Pune, 12th February 2022: Rahul Bajaj, chairman emeritus of the Indian conglomerate Bajaj Group, passed away today. He was 83.
He was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2001. In 2008, he split Bajaj Auto into three units – Bajaj Auto, finance company Bajaj Finserv and a holding company.
He was born on 10 June 1938 in a Agrawal family and is the grandson of Indian independence fighter, Jamnalal Bajaj. He was an alumnus of Harvard Business School in the US, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Government Law College, Mumbai and Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai.
He took over the Bajaj Group in 1965. In 2005, Rahul Bajaj stepped down from his role and his son Rajiv became the Group’s managing director. Bajaj got elected to the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament in the 2006-2010 period. On the Forbes 2016 list of the world’s billionaires, he was ranked No. 722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.
Rahul Bajaj was elected as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice in 1979-80 and 1999–2000. For his outstanding work to the Indian industry, the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented him CII President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017.
In April 2021, Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto, ceding the position to his cousin, Niraj Bajaj. He remained with the company as chairman emeritus.
His sons Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj are involved in the management of his companies. His daughter Sunaina is married to Manish Kejriwal, the former head of Temasek India.