Rahul Bajaj (born 10 June 1938) is an Indian billionaire businessman. He is the chairman of the Indian conglomerate Bajaj Group and a member of parliament. Bajaj comes from the business house started by Jamnalal Bajaj. He was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2001. In a recent interview for the Creating Emerging Markets project at the Harvard Business School, Bajaj provides a devastating critique of Indian industrial policies before the liberalisation in the 1990s. In 2008, he split Bajaj Auto into three units – Bajaj Auto, finance company Bajaj Finserv and a holding company. His sons are now managing the day to day affairs of the company.
He was born on 10 June 1938 in a Marwari family and is the grandson of Indian independence fighter, Jamnalal Bajaj. Bajaj is an alumnus of Harvard Business School in the US, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Government Law College, Mumbai and Cathedral and John Connon School.
He took over the Bajaj Group in 1965. In 2005, Rahul Bajaj stepped down from his role as chairman, his son Rajiv became the Group’s managing director. Bajaj got elected to the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament in the 2006-2010 period. On the Forbes 2016 list of the world’s billionaires, he was ranked No. 722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.
Rahul Bajaj was elected as the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice in 1979-80 and 1999-2000. For his outstanding work to the Indian industry, the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented him CII President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017.
His sons Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj are involved in the management of his companies. His daughter Sunaina is married to Manish Kejriwal, the former head of Temasek India.