Latest Updates on Rahul Bajaj

Market capitalisation of Bajaj Group tops Rs 10 trn for first time

All the five listed firms belonging to the late Rahul Bajaj-Group ended with gains amid a rally in the market

Updated On : 05 Dec 2023 | 12:59 AM IST
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India at 75: 'Hamara Bajaj' to Luna - 15 brands that you will never forget

The products may have lived on or given way to others, but the brands never get old. From Bajaj Scooters to Luna, Maruti 800 and Rajdoot, here's a look at 15 brands that remain a part of our lives

Updated On : 12 Aug 2022 | 2:25 PM IST
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India at 75: From Ambanis to Bajaj - 20 doyens who shaped India's business

Each one of them has played a key role in the building of India, taking ideas and giving them wings. Here's a look at 20 leaders of India Inc who are inseparable from the idea of India

Updated On : 12 Aug 2022 | 11:19 AM IST
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World Economic Forum 2022: Remembering Rahul Bajaj at Davos Annual Meet

It was Rahul Bajaj's insistence 40 years ago that made Indian business leaders attend the World Economic Forum WEF event.

Updated On : 25 May 2022 | 2:09 PM IST
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Going solo in a waltz

In her biography of Rahul Bajaj, Gita Piramal writes how Indira Gandhi proved to be a game changer in India's two-wheeler story and why Bajaj chose to go it alone

Updated On : 21 Mar 2022 | 2:20 AM IST
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The world's favourite Indian

To achieve its potential, Indian industry must live the ethos of Rahul Bajaj

Updated On : 17 Feb 2022 | 2:45 AM IST
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Remembering Rahul Bajaj: Transparent, frank and not ready to bend the rules

Rahul Bajaj was a true nationalist who believed in the 'make in India' story, says R C Bhargava

Updated On : 14 Feb 2022 | 6:15 AM IST
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Rahul Bajaj was a principled nationalist: Bharat Forge MD Baba Kalyani

He was always the life of the party, always jovial, always wanting to share his thoughts and points of view

Updated On : 14 Feb 2022 | 6:05 AM IST
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Industrialist Rahul Bajaj cremated with full state honours in Pune

The last rites of former Bajaj Group chairman, Rahul Bajaj, were performed in Pune on Sunday with full state honours with representatives of India Inc, politicians and common people bidding a final adieu to the veteran industrialist.

Updated On : 14 Feb 2022 | 12:59 AM IST
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No-nonsense industrialist

Rahul Bajaj was a rare India Inc voice

Updated On : 14 Feb 2022 | 1:29 AM IST
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Live news: Jolt for BJP ahead of Bengal civic polls as 3 leaders rejoin TMC

Live news updates: Industrialist Rahul Bajaj will be cremated in Pune with state honours, Election Commission eases rules for campaigning.

Updated On : 13 Feb 2022 | 8:00 PM IST
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FM Nirmala Sitharaman condoles death of noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj

Under his stewardship, flagship firm Bajaj Auto saw its turnover growing to Rs 12,000 crore from just Rs 7.2 crore with the firm's scooters becoming the mainstay

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 8:39 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj:Man who called spade a spade even if it meant ruffling feathers

Bajaj, 83, who was the Chairman Emeritus of the Bajaj Group when he breathed his last on Saturday, was starkly different from his usually diplomatic peers

Updated On : 13 Feb 2022 | 12:55 PM IST
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President Kovind, PM Modi pay tributes to Rahul Bajaj

The president said Bajaj's career reflected the rise and innate strength of the nation's corporate sector and his death leaves a void in the world of industry

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 6:38 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj: Mahindra, Mazumdar-Shaw among industry leaders to pay tribute

Industry leaders on Saturday paid rich tributes to noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj (83) who passed away due to illness at his home in Pune.

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 6:34 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj to be cremated with state honours, says Maharashtra CM

According to a Bajaj group official, Rahul Bajaj's last rites will be held on Sunday

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 6:27 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj passes away: Life and times of former Bajaj Group chairman

One of the most successful business leaders of India, Bajaj was elected to Rajya Sabha in June 2006 and remained a member till 2010

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 5:58 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj always stood for very high integrity in business: TVS chairman

No point in time did our business rivalry or some of the issues that we had between our companies came in way of him giving me a smile, says Venu Srinivasan

Updated On : 14 Feb 2022 | 1:38 AM IST
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End of an era: Noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj passes away at 83

Condolences poured in on Twitter from various quarters over the former Bajaj Group chairman's death

Updated On : 13 Feb 2022 | 12:49 PM IST
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Rahul Bajaj a lighthouse for young entrepreneurs: Sharad Pawar

'India has lost an industrialist, a philanthropist and a lighthouse for young entrepreneurs! Hamara Bajaj,' Pawar said

Updated On : 12 Feb 2022 | 5:35 PM IST
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