Mr. Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd. holds an Honours Degree in Economics from Delhi University, a degree in Law from Bombay University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Bajaj is the Chairman of the Board of many companies and is on the Executive Board of Indian School of Business (ISB). He was elected to the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha 2006-10). Mr. Bajaj was appointed the Chairman of the erstwhile Indian Airlines during 1986-89. He was nominated by the President of India as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay during 2003-06. Mr. Bajaj is a Member & former Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, Geneva, a Member of Harvard Business School's Global Advisory Board and the International Advisory Committee of NYSE Euronext. He is also a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution, Washington DC.
Bajaj Auto Ltd. is ranked as the world's fourth largest two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer. The Bajaj brand is well-known across several countries in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South and South East Asia.
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you highlights from CII marketing summit, where Mr. Rahul Bajaj said, “Bajaj Auto has been a value for money brand”.
Going forward, what is the India growth story looking like?
India is today a nation in transition. From license raj to competition, from commodity to brands, from domestic to global markets, we are expanding. Our marketing strategies have to grasp with our own realities. At the same time, Indian companies today also have to focus on foreign markets. Today you cannot have a large national company without an international footprint. To prosper, you have to compete in the global market space. You have to become a global company. Success today hinges on the ability to anticipate or better still to create a future, and who better to influence than marketing people who are closest to the markets.
Change is what drives the economy and companies should continuously see how to realign to or drive the change. In dealing with change I find few ideas useful. First, you must be great at anticipation. Secondly, you must be glued in to the present and be ready to hear the future. Often managers have too much invested in the present and this destroys their future. Thirdly, we must check our assumptions because often they become invalid. Many assume their growth and market size. But when this does not materialise and if the company has invested in growth with borrowed funds, it leads to great difficulties. In such a situation, building in a possibility of downturn is a sensible thing to do.
Do you see better markets for two wheelers?
The smaller towns are the huge market for two wheelers.
How come no foreign company owns a stake in Bajaj Auto?
Bajaj has always focused on the two-wheelers and the three-wheelers. The company retained its independence by not entering into any joint venture. No foreign company owns equity in Bajaj Auto. Bajaj Auto has been a ‘value for money’ brand.
What are international plans?
We are the market leader in motorcycles in Colombia, Central America, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
We don’t sell our motorcycles in the European region as of now.
What is the debt level in Bajaj Auto?
We have no debt over the last 30 years in our company and also in our subsidiaries.
What is your market capitalisation?
Our market capitalisation stands at Rs 700bn.