Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 24

KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
UnderKamalnayan’s leadership theBajajGroup
became not onlymuch larger but alsofinancially
strong andwell diversified – factors critical in a shallow
emerging economy as Indiawas before the 21st century.
Curiously each generationhas produced a strong
entrepreneur.When Jamnalal retired, the businesswas
bigger thanwhat he inherited fromSethBachhraj.
Ditto forKamalnayan.Ditto for the third generation.
And it looks as if the trendwill continue in the fourth
generation. This is an amazing achievement considering
that family businesses across theworld are prone to
the ‘third generation syndrome’: the first generation
starts a business, the second consolidates it, the third
diminishes it.
The key to continuity of success perhaps lies in the
uniqueBajaj culture. InfluencedbyGandhi andVinoba
Bhave, Jamnalal created the culture. Immersed in this
unique culture through childhood,Kamalnayanbecame
the path-finder of its practical application in themodern
management workplace. As diverse dilemmas emerged
and challengedKamalnayan, he developed a few
principles onhow todeal with them. Ten are described
on the next page.
Distilled like this intobarewords, the principles seem
obvious, clichéd,maybe evenbanal. In real life, each
one of these tenprinciples is incredibly difficult to
execute. Take ten, and youhave a compounding
challenge. These principles are even tougher to
embed inprocesses. Finally, howdo you ensure that
everyone in every group company follows the same
Personal example is the onlyway to initiate fundamental
change.Kamalnayanheaded the group for thirty years,
a time sufficiently long for the organisation and all his
stakeholders to test him, his principles andhis leadership
style. And only after the grilling, to individually accept
and adoptKamalnayan’s core principles.
This short biography aims to captureKamalnayan’s
principles in action through snapshots of defining
moments in the life of a torch-bearer. As you go through
the chapters, keep a look out for them.
Riseof theBajajGroup
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