Rahul Bajaj: Buland Bharat ki, buland tasweer

Rahul never minced words when it comes to being forthright and vociferous. He's one powerful voice to express his righteous indignation, if it's warranted, on behalf of the business community. He didn't hesitate to register his doubts and protest against economic liberalisation directly to Dr Manmohan Singh.

By A Saye Sekhar  Published on  13 Feb 2022 1:27 PM GMT
Rahul Bajaj: Buland Bharat ki, buland tasweer

Few businessmen in India make a mark and leave an impression, as indelible as JRD Tata or Ghanshyam Das Birla or Dhirubhai Ambani did.

Businesses must be done in style, but not as a nefarious activity. Most Indian businesses too are done well, but only a few have achieved the accolade of "well done".

Rahul Bajaj, the grandson of the legendary Jamnalal Bajaj, who died at 83 on Saturday, could surely be perched along side them without any doubt and deserves the "very well done" tag.

Becoming the 3G (third generation) businessman, long before the coinage of the usage of 3G, Rahul indeed acted like one. He never chickened out when he had to call a spade a spade, even in his capacity as president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Harvard MBA in the days of yore itself, the 3G Bajaj girded up his loins to carry on the family business, which was largely into electrical and steel, as far back as in 1965. The most popular Bajaj Auto that clocked a measly (then princely) turnover of Rs 7.2 crore back then was set on a fast track by Rahul Bajaj.

Bajaj Chetak

Taking the name of Rajput king Rana Pratap's horse, Chetak, the business tycoon scripted a resounding success of Bajaj Auto to hit a whopping Rs. 12,000 crore, shifting the shaft to the fourth gear on India's very dearest Bajaj Chetak in the '80s. The Chetak scooted with pride for at least a decade and a half, stunning the zameen and the aasmaan (earth and heaven). It rode the road of popularity with alacrity.

Rahul never minced words when it comes to being forthright and vociferous. He's one powerful voice to express his righteous indignation, if it's warranted, on behalf of the business community. He didn't hesitate to register his doubts and protest against economic liberalisation directly to Dr Manmohan Singh.

His recent jibe was at the Home Minister Amit Shah that he wasn't sure whether the latter would appreciate, if the government policy was criticised.

He rubbed shoulders with several politicians of many parties.

Not an absentee landlord

Rahul demonstrated an uncanny knack of being a resident boss, building his house amid uninhabitable conditions, at the Bajaj Auto factory, saying he did not want to be an "absentee landlord". A powerful statement in its true sense. Not an easy one for any affluent businessman.

Rahul Bajaj openly expressed his agony when "Chetak" was relegated from being the favourite of the business house to let Pulsar zoom at the pride of place. But, he had to honour the decision of his son, Rajiv Bajaj. "Chetak" is making a re-entry as an electric scooter.

The group branched out into the business of finance, Bajaj FinServ, and it commands a very high share price. The market cap of the Bajaj group is pegged at Rs 8.5 lakh crore, a business behemoth by all means.

Rahul Bajaj was a member of Rajya Sabha between 2006 and 2010.

The most respected businessman of India will be long remembered with the most popular advertisement of the Bajaj scooters, buland Bharat ki buland tasweer…hamara Bajaj


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