The twin great-grandsons of Mahatma Gandhi’s “fifth son” became billionaires at the helm of their uncle’s motorcycle business. Anurang Jain’s net worth reached $ 1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after auto parts maker Endurance Technologies Ltd. has climbed 74% since its IPO in October. His brother Tarang has a fortune of $ 1.1 billion based on the valuation of Varroc Group, a private company, which also manufactures components for motorcycles and cars.
Both companies have a long history of Bajaj Auto Ltd. of their uncle as their biggest customer.
“I’ll be the first to yell at them if I find a problem,” Rahul Bajaj, 78, said in a telephone interview on May 11. “Bajaj Auto has always insisted on better quality and lower cost. Indeed, both had worked on cost and quality, otherwise they would not have grown.
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Childhood in the ashram
Bajaj, who remembers sitting on Gandhi’s lap and digging wells for the independence leader in his ashram, realized as a teenager that what propelled his family the most was not the spirit of nonviolent political protest but the quest for success.
“People say that while you’re a kid you think you’re a cop or a pilot,” Bajaj said in a 2014 Harvard Business School interview. “I never thought of anything else: business, business , business. “
Since then, Bajaj has grown into the king of the Indian scooter industry and amassed a personal fortune valued at $ 4.2 billion, ranking him 433rd on the Bloomberg Index of the world’s 500 richest people. .
Bajaj Group spokesperson Samir Shrimankar confirmed Rahul’s net worth, while Anurang’s was verified by Sunil Lalai, a spokesperson for Endurance. Representatives for Varroc did not respond to requests for comment.
Bajaj Auto, a publicly traded company started by Rahul’s father and run by his son since 2005, is the group’s flagship company and India’s largest exporter of motorcycles and three-wheelers. The company is part of the Bajaj Group, controlled by the billionaire and three cousins - Madhur, Niraj and Shekhar – via Bajaj Holdings & Investment.
Varroc, based in the western city of Aurangabad, is India’s leading supplier of motorcycle parts and reported sales of $ 1.5 billion in fiscal 2017, according to its website. The publicly traded Endurance posted revenue of 55.7 billion rupees ($ 831 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, most of it from its aluminum casting business.
The families trace their lineage back to Jamnalal Bajaj, a freedom fighter Gandhi considered his fifth son. Jamnalal, who created the Bajaj group in 1926, persuaded Gandhi to establish an ashram in his home state of Maharashtra in 1932 and his family lived there until the assassination of the Hindu leader in 1948.
Bajaj’s family moved to Mumbai upon India’s independence in 1947, after years of being in and out of British prisons. Rahul’s father took control of the family business in 1942, creating the forerunner of Bajaj Auto three years later and expanding the business to include cement, electrical appliances, and scooters.
It was the scooter business that propelled the family fortune into high gear. Founded by Bajaj in the 1970s and 1980s against the headwinds of a centrally controlled economy, the company has grown into India’s premier scooter brand while expanding to places like Colombia, Sri Lanka and the Nigeria.
Two-wheelers have become a popular commodity, especially in northern India, where “you couldn’t get married into a middle-class family unless the girl’s family was willing to donate a scooter. Bajaj “in dowry,” Rahul Bajaj told Harvard. Families would order one when a child was born or buy them on the black market.
Naresh Chandra Jain, Rahul’s brother-in-law and father of the billionaire twins, ran Kaycee Industries Ltd. to supply Bajaj Auto with electric switches, leaving in 1985 to join his sons at Anurang Engineering, which produced aluminum castings used in Bajaj scooters and is now part of Endurance.
Endurance and Varroc have worked to reduce their dependence on Bajaj by adding new customers and products through acquisitions. Varroc’s revenue nearly doubled with the 2012 buyout of lighting company Visteon for $ 92 million, while Endurance now has seven factories in Europe and 18 in India.
“What matters are the results,” Rahul reminded his eldest son after devising a plan to improve margins by abandoning the scooter business. “The day I find out you’re no good for the business, I’ll talk to you. The fact that you are a Bajaj will not save you.