Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 46

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KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
FromVespa toChetak
–byRahulBajaj
Bajaj Auto’scollaborationwithPiaggioendedon
March31, 1971. BothPiaggioandBajajwanted to
renew theagreement for at least another five
years.However, in the1970s thegovernment didnot
renewa singlecollaborationagreement in the
automobile industryasalsomanyother industries.
We sawaperiodof extreme socialism starting in
1969. RajivGandhi,whenhecame topower in1985,
experimentedwith liberalisationbut it really
started in1991.
Once I realised that thegovernment isnot
going to renew theagreement, I knew I had todrop
thebrandnameVespa for our scootersandAPE for
3-wheelers. Itwasclear tome thatwe shouldhave
the ‘Bajaj’ brandname for our vehicles. I talked
toPujyaKakajiwhowas thechairmanof the
company,mentioned it to theboard, anddiscussed
itwithour advertisingagency, headedby
AlyquePadamsee.
The ‘bajaj’ logowasactually taken fromBajaj
Electricals. Tocelebrate its25thanniversary, Bajaj
Electricalshaddecided tochange itsname from
RadioLampWorks toBajaj Electricals. In1962 itheld
anall Indiacontest. PujyaKakaji selected the logo
out of hundredsof entries. Theprizewinning logo
wasdesignedbyHeros’ PublicityandBajaj Autoalso
adopted it, initiallyonly for itscompanyname. From
April 1, 1971 ‘bajaj’ replaced ‘Vespa’.Weneededa
monogramor symbol, andwegotVinayakPurohit,
whoused towork forMukand, todesign the ‘B’ ina
hexagonal form.
During the1970sand1980swedeveloped three
scootermodels.Wenamed the first oneasBajaj-150
and the2ndand the3rdasbajaj-Chetakandbajaj-
Super. Chetakwas thenameofMaharanaPratap’s
horse, immortalised in theballadsofRajasthan.
Thenamechangewasnoproblemat all
becauseBajaj scootersand3-wheelershada
tenyear deliveryperiod. Thebajaj brandeasily
replaced theVespaname though the laterwaswell
known. A fewpeoplecouldavoid the longqueue.
Thegovernment formulateda foreignexchange
schemeunderwhich if thecustomer paid forhis
bajaj-Chetak in foreignexchangehewouldget
earlydelivery.
TheBajajHexagon
Thenational competitionwinner
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