Why is Rajiv Bajaj betting on BET?

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on October 28, 2021

The MD of Bajaj Auto talks about EV start-ups and the limited threat they pose to industry players

More and more EV start-ups are entering the two-wheeler industry with the government promoting EVs in a big way but Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, says these start-ups will not be a major challenge to champion industry players like Bajaj.

He said that the Indian two and four-wheeler industry has battled the Japanese competition successfully.

“Indian two-wheeler companies are not lightweight as some start-ups might like to think,” he said, adding that instead of betting on start-ups he would BET (Bajaj, Enfield, TVS) on sustainability and performance even as start-ups are coming in a big number. Legacy companies have demonstrated their capacities, he said while interacting with the media during the launch of Bajaj Auto’s latest addition to the popular Pulsar portfolio, the Bajaj Pulsar 250.

Also see: Bajaj Auto drives in two new versions of Pulsar 250

Cash flow model

“Their (start-ups) business model is cash burn model. Our business model is a cash flow model. We have to make sure we have to make money. We operate very differently. The latest start-up is Ola but we have to still see them produce and sell something” said Bajaj. He clarified that he was not being sarcastic, but just stating the facts.

“There is a saying — breakfast of champions. You know what champions eat for breakfast. Champions eat OATS (Ola, Ather, Tork, Smart-E) for breakfast. Picture abhi baki hai,” he said, adding that there is a difference between companies who go for production because they have an envelope ready and those who are ready with infrastructure, research and development and have the production capacity and don’t have to start from scratch.

Also see: Bajaj Auto profit increases 70.8%

In a cryptic comment on EV start-ups, Bajaj said, “ If we launch a motorcycle in October, you will get it in November. It is not that if we launch in 2021 you will have to wait till 2022. That is the start-up way, not the legacy way.”

Bajaj added that there are some start-ups that are respected because of the capacities they have demonstrated.

Published on October 28, 2021

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