Bajaj Auto’s long serving Chairman Rahul Bajaj will step down from executive role to become a non-executive director while continuing to hold his current position, the company said on Thursday. Bajaj, who has been a director of the company since April 1, 1970, was last reappointed by the board for a five-year term with effect from April 1, 2015, and his term as executive chairman is expiring on March 31, 2020, the company said in a regulatory filing.
“Due to certain commitments and other pre-occupation, Rahul Bajaj has decided not to continue as a whole-time director of the company after the expiry of his current term on March 31, 2020,” it added.
Bajaj Auto further said its board of directors in a meeting held on Thursday approved his appointment as non-executive director with the designation continuing as the chairman of the company with effect from April 1, 2020, subject to shareholders’ approval.
Since Bajaj has already attained the age of 75, approval of shareholders will be taken by special resolution by way of postal ballot for his appointment as non-executive chairman as required under SEBI regulations, the company added.
After taking charge of the Bajaj Group business in 1965, Rahul Bajaj led the company to its growth path. Under his stewardship Bajaj Auto, the group’s flagship company, saw its turnover grow to Rs 12,000 crore from just Rs 7.2 crore with the firm’s scooters becoming the mainstay.
He steered the diversified entity during India’s transition from a closed economy to a liberalised one and drove the company to expand its product portfolio with the Bajaj brand finding foothold in global markets.
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In 2005, Rahul Bajaj started passing the baton of the company to son Rajiv Bajaj, who became the managing director of Bajaj Auto and led the company to become a truly global automobile player.
Rahul Bajaj, an Economics graduate from Delhi University as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School, was also a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006-2010.