Tributes and condolences poured in from corporate as well as political spheres on the death of Rahul Bajaj, the former chairman of Bajaj Group, who died on Saturday afternoon in Pune, aged 83 years.
Executive chairperson of Biocon, Kiran Majumdar Shaw, a close friend of the late industrialist, said in a tweet that she was “devastated” at Mr Bajaj’s death and that the nation had lost a “great son” and a “nation builder”.
Industrialist Rahul Bajaj, Former Chairman Of Bajaj Group, Dies At 83 – I am devastated – he was a dear friend and will miss him dearly. The country has lost a great son & nation builder. Om Shanthi???? https://t.co/s8kpQ3dUia
— Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (@kiranshaw) February 12, 2022
Managing director and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday Kotak described Mr Bajaj as “bold and fearless” who “spoke truth to power”. Mr Bajaj will be missed, he tweeted.
Rahul Bajaj: bold and fearless. A rare businessman who spoke truth to power. A proud Indian. Built world class enterprise. I am truly honored to know him. Will miss him. pic.twitter.com/UpVMh0z7R1
— Uday Kotak (@udaykotak) February 12, 2022
Chairman of RPG Group, Harsh Goenka described Mr Bajaj’s demise as “cracking” of Indian business’ “spine”, while calling him a “visionary”, whose death marks the end of an era.
The ‘spine’ of Indian business cracks. A close family friend, he was a visionary, straight talking and very respected for his value systems. An era ends! He leaves behind the two most capable sons in Indian industry, Rajiv and Sanjiv. #RahulBajaj Om shanti… pic.twitter.com/IziHS03I0D
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) February 12, 2022
Union minister Nitin Gadkari and several leaders cutting across party lines took to social media to express their shock and grief on the death of the veteran business leader.
Mr Gadkari tweeted his heartfelt tributes to Mr Bajaj, adding that he had known the former Bajaj Group chairman for many years.
My heartfelt tributes to Rahul Bajaj ji, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and former chairman of Bajaj. I have had a personal relationship with Padma Bhushan awardee Rahul ji for many years.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 12, 2022
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar tweeted that he was “deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology – a Bajaj Bike!”
I am deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology – a Bajaj Bike!
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) February 12, 2022
Congress leader Milind Deora also expressed his condolences on the death of one of India’s most iconic corporate heads.
Hard to come to grips with the news that India’s most outspoken industrialist, Rahul Bajaj is no more.
Many of us knew of Rahul uncle’s health was deteriorating but the news of his passing comes as a shock.
Deepest condolences to Sunaina & Manish Kejriwal, Rajiv & Sanjiv Bajaj pic.twitter.com/2J5PTGaZOX
— Milind Deora | Milind Deora ️ (@milinddeora) February 12, 2022
NCP MP Supriya Sule also expressed grief over Mr Bajaj’s death, describing him as among the country’s foremost business leaders, who was an inspiration to all.
Deeply Saddened to hear about the demise of Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajaj. He was among the foremost Business Leaders our nation has seen, and an inspiration to all. We will miss him dearly and his wise counsel. pic.twitter.com/Qgle0AzmjB
— Supriya Sule (@supriya_sule) February 12, 2022
Mr Bajaj was not keeping well for quite some time and passed away at around 1430 hrs on Saturday, a company official was quoted as saying by PTI. His last rites will be held on Sunday, February 13.
He is survived by two sons, Rajiv Bajaj and Sanjiv Bajaj, and a daughter Sunaina Kejriwal.
Mr Rahul Bajaj resigned from his position of non-executive director and chairman at Bajaj Auto on April 30 last year.
“It is with deep sorrow that I inform you about the passing away of Shri Rahul Bajaj, husband of the late Rupa Bajaj and father of Rajiv/Deepa, Sanjiv/Shefali and Sunaina/Manish. He passed away on the afternoon of 12th February, 2022 in the presence of his closest family members,” a statement from Bajaj Group read.
Mr Bajaj had pneumonia and also a heart problem. He was admitted to the hospital for last one month, said Dr Purvez Grant, the managing trustee at Ruby Hall Clinic.
Born on June 10, 1938, Rahul Bajaj acted as the chairman of the Bajaj Group for over 40 years. He resigned as the chairman of Bajaj Auto in April last year and was currently the Chairman Emeritus of the firm.
He was awarded with the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2001. Mr Bajaj also served as a Rajya Sabha MP.
Chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot, Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin and Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai also condoled the industrialist’s death.