Rahul Bajaj
Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto, India, co-chair of the Global India Business Meeting (14513204904) (cropped).jpg
Bajaj in 2014
Born(1938-06-10)10 June 1938
Died12 February 2022(2022-02-12) (aged 83)
Alma mater
Occupation(s)CEO emeritus, Bajaj Group
Political partyIndian National Congress
Rupa Bajaj
(m. 1961; died 2013)
Children3; including Rajiv and Sanjiv
AwardsPadma Bhushan

Rahul Bajaj (10 June 1938 – 12 February 2022) was an Indian billionaire businessman.[1] He was the chairman emeritus of the Indian conglomerate Bajaj Group.[2] He was awarded the third-highest civilian award in India, the Padma Bhushan, in 2001.[3]

Early life

Bajaj was born on 10 June 1938, to Kamalnayan Bajaj and Savitri Bajaj.[4] He was the grandson of Indian independence fighter, Jamnalal Bajaj, who was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi.[5][6] Bajaj 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.[7][8]


Bajaj speaking at the 2016 Horasis Global Meeting.
Bajaj speaking at the 2016 Horasis Global Meeting.

Bajaj took over the Bajaj Group in 1965.[9] In a career spanning over five decades, he led the turnover of the group's flagship company, Bajaj Auto, from ₹7.5 crore to ₹12,000 crore, with the company's scooter Bajaj Chetak being the main growth driver.[10]

Bajaj stepped down from his role in 2005 and his son Rajiv became the Group's managing director.[11] Bajaj led the split of Bajaj Auto into three units in 2008: Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv and a holding company.[12] He resigned as chairman and non-executive director of Bajaj Finserv to become chairman emeritus in March 2019.[13] In April 2021, Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto, ceding the position to his cousin, Niraj Bajaj, and remained with the company as chairman emeritus.[2]

Bajaj was elected to the Rajya Sabha, India's Upper House of Parliament, filling the seat vacated by the death of Pramod Mahajan for the 2006–2010 period.[14]

Bajaj was elected as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice, in 1979–1980 and 1999–2000.[15] For his outstanding work to the Indian industry, the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, presented him with CII President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017.[16]

Some of the other positions that Bajaj held included chairman of Indian Airlines, chairman of the International Business Council at the World Economic Forum, chairman of the board at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, member of the International Advisory Council at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the South Asia advisory board at Harvard Business School.[10]

Bajaj received the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honor, in 2001.[3]

On the Forbes, 2016 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked No. 722, with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.[2]

Personal life and death

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.[17][18]

Bajaj died from pneumonia on 12 February 2022, at the age of 83. He was earlier admitted to the Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, and was undergoing treatment at the hospital. He also had cancer and heart problem prior to his death.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ "Who Is Rahul Bajaj". Business Standard. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Rahul Bajaj". Forbes. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Rahul Bajaj conferred Padma Bhushan". The Hindu Business Line. 22 March 2001. Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  4. ^ Upadhye, Swati (2017). Rahul Bajaj: Great Personalities Of India. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-81-288-2247-6.
  5. ^ "Rahul Bajaj Story - Chairman Of Bajaj Group". successstory.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  6. ^ Taknet, D. K. (2016). The Marwari Heritage. IntegralDMS. p. 254. ISBN 978-1-942322-06-1. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Alumni Achievement Awards – Rahul Bajaj, MBA 1964". Harvard Business School. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  8. ^ Khan, Iram (10 June 2018). "Birthday Special : The motivational businessman, Rahul Bajaj". News Track. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  9. ^ Natay, Lola (24 March 2017). "Rahul Bajaj, Bajaj Group". Outlook India. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b Bose, Mrityunjay (12 February 2022). "Former Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj passes away at 83". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  11. ^ Narasimhan, Laxman (1 September 2010). "Learning from emerging markets: An interview with Bajaj Auto's Rajiv Bajaj". McKinsey & Company. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  12. ^ Master, Ammar; Staney, Nesil (26 May 2008). "Restructuring over, two Bajaj companies to be listed today". Livemint. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  13. ^ PTI (13 March 2019). "Rahul Bajaj resigns as Bajaj Finserv Chairman". The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Rahul Bajaj elected to Rajya Sabha". The Times of India. PTI. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  15. ^ "CII Past Presidents". Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Rahul Bajaj bagged CII President's Award for Lifetime Achievement". United News of India. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  17. ^ Adhikari, Anand (26 March 2006). "Billion Dollar Dealer". Business Today. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  18. ^ Subramanian, Shobhana (11 November 2008). "Lunch with BS: Manish Kejriwal". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  19. ^ "Rahul Bajaj, former chairman of Bajaj Auto, passes away at 83". The Indian Express. 12 February 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Industrialist Rahul Bajaj, Former Chairman Of Bajaj Group, Dies At 83". NDTV. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Bajaj Group Chairman Emeritus Rahul Bajaj Passes Away At 83 After Prolonged Illness". ABP. 12 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.

Further reading