Rahul Bajaj, former chairman of Bajaj Group, passes away at 83

Bajaj was not keeping well for quite some time and passed away at around 14.30 hours on Saturday, a company official said.
Rahul Bajaj
Rahul Bajaj
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Former chairman of the Bajaj Group Rahul Bajaj passed away in Pune on Saturday, February 12, a company official said. He was 83. Bajaj was not keeping well for quite some time and passed away at around 1430 hrs on Saturday, the official said. His last rites will be held on Sunday.

Rahul Bajaj was the former chairman of the Bajaj Group, well known for motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto and financial services arm Bajaj Finserv. In April 2021, Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto, as his cousin Niraj Bajaj took over. 

Bajaj was one of the original champions of Make in India and one of the movers of the informal Bombay Club in the early 1990s which wanted to level the playing field for Indian companies as the influx of foreign companies started.

He is credited with the ubiquitous two wheeler in Bajaj Auto and the cult campaign of 'Hamara Bajaj-Buland Bharat ki Buland Tasveer' which brought slick world class advertising to Indian TV screens and a corporate brand campaign that resonated with the Indian public much before TV ads took off.

Bajaj was seen as a bold industry leader who always spoke his mind even to those in the government. Bajaj is also credited with building the industry lobby, CII of which he was president for two terms.

He was a former Rajya Sabha member and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2001.

Bajaj is survived by two sons, Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj, and a daughter Sunaina Kejriwal. 

Condolences soon poured in on social media from several quarters. 

“Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Mr. Rahul Bajaj, Chairman Emeritus of Bajaj Group and a philanthropist. I convey my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family and friends,” tweeted MK Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. 

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "Distressed by the demise of automobile doyen Sh Rahul Bajaj Ji. He will be remembered as a fearless & dynamic leader who brought the iconic two-wheeler to India. My condolences to the family & his loved ones. Om Shanti"

“I am deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology - a Bajaj Bike!,” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar. 

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai said he was a business leader who always spoke truth to power even while building a formidable business group. 

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