Industrialist Rahul Bajaj had a special connect and bonding with Maharashtra. The Bajaj Group made bulk of its investments in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Aurangabad in two-wheeler units and turned ‘’Hamara Bajaj’’ into a household name.
Bajaj focused not merely on expansion and consolidation of his group but played a major role in making the ventures interactive with the active participation of the government and locals; going a step further, he also created jobs by dipping into the local talent.
State’s politicians and bureaucrats look at him as an industrialist who was focused in his approach and endeavours. He did not leave his core area of competence which was two wheelers and tempos, primarily. Unlike many, he did not venture into non-core and non related activities.
He was committed to Maharashtra and did not seek greener pastures elsewhere. Due to his commitment and conviction, he was very outspoken and critical and even some time irreverent
Both politicians and bureaucrats took his comments in the right spirit because they knew that he had no ulterior agenda/motive or axe to grind.
Although he piloted schemes of incentives for industrial development in Maharashtra, they were never focused on his core segment but aimed at overall industrial development in the state. Once the State government cleared the incentive scheme, he abided by it and acted in accordance with its provisions
Bajaj was a torch bearer of Maharashtra’s industrial development. He and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, who hails from Pune district, were good friends and worked in tandem to usher in industry-friendly policies and a congenial atmosphere. In his condolence message, Pawar said: The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought a transformation, especially among the poor and in the middle-class with his two-wheeler technology. The affordable vehicle increased mobility, eased the struggle for earning a livelihood and became the tool of socio-economic change.’’
On the other hand, former state Development Commissioner and Industry Secretary Yashwant Bhave, who had on a number of occasions held deliberations with Bajaj, told the Free Press Journal, ‘’He was an industrialist par excellence. Keeping ethical values intact, not cutting corners for profit, he did not use the influence he wielded for any unethical pursuits. Apart from industry, he was also a philanthropist and involved in various foundations working for the betterment of the socially impaired.’’
Bhave said many eminent positions came his way; they were far too many to enumerate. Many accolades also came his way which, in his characteristic style, he wore lightly.