Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 49

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KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
ina concentration camp.KamalnayanmadeAkurdi
aquintessential company town, theFrits effect on
Eindhovenwas the same. Bothwereborn intobusiness
families, andbothgrew their businesses during challenging
times.UnderFrits, Philipsbecameaglobalmajor, under
Kamalnayan theBajaj groupbecamea top20groupwith
apan-Indiapresence. In terms of theability tomanage
complexity, the learningcurvewouldbe similar.
Of greater interest is themeeting of theminds. Both
had an easyway of communicatingwith people,
be they factoryworkers or influential ministers or
richmagnates. Perhaps it had something to dowith
family culture and upbringing. If Kamalnayan had
Gandhi as an adopted grandfather, KarlMarxwas
Frits’ relative. Therewas always a ready buck-teeth
smile onFrits’ face, andKamalnayan could always
make people smilewith his wit and jokes. Both
had a humane concern for the poor and there are
many expressions of the help they silently provided.
Possibly they felt similar feelings of inner loneliness.
Kamalnayan buried
such feelings inside
him, but Frits found
solace throughFrank
Buchman, anAmerican
evangelist and founder of
theMoral Re-armament
(MRA) movement. As
didKamalnayan and
Savitri. They hosted Frank
Buchman and his team in
Bombay during his first
visit toBombay in 1952,
visited theMRA centre in
Caux, Switzerland in 1954
and financially supported
MRA activities in India.
Joint ventures onlyworkwell whenboth sides recognise,
respect and acknowledge each other’s contribution. The
chairman ofHindLampswas always anominee of the
Bajaj group.UntilKamalnayan’s death in 1972, the
generalmanager (asCEOswere known in those days)
was always aDutchman. PhilipsHO took care to send
Dutch Indophiles toShikohabad.Most stayed for years
at the plant, rarely asking tobe transferredback home.
Secrets of the craft ofmaking bulbs and tube lightswere
openly sharedwith Indianmanagers and engineers.
The original agreement was that theBajajs andELMI
would eachhold 50% ofHindLamp’s equity. ELMI
(L-R)A.J. vanLierre
explainsa technical point to
RameshwarprasadNevatia
andRamkrishna in the
HindLampsworkshop
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