Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 48

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KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
Your biggest competitor invites you to launch a joint
venture. Both of youwill continue to compete against
each other in themarket.Will you say yes or no?
I suspectmost of uswouldpass on the offer.
Not soKamalnayanBajaj.Nor Frederik Jacques ‘Frits’
Philips. Their companies have competedfiercely against
each from the time they opened shop. And continue to
do so. But for decades, the twobrands sold light bulbs
andfluorescent tube lightsmade in one factory:Hind
Lamps, located inShikohabad,Uttar Pradesh. A factory
which they jointly owned.
Software companies claim theword co-opetition or
competitive collaboration. Twomanufacturers beat
them to it bymore than ahalf century.
Theparallels betweenKamalnayanandFrits are
uncanningly similar. It’s as if theywereof the same
woodbut grew indifferent forests. Born inEindhoven,
theNetherlands in1905, Frits hada ten year edge
overKamalanayan.Kamalnayan saw theunderbelly
of theBritishRaj during theFreedomMovement;
Frits that ofNaziGermanywhenAdolfHitler invaded
theNetherlands.Kamalnayandid time ina jail, Frits
KamalnayanandFritscelebrating tenyearsof togetherness
Built to last: theShikohabadplant still going strong,more than sixtyyears later
Co-opetition
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