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By Vivek Shukla, Copy Edited by Adam Rizvi, TIO: This is no news that Rahul Bajaj has quit the chairmanship of Bajaj Auto, the flagship company of the Bajaj group. After serving Bajaj Auto for over five decades, his cousin brother, Niraj Bajaj, has become the Chairman of cash-rich Bajaj Auto.
Who is this media-shy Niraj Bajaj? What is his claim to fame? Well, Niraj was an ace Table Tennis player of India and has captained India in various international championships before joining the family business in the early 80s. I still vividly remember him playing at the Talkatora Stadium in the late 70s and early 80s. He was a very accomplished player and contemporary of the likes of Manjit Dua, Sudhir Phadke, and Manmeet Singh. Manjit Dua says Niraj is an extremely down-to-earth guy. We used to eat even in dhabas.
And once Niraj joined his family business, he left Table Tennis world lock, stock, and barrel. He was heading Mukand Steel company, a subsidiary of Bajaj group. Compare to giants like JSW or Tata steel, Mukand Steel is a tiny steel company.
Surely, it is not easy to become an inspiring leader like Rahul Bajal. Grandson of Gandhi Ji’s lifelong associate, Jamnalal Bajaj, Rahul Bajaj is always known for calling spade a spade. Rahul Bajaj would not have given Niraj Bajaj such a coveted responsibility ignoring the claims of his sons- Rajiv and Sanjeev if he lacks that leadership material.
Indeed, it is surprising that as to why Rajiv was denied top post considering he was looking after Bajaj Auto for last so many years as MD. Was Rahul Bajaj unhappy with his sons? It is a possibility. It is said that both sons remain on a collision course. That hurts RB, the father as well as the patriarch of the Indian corporate world.
PS- Leganday commentator Shri Jasdev Singh’s wife is a cousin of Rahul Bajaj.
Curated By Humra Kidwai