Rahul Bajaj was the chairman of Bajaj Motors for almost 50 years. He is known for taglines like ‘Hamara Bajaj’ and ‘Aap bas Bajaj ko Hara Nhi Sakte’. Rahul Bajaj was born in Calcutta which we know today as Kolkata on 30 June 1938. Rahul Bajaj graduated from St. Stephen’s and did his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Rahul Bajaj Bio/Wiki
|Born||10 June 1938, Calcutta (from 2001 till today known as Kolkata), Bengal Presidency, British India, West Bengal, India|
|Died||12 February 2022 (aged 83), Pune, Maharashtra, India. He was suffering from cancer for a long time, pneumonia, and heart problems. He was admitted to the Ruby Hall Clinic a month ago and breathed his last at 2.30 pm on Saturday.|
|Profession||CEO emeritus, Bajaj Group (Chairman, Bajaj Auto and Head, Bajaj Group)|
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Parent(s)||Kamalnayan Bajaj, Savitri Bajaj|
|Grandparent (s)||Jamnalal Bajaj, Janaki Devi Bajaj|
|Spouse(s)||Rupa Bajaj (1938-2013)|
|Children||Rajiv Bajaj, Sanjiv Bajaj, and Sunaina Kejriwal|
|Award||Padma Bhushan Award in 2001|
Alma matter/educational backgrounds
|Schooling||The Cathedral and John Connon School|
|Graduation/BA||St. Stephen’s College, Delhi|
|LLB||Harshal Law College, Mumbai|
|MBA||Harvard Business School|
The story behind Bajaj Group
Bajaj group was founded by Jamnalal Bajaj in 1926. The group, which is said to be one of the largest conglomerates in India, consists of a total of 37 companies.
Its flagship company Bajaj Auto, which was incorporated in 1945, is reportedly ranked as the fourth-largest two and three-wheeler manufacturer in the world.
Jamnalal’s grandson Rahul was born in 1938. He completed his schooling at The Cathedral and John Connon School and graduated in economics from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi in 1958.
Following this, Rahul went on to complete his degree in law from Bombay University and pursued his MBA degree from the Harvard Business School in the US. He succeeded his father Kamalnayan Bajaj and became CEO of Bajaj Auto in 1968.
Bajaj started with the Bajaj groups in 1965 and at 30, became CEO. Appointed MD after his father’s death in 1972.
Bajaj stepped down from his role in 2005 and his son Rajiv became the Group’s managing director. Bajaj led the split Bajaj Auto into three units in 2008: Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv, and a holding company.
He resigned as Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Bajaj Finserv to become Chairman Emeritus in 2019.
He diversified the group into insurance, investment, consumer finance, steel, and special alloy appliances and lamps among others.
Bajaj Chetak, inseparable from ‘Hamara Bajaj’ tune, became the symbol of the inspiration for middle-class Indian families.
Bajaj was elected as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice in 1979-80 and 1999–2000. For his outstanding work to the Indian industry, the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented him with CII President’s Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.
- Was the chairman of Erstwhile Indian Airlines (1986-89)
- Chairman of the International Business Council at the World Economic Forum
- Chairman of the board at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
- Member of the International Advisory Council at the Brookings Institution
- Member of the South Asia advisory board at Harvard Business School
Bajaj was elected to the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament, filling the seat vacated by the death of Pramod Mahajan for the 2006-2010 period and served as Rajya Sabha MP (2006-10), Bajaj was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2001.
Bajaj at the World Economic Forum’s 24th India Economic Summit in New Delhi, 2008 held in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry CII in New Delhi India The India Economic Summit 2008 will be organized jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry CII and the World Economic Forum between November 16, 18 in New Delhi.
In April month of 2021, Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto, ceding the position to his cousin, Niraj Bajaj. He remained with the company as chairman emeritus.
Rupa Bajaj (1961–2013)— Rupa, who hailed from Wardha, married Rahul in Mumbai, India in 1961. They lived in their bungalow at Akurdi for quite some time. In December 2011, the couple had celebrated the golden jubilee of their wedding anniversary.
Rupa Bajaj was always up to date with current affairs and was very well-read. She was on the Board of Empress Gardens in Pune. After moving to the Bajaj Auto Colony in Pune post-marriage, Rupa Bajaj along with the wives of the staff set up the Vanita Mandal. She, along with these women, would sew baby smocks and dresses and also knit.
All these handmade items were then sold at the Pune Club Sale. As recalled by several people, she was like a mother figure to many – family as well as the residents from the colony. She was always there for everyone.
Many of the women living in the colony would love to come to her for advice. She loved gardening and orchids and kept herself busy with growing vegetables. She took an active interest in seasonal flowers and the vegetable patch in the backyard. Most of the vegetables consumed came from the garden.
Rupa Bajaj had vast medical knowledge and she was almost half a doctor herself. Along with allopathic medical knowledge, she also knew basic Ayurvedic knowledge using natural common household herbs and ingredients to cure ailments such as colds.
She would also make a nourishing hair oil using hibiscus flowers, aloe vera, and fenugreek seeds with a coconut base. She was also fond of movies and theatre.
She died of prolonged illness at a hospital in Germany. She was brought to India by a special aircraft from Germany for cremation.
Two sons named Rajiv Bajaj, Sanjiv Bajaj, and a daughter named Sunaina Bajaj Kejriwal.
Rahul Bajaj and the Bajaj family’s wealth
According to the Forbes report, 2016 list of the world’s billionaires, Rahul Bajaj was ranked No. 722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.
Rahul Bajaj owns a 10% stake in Bajaj Auto, 10% in Bajaj Finserv, and 24% of Bajaj Holdings & Investment. He also owns a 2% stake in Bajaj Finance and 14% in-home appliance.
His net worth is estimated to be $4.4 billion. According to Forbes India’s 100 Richest People in 2019 list, the Bajaj family’s net worth stands at $9.2 billion and it is the 11th richest family in India.
Awards and accolades
- In 2001, Rahul Bajaj was nominated by President K. R. Narayan was honored with the Padma Bhushan Award.
- Was awarded the highest civilian honor of France named Night of the National Order of the Leejan of Owner.
- He was a member of the Rajya Sabha (house of elders) from 2006 to 2010.
- He was twice elected President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 1979-80 and 1999-2000.
- In 2017, President Pranab Mukherjee presented the CII President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.