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20 July, 2008

How Rahul Bajaj built his empire

A few days ago, I made a reference here to a Dalit group’s call for boycott of Bajaj products. What prompted the group to issue the call was Rahul Bajaj’s opposition to reservation for Dalits and other socially and educationally backward classes of people, which is sanctioned by the Constitution of India.

"Anonymous", who posted a comment, asked, “How honest are these Great Guys in their business dealings?”

As far as Rahul Bajaj is concerned, we have his own words to go by. Returning to India with an MBA from the famed Harvard Business School in 1964, he entered the family business. Four years later, at age 30, he became CEO of the Bajaj Auto Limted, founded by his father in 1945.

Rahul Bajaj was one of five distinguished alumni whom Harvard honoured in 2005. A document in which the Harvard Business School narrates his achievements. It says the company had a licence to manufacture 20,000 scooters a year. It goes on to quote Rahul Bajaj as saying: "Ignoring a government regulation, I increased my volume by more than the permitted 25 percent of my licensed capacity. If I had to go to jail for the excess production of a commodity that most Indians needed, I didn't mind." (Italics added).

Of course, the grandson of Jamnalal Bajaj, who, apart from being a businessman, was a freedom-fighter and friend of Mahatma Gandhi, did not have to go to jail for breaking the law. On the contrary, the nation rewarded him with a Padma Bhushan in 2001.

The document from which the Rahul Bajaj quotation has been taken can be seen at the website of the Harvard Business School.


Rajendra Lakhotia said...

There can be no doubt about Mr. Bajaj 's integrity and strict adherence to business ethics even in the face of great adversities under the licence Raj where he was the only business leader who refused to either bribe or bend to governemt pressures etcetc wish there were more of his calibre.

We certainly need leaders like him in parliament.
Rajendra Lakhotia

Anonymous said...

All said and done about integrity,what about social responsibility.Look at this great man's mindset-they assume that people in reserved category have no intelligence.These guys are born with silver spoons,inherit bussiness,do they know about untouchability,the greatest blot on this country where human beings are treated worse than animals.These people talk about racism-indians treated badly in west,what do these guys do here.
If he is so great,fullof integrity,why he cannot support this cause that would bring about social justice.