Bajaj Auto Limited, the automobile arm of the Bajaj Group chaired by Rahul Bajaj, became the world’s most valuable two-wheeler company with a market valuation of more than 1 lakh crore rupees. The share of the company is trading at around 3,500 rupees per share.
Bajaj is the world’s third-largest two-wheeler manufacturer and the second-largest two-wheeler manufacturer of India. Also, the company is the world’s largest manufacturer of three-wheelers, thanks to the famous Maxima brand which enjoys near-monopoly in the Indian three-wheeler market.
In the last six and a half years, the Bajaj Group has witnessed a big surge in stock market valuation, especially its financial sector companies- Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv.
Since the Modi government came to power in mid-2014, the shares of Bajaj Finserv reached around 8,800 rupees from around 700 rupees. In the last six and a half years, the share prices of the company grew by almost 13 times, thanks to the policy of the liberalisation of the financial sector by the Modi government.
Similarly, the shares of Bajaj Finance, a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv (registered separately) reached above 5,000 rupees from around 200 rupees in mid-2014. The share prices of the subsidiary grew by 25 times in just six and a half years of the Modi government.
Bajaj Finance has valued around 3 lakh crore rupees while the Bajaj Finserv is valued at around 1.4 lakh crore rupees. Even the share of Bajaj Auto, the unit that registered the slowest gain, has grown to 3,500 rupees from around 2,000 rupees.
The units of Bajaj Group have grown exponentially under the Modi government but the loyalty of the Bajaj family towards the Gandhi family is unshakable, and, therefore, they continue to criticise the policies of the Modi government with every passing day.
The family is known for being in cahoots with the Congress for decades. Rahul Bajaj, the patriarch of the family, has gone as far as to brag that he got his own name ‘Rahul’ from Jawaharlal Nehru and claiming that he was born ‘anti-establishment’.
Sparking off a controversy, Rahul Bajaj has recently questioned the Home Minister Amit Shah at a function about Bajaj’s own brainchild ‘the hawa of fear’, in the same question he claimed his name was given by Nehru. Bajaj asked about Amit Shah’s stance on Sadhvi Pragya, talked about ‘intolerance ki hawa’ and lynching.
Notably, Rahul Bajaj has always been a hater of PM Narendra Modi to the core and is a living beneficiary of the license–quota raj, which was a creation of Congress along with the rest of the left-establishments. In February 2003, the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII held a session at New Delhi for its members to interact with Modi. On the stage with PM Modi was Rahul Bajaj, along with other people including Tarun Das (then director-general of CII).
The businessman was unrelenting on Modi, a CII functionary who was closely involved with the event says the speakers are chosen for the day (Bajaj) were the men who could not have been controlled. Almost 100 CII members from Gujarat threatened to quit over this incident.
A handful of Gujarat businessmen even set up a rival organisation called the Resurgent Group of Gujarat. And in Delhi, CII saw its access to the then BJP government curtailed. The business houses like Parle Group, Bajaj Group, and Tata Group were blunting CII’s edge in its core business of lobbying. When Das approached Arun Jaitley, the then Law Minister, he agreed to broker peace – that the CII would have to formally apologise. The letter was sent.
The rhetoric passed by Rahul Bajaj who formerly remained hand in glove with the UPA, and traditionally an arrogant hater of PM Modi. Bajaj Group’s profits and market valuation have soared in the last five years, therefore, complaining about an atmosphere of fear makes little sense unless the industrialist wants to arm-twist the government into having his way with more incentives.
Moreover, the Bajaj Group, along with a few others like Tata Group and Parle Group were among the most ardent opponents of Narasimha Rao’s economic liberalisation program. However, they ultimately ended up benefitting from the economic liberalisation because free markets created wealth for India, as well as, the Bajaj Group. Similarly, the Modi government is allowing entrepreneurs including Bajaj Group to create wealth which is reflecting in the stock market valuation of the company.
Therefore, anything that the members of the Bajaj family say about the market condition or the political environment of the country, needs to be taken with bags of salt. The investors should not listen to the commentary of Rahul Bajaj and his family because the ultimate aim of the Bajaj Family is to defame and embarrass the Modi government.