It was an insightful session with Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj at Axis Capital 12th Annual India Conference, as he revealed interesting pieces of information about the company and the automotive industry. Hosting the session was Axis Bank CEO Amitabh Choudhry who put up quite a few candid and direct questions to Mr Bajaj.
On the question of slowdown that everyone seems to be talking about these days, Mr Bajaj said that the reason could be cyclical. He also mentioned other possible factors such as increase in fuel prices, costlier insurance and liquidity issues.
On the topic of how and when the auto sector will bounce back, Mr Bajaj said that he would focus more on adaptation rather than trying to predict the future, which is largely a futile and uncertain thing to do.
Catch Axis Bank's Amitabh Chaudhry in a candid chat with Bajaj Auto's Rajiv Bajaj.
Posted by CNBC-TV18 on Monday, 27 May 2019
Encapsulating Bajaj Auto’s journey over the years, Rajiv said that earlier the company’s focus was to create products similar to that of rivals. However, things have changed drastically, as the company is now focused on creating unique products.
The idea is to design more personalized products, so that new segments can be created and polarization can be achieved in the market. Pulsar is a good example, which has been hugely successful in the Indian market and overseas as well.
Another key strategy at Bajaj Auto is the efforts to make the brand global. Bajaj Auto currently sells its products in 70 countries and more markets are being explored consistently. Rajiv talked about the company’s latest messaging where the brand is being referred to as “World’s favourite Indian”. This, he says, will help boost the brand’s image in the Indian market.
Another interesting point revealed by Mr Bajaj, was the reason they decided on using the slogan “world’s favourite India”, was to counter Hero’s slogan of “Desh ki dharkan”, which translates to heart beat of a nation. Rajiv said that the company’s ideas and products are quite good and all they need is better execution.
Bajaj has also been investing in leading brands such as KTM to boost its global product portfolio. It has also forged key partnerships with companies such as Triumph Motorcycles. The idea is to position the company as an Indian multinational and not be limited to the Indian market.