Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Hero Honda made TVS, Bajaj make up

Hero Honda
A Picture is worth a thousand words, thus goes the saying. Hero Honda chairman Brijmohan Lall Munjal’s photo-op at the SIAM meet mid-September was one such instance which had sparked off speculation that he had managed to bring rivals Venu Srinivasan and Rajiv Bajaj at the height of the TVS-Bajaj face-off last month to the negotiating table. Mr Lall has now admitted that he was instrumental in brokering peace between Mr Srinivasan and Mr Bajaj.

“There was no plan to bring the two together," Mr Lall said, on the sidelines of a conference to announce Hero Honda's 20 millionth bike. "Of course, I would love to have the two to get together. I feel we are only three or four big players in the motorcycle market in India, and it does not make sense for us to fight."

The two warring CEOs, he said, are like his “own children”, so when he indicated his desire for a photo-op, they agreed. "Both Venu and Rajiv are younger than me," he said. "They are like my children. So, they respected my wish. There was no plan as such. I just mentioned to them, 'Let's all sit together'."

Mr Lall’s son Pawan Kant Munjal, MD, Hero Honda, added that it was a-spur-of-the-moment act on the part of his father. "As a father figure, he wanted the two of them to get together. He wanted to egg them on to sort out things between them. That's what he did."

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