Published on December 21st, 2009 | by drkkr7
When i was a kid dad owned a car and a Bullet, he used to race me through the roads on his masculine bullet motor bike and our family was sensational because of the bike we had and the respect others had on my dad. But i had a secret liking towards something which we never had but the others owned. It was everywhere …so many of my friend’s dads had it, the entire family used it. The television carried innumerable commercials about it, it was the symbol of Indian middle class and also happened to be their status symbol. You call it as a bench mark advertisement or one of the best commercials of India or a commercial which literally picturised the images of brand India. It is a commercial which hijacked millions of hearts and the visual, music, lyrics, voice nurtured the brand Bajaj. Yes I am referring to Humara Bajaj…the powerful imagery and India’s most powerful commercial and i guess the jingle ( it is more than a jingle) is the most remembered one across India after the national anthem. Bajaj auto once known because of its scooters, revolutionized the two wheeler market is soon to exit from the scooter segment. Humara Bajaj is all about relationships , emotions, bonding.
It was once an iconic brand and people used to wait for years (10 years waiting for bajaj
chetak) after booking a Bajaj Scooter, and customers were willing to pay premium equal to its price and I guess in 80s newly married used to get a Bajaj scooter as their dowry (Most weddings were with Chetak). Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj created a wonderful aura on the scooter brand by running the Humara Bajaj campaign, i as a kid used to watch that commercial innumerable times ( Hamara Aaj, Hamara Kal ; Buland Bharat Ki Buland Tasveer ; HAMARA BAJAJ Hamara Bajaj!). That was the time bajaj was a synonym for scooter. Bajaj scooters became so popular that it managed to produce and sell one lakh vehicles in a single financial year in 1977. And after the Hamara Bajaj campaign, it sold even one million scooters by 1995.
It all began with Rahul Bajaj’s admiration for the famous Vespa scooters made by Piaggio of Italy. In 1961 Bajaj auto began producing two wheelers. During 1968 the company’s turnover was Rs 72 Million; by 1970 the brand has produced 100,000 scooters. The oil crisis soon drove cars off the roads in favour of two-wheelers, much cheaper to buy and many times more fuel-efficient. A number of new models were introduced in the 1970s, including the three-wheeler goods carrier and Bajaj Chetak early in the decade and the Bajaj Super and three-wheeled, rear engine Auto rickshaw in 1976 and 1977. Bajaj Auto produced 100,000 vehicles in the 1976-77 fiscal year alone. The technical collaboration agreement with Piaggio of Italy expired in 1977. Afterward, Piaggio, maker of the Vespa brand of scooters, filed patent infringement suits to block Bajaj scooter sales in the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, and Hong Kong. Bajaj’s scooter exports plummeted from Rs 133.2 million in 1980-81 to Rs 52 million ($5.4 million) in 1981-82, although total revenues rose five percent to Rs 1.16 billion. Pretax profits were cut in half, to Rs 63 million.
The Bajaj Group is one of the top 10 business houses in India. Its footprint stretches over a wide range of industries, spanning automobiles (two-wheelers and three-wheelers), home appliances, lighting, iron and steel, insurance, travel and finance. The group’s flagship company, Bajaj Auto, is ranked as the world’s fourth largest two- and three- wheeler manufacturer and the Bajaj brand is well-known across several countries in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South and South East Asia. Founded in 1926, at the height of India’s movement for independence from the British, the group has an illustrious history. The integrity, dedication, resourcefulness and determination to succeed which are characteristic of the group today, are often traced back to its birth during those days of relentless devotion to a common cause. Jamnalal Bajaj, founder of the group, was a close confidant and disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, Gandhiji had adopted him as his son. This close relationship and his deep involvement in the independence movement did not leave Jamnalal Bajaj with much time to spend on his newly launched business venture. It looks like the scooter market is not just fading, the entire customer preference and dynamics have changed. I was watching the news on NDTV , Rajiv was stoic and he was justifying that scooters was not a profitable space to be in anymore. “People stopped buying scooters, so we stopped making them. I care less for solution from emotion and more for magic of logic. On the other side, Rahul Bajaj seemed to be disturbed and was vociferous, “I am not convinced phasing out scooters is the right solution. I differ with Rajiv’s judgment, even if it may be better. I feel bad and hurt that a brand like Bajaj scooters is out: Brand Bajaj is aiming to become a specialist motorbike maker and also increase its exports to
other countries. “Our aim is to become world s number one motorbike company by 2015. We have made lot of detailed plans to reach our target,” adds Rahul. Most men are out of scooters but you cant get certain men out of scooters. Business Logic Vs Emotion. It is end of an era , good bye to Bajaj Scooters. Everything good has an end and every end sparks with a new beginning. Bajaj promises to live its essence through a set of five Brand Values of Learning, Innovation, Perfection, Speed and Transparency. Change is INEVITABLE. Nothing is constant except change.