Rahul Bajaj, India’s Inspiring Businessman, Passes Away At 83, Leaves The Business World In Shock

Deep Gautam
5 Min Read

Rahul Bajaj, a renowned businessman and the founder of a very well recognized Bajaj Auto, died on Saturday at 83. He had been admitted to the Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune a month ago for pneumonia and heart problems. He was 83. Bajaj is survived by his wife Rupa, son Rajiv and daughter Deepa, son Sanjiv and daughter Shefali, daughter Sunaina and son Manish.

Described by many as one of the icons of Indian industry, he was a stalwart of the business space for over six decades. The businessman made history when he took over his family’s primary firm, Bajaj Auto Ltd., from his father in 1965 at the age of 27. In April last year, Rahul Bajaj had resigned as Chairman of Bajaj Auto but continued as its Chairman Emeritus for five years.

In a statement from the Bajaj company, they reported that Rahul Bajaj died in the afternoon of February 12, 2022, in the presence of his closest family members. According to an official, the entrepreneur had been ill for some time and passed away around 2:30 p.m. today afternoon.

The Maharashtra government has announced that he will be accorded a state funeral tomorrow.

Who Was Rahul Bajaj?

Rahul Bajaj, the chairman of the Bajaj Group and a philanthropist, was born on June 10, 1938, in Kolkata, India. The University of Delhi awarded him a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He went on to get a law degree from the Government Law College in Mumbai and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School. Rahul Bajaj’s grandfather, Jamnalal Bajaj, founded Bajaj Auto in 1945 as a manufacturer of scooters. Under Rahul’s leadership, that turnover grew to Rs 12,000 crore from just Rs 7.2 crore.

In 2008, Rahul Bajaj split Bajaj Auto into three units: Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv and a holding company. His sons Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj are now managing the company’s day-to-day affairs.

Today Rahul Bajaj’s sons Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj manage the company’s daily affairs.

According to the publication, he was rated No. 722 on the Forbes 2016 list of the world’s billionaires, with a net worth of US$2.4 billion. In 2001, he received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour, and other honorary doctorates from various institutions.

Rahul Bajaj has served as president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice (1979-80 and 1999–2000). He was also awarded the CII President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in 2017. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament, in 2006 and served until 2010. As of February 2021, Rahul Bajaj had an estimated net worth of $8.2 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the world, according to Forbes.

Tributes From The Law Makers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude to Rahul Bajaj by saying, “In the realm of trade and industry, Shri Rahul Bajaj Ji made significant contributions that would be remembered for a long time. On top of being successful in business, he was dedicated to community service and a terrific conversationalist. He was distraught by Rahul’s death, he further added.

According to President Ram Nath Kovind, “We were shocked and saddened to hear about Shri Rahul Bajaj’s passing. He was a leading light of Indian industry, and he was adamant about the country’s interests. His professional life represented India’s business sector’s development and inherent strength. A gap has been left in business due to his passing.

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, said, “The revelation of the death of the country’s most prominent businessman, Rahul Bajaj ji, came as a shock. He made a significant contribution to the country’s growth on the economic front. The song ‘Buland Bharat Ki Buland Awaz’ become a staple in every family’s repertoire. My sincere homage to someone with such a wonderful personality. May the Lord receive the spirit of the dead and set it at his feet.”

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