Rahul Bajaj
India
Rahul Bajaj
  • Chair, Bajaj Group (Diversified)
Born Kolkata, India, 1938. Bachelors, University of Delhi (1958); MBA, Harvard Business School (1964).
“We were in a socialist raj. You couldn’t make anything until you got an industrial license and you couldn’t make more than the license capacity.”

Summary

Rahul Bajaj discusses the origins of his family business, including the close association with Mahatma Gandhi, and how he led Bajaj Auto to great success with the iconic three wheel scooter. This was achieved despite the “socialist raj” era in India between the 1950s and 1980s, when the delivery period for a Bajaj scooter could be ten years because the company was not allowed to increase capacity. Later, Bajaj discusses the public disagreement with his son Rajiv who decided to stop manufacturing scooters in 2009 while transitioning into motorcycle manufacturing. The interview concludes with incisive insights on corporate responsibility and philanthropy.

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Rahul Bajaj discusses the origins of his family business, including the close association with Mahatma Gandhi, and how he led Bajaj Auto to great success with the iconic three wheel scooter. This was achieved despite the “socialist raj” era in India between the 1950s and 1980s, when the delivery period for a Bajaj scooter could be ten years because the company was not allowed to increase capacity. Later, Bajaj discusses the public disagreement with his son Rajiv who decided to stop manufacturing scooters in 2009 while transitioning into motorcycle manufacturing. The interview concludes with incisive insights on corporate responsibility and philanthropy.
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Video Clips by Topic

Social Responsibility

Rahul Bajaj, Chair of the diversified Bajaj Group, criticizes the Indian government's Companies Act in 2013 which mandated that large companies had to spend 2 per cent of their pre-tax profits on defined areas of CSR.


Innovation

Rahul Bajaj, the Chair of the India-based diversified business group Bajaj Group, discusses how he missed anticipating the change when India’s market moved from being primarily a market for scooters to one of motorcycles between 1998 and 2001.
Keywords: India, Innovation


Corruption

Rahul Bajaj, Chair of the diversified business group Bajaj Group, describes how a government minister in India approached him for a favor, which he refused.
Keywords: India, Corruption


Family Business

Rahul Bajaj, Chair of the diversified Bajaj Group in India, explains the different strategic visions of family managers and professional managers by considering the incentives and loyalty of each with reference to his own firm.


bajaj 1

Rahul Bajaj, head of the India-based diversified business group Bajaj Group, talks about the days of License Raj in India before 1991 when Bajaj scooters had a ten-year delivery period. He discusses how people had to either book the scooter the minute a girl was born or buy it on the black market, as it was a necessary part of the bride's dowry. 


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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Interview Citation Format

"Interview with Rahul Bajaj, interviewed by Srikant M. Datar, July 8, 2014, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/creating-emerging-markets/."