Rahul Bajaj, the chairman of Bajaj Auto, resigned from his executive position on Thursday, April 29. With effect from May 1, 2021, Niraj Bajaj, a non-executive director of the company, will take over as Chairman of Bajaj Auto, succeeding Rahul Bajaj. Rahul Bajaj has submitted his resignation as non-executive Director and Chairman of the company, according to a regulatory filing by the auto major to the BSE today. Rahul Bajaj’s appointment as non-executive chairman began on April 1, 2021, and he will leave the role at the end of the current term.
Rahul Bajaj calls it a day
Given his age, Rahul Bajaj, who has served as Chairman and non-executive director of the Company since 1972 and the Group for five decades, has tendered his resignation as non-executive director and Chairman of the Company on April 30, 2021. According to Bajaj Auto, Rahul Bajaj has been a director of the company since April 1, 1970. He was most recently reappointed by the company’s board of directors for a five-year term beginning April 1, 2015.
Rahul Bajaj, according to Bajaj Auto, has contributed significantly to the company’s growth over the last five decades. The Board of Directors approved Rahul Bajaj’s appointment as Chairman Emeritus of the Company for a term of five years, beginning May 1, 2021, based on his extensive experience and the company’s gain from his expertise. This will be discussed at the upcoming annual meeting for shareholder approval.
In 1965, when India was still a closed economy, Rahul Bajaj took over the Bajaj company. He steered the company, which was known for its Bajaj Chetak scooters – a product that was an aspirational icon for middle-class Indian families at the time – to new heights. He led the company when India liberalised and became an open economy in the early 1990s, when Japanese motorcycle manufacturers began to challenge Bajaj Auto’s scooters.
Under his leadership, the group’s flagship company, Bajaj Auto, increased its revenue from Rs 7.2 crores to Rs 12,000 crores, expanded its product range, and established a global presence. From 2006 to 2010, the vocal Bajaj served in the Rajya Sabha as one of India’s most influential business leaders.
Niraj Bajaj and his journey so far:
- Niraj Bajaj has worked in the industry for over 35 years. He was born on October 10, 1954, and attended the Cathedral and John Connon School for his primary and secondary education. He earned his B.Com degree from Mumbai’s prestigious Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. He graduated from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, with a master’s degree in business administration.
- On September 9, 2006, Niraj Bajaj was elected to the board of directors of Bajaj Auto Limited. He is also one of the Bajaj Group’s Promoter-Directors.
- He also serves on the boards of directors of Bajaj Auto Ltd and Bajaj Allianz Life, as well as other Bajaj Group entities. Nitin is Chairman of Mukand Limited and BHIL as well.
- Niraj Bajaj is also the head of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce. He was also the head of the Indian Stainless Steel Development Association and the Alloy Steel Producers Association.
- He represented India in sports before making a name for himself in the corporate world. He has been a table tennis performer for seven years, from 1970 to 1977, the last four of which he served as captain. He has won the ‘All-India Table Tennis Championship’ three times and has been ranked ‘India No. 1’ four times. He has received the Arjuna Award, India’s highest sporting honour and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar.