Peeved at hurdles being faced by his company to launch its quadri-cycle in India, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj has warned that stifling of innovation by regulatory agencies will turn ‘Made in India’ into ‘Mad in India.’
Taking potshots at the Centre’s flagship manufacturing initiative, Bajaj said, “If your innovation in the country depends on the Government approval or the judicial process, it will not be a case of ‘Made in India’, but ‘Mad in India’. After five years, we are still waiting for permission to sell our four-wheeler in the country.”
The Managing Director of Bajaj Auto was addressing a gathering of IT industry executives. Stating the quadri-cycle is being sold across countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, Bajaj wondered why a vehicle which is cleaner, fuel-efficient, safer and whose benefits are as “obvious as daylight”, is facing troubles.
“This is the only country that has not given us permission to sell this vehicles. Because for some reason it thinks if four-wheeler is worse, let people continue on three-wheeler,” Bajaj was quoted by PTI.
It can be noted the Pune-based auto major, the largest three-wheeler maker in the world, has faced multiple hurdles in launching the ambitious vehicle in the country. Meanwhile, Bajaj said that his company was “anti-car”, and sought to dismiss notions regarding two-wheelers being dangerous, saying it is reckless driving which makes two- wheeler riders most vulnerable.
“We feel people should either walk, cycle or use a two-wheeler. Cars are too big, too fast. they pollute, they congest and kill all of us on two-wheelers. People say two-wheelers are dangerous, My submission is two-wheelers are dangerous only when hit by a car.”
He told NDTV Profit that he was personally surprised that people were not standing up and saying anything against demonetisation announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking about the impact of the notes ban on the industry, Bajaj said, “There has been double-digit de-growth of the industry purely and directly as a result of this. The experience of Bajaj Auto has been no different from that of the industry. It has hit us hard, whether it is the motorcycle industry or three-wheelers. Especially, so for three-wheelers which is cash dependent.”
Bajaj announced his company was working on a new solution for urban mobility on the last mile connectivity which is safer and cleaner than the available alternatives, but declined to divulge additional details on the same.
He rubbished suggestions of getting back into manufacturing scooters, saying the company does not look it as an extension of manufacturing motorcycles and will continue to focus on its core strength.
“Media and analysts call it de-risking. It is not, it is gambling! this is playing darts, distraction and fragmentation of resources. You must be like (Mahabharat hero) Arjun, see eye of the bird and go for it,” he said, adding Bajaj Auto wants to increase its 10 per cent market share of global motorcycle sales.
(With inputs from PTI copy)