It’s the end of an era at Bajaj Auto. Effective May 1, Rahul Bajaj, Bajaj Group patriarch who has been at the helm of the company for over five decades, will move to the role of chairman emeritus, making way for his younger sibling Niraj Bajaj.
This follows his resignation from the holding company Bajaj Holdings & Investments and listed companies that include Bajaj Auto and Bajaj Finserv, on January 30, 2020. He had been wholetime director and chairman of the automobile-making arm since April 1, 1970.
“Rahul Bajaj has resigned as non-executive director and chairman of the company. He has been appointed as chairman emeritus of the auto major for a term of five years with effect from May,” the company said in a stock exchange notification.
He tendered his resignation considering his age. His resignation will come into effect from the close of business hours on April 30, 2021, the company said.
He oversaw the successful transition of Bajaj Auto from the “Hamara Bajaj days” through its popular Chetak brand of scooters to World’s Favourite Indian — Bajaj now sells its motorcycles to over 70 countries of the world.
Popular for his plain talk and critique of the government’s policies since the pre-liberalisation era, the Padma Bhushan awardee is a Harvard Business School alumnus. He is known in corporate circles as a man who does not mince words when it comes to any matter of national interests 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 has made a huge contribution to the success of the Company and the Group over the last five decades. Considering his tremendous experience and in the interest of the company and to continue to benefit from his experience, knowledge and wisdom from time to time in an advisory role and as a mentor, the Board of Directors at its meeting held today and as recommended by Nomination and Remuneration Committee has approved the appointment of Shri Rahul Bajaj as Chairman Emeritus of the Company for a term of five years with effect from 1 May 2021, the company statement said.