Bajaj Automobiles is a household name in India considering the number of two-wheelers we see on the road. The multinational company was established in the 1940s in Rajasthan and today has grown to become the third-largest two-wheeler manufacturer company globally and the second largest one in India. 

The current CEO, Rajiv Bajaj, has been known to not hold back any punches about opinions he might have about other companies and he made that extremely clear as he fired a number of comments at Bhavish Aggarwal’s multinational rideshare company, OLA.

Rajiv Bajaj is known to have said that legacy two-wheeler manufacturing companies like his are cash flow businesses while startups like OLA, Ather, Tork and SmartE who have recently sprung up in the electric two-wheeler race are cash burn businesses.

This prompted the aforementioned companies to go on a rampage and reply to Bajaj’s comment in the funniest and more humorous way possible.

Read More: In Pics: What Do We Know About The Iconic ‘Bajaj Chetak’ Scooter of India?

What Triggered The Feud?

The new range of the Pulsar motorcycles were unveiled by Mr.Bajaj on the 28th of October, 2021 marking exactly 20 years of the first launch of Bajaj Pulsar in India.

During the event Rajiv Bajaj was heard saying, “I am going to bet on BET- Bajaj, (Royal) Enfield and TVS. They are champions and they have a proven track record.” He further said, “We are champions and champions eat OATS (Ola, Ather, Tork Motors and SmartE) for breakfast.”

Later Bajaj said that he “has great respect” for startups but they still haven’t been able to produce and sell something. Citing the Father of Evolution, Charles Darwin, Bajaj goes on to say, “It is not the most intelligent or the strongest of the species that survive, but the ones who are most adaptive to change.”

“Competitors have come, the marketplace has changed, we would like to emphasise that not only this market, but the global market is changing. What is the sign of a champion in the automotive industry, is that you adapt, not one or two or three years, it is a 75-year-old company — it has adapted over and over again — overcoming challenges around scooters, motorcycles, changing regulations, or electric vehicle subsidy,” explained Bajaj.

Bajaj further said that “From a company perspective, their business model is a cash burn model, our business model is a cash flow model. We have to make sure that we make money when we sell the motorcycles,”

How Did The “Cash Burn” Companies Respond? 

Well, the feud seems to be “burning” pretty fiercely as the words are “flowing” with no regrets at all. The “cash burn” startups have not launched an exclusive and direct statement about Mr. Bajaj’s views but they have shot back at his comments in the most sporting way possible. 

Bhavish Aggarwal, the CEO of OLA re-tweeted a statement that said “Lol. You are not even in the competition. Ola sold ~90k scooters in one window even before a single unit rolled out of the factory. Ather sold 1800 EVs in July alone. Bajaj Chetak has sold 3300 units from January 2020 to July 2021!” 

Tarun Mehta, the CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy tweeted out a hilarious response that said, “Must say, the OATS and BET acronyms by Rajiv Bajaj made my day today. Never a dull moment in this industry.”

Ather Energy’s official Twitter account tweeted a witty response that read as “Launching our new line of product for a quicker and smarter start to the day- OATS for champions. Recommended  by experts.” 

These exchanges have been hilarious to be privy to while netizens have not let go of Bajaj’s speech and continue to criticise him severely. 

What Encouraged The Rant Mr.Bajaj Indulged In? 

As the prices of fossil fuels keep rising every day in the country, the emergence and need for electrical vehicles has become extremely essential.

The rise in demand for electric two-wheelers amongst the rising prices of petrol and diesel accompanied by favourable government policies and reluctance in the production of e-vehicles by major mass-market two-wheeler manufacturers like Hero MotoCrop, Honda, TVS, Bajaj, Yamaha and Royal Enfield has encouraged the startups to exploit the situation and push their own products forward.

Out of everyone, Bhavish Aggarwal of OLA has made the biggest promises by saying that OLA will produce a massive number of 10 million units every year. He has also regularly criticised legacy companies for not taking the lead of accelerating the shift to electric transportation.

Hence, as a rebuttal, Rajiv Baja took the chance to dig at Ola by referring to the delays in delivering its scooters. Some consumers who booked Ola’s electric scooters in July this year are slated to get their vehicles delivered in February of next year. OLA has yet to deliver on its promise as well as its scooters.

The war between legacy automakers and new age startups is not new and Bajaj is definitely not the first one to comment about the cash burn model of startups. Earlier this year, Hero MotoCorp’s Chairman, Pawan Munjal had almost the same comments as Bajaj.

As the first of OLA’s scooters are set to hit the roads this month expect more sharp words and “friendly” rivalry from both sides of the spectrum as in Bajaj’s own words, “Picture abhi baki hai.”

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: CarboblogIndia, Auto.Economictimesindia, LiveMint, TimesNow, EconomicTimes +more

Meet The Blogger: Charlotte

This Post Is Tagged Under: Bajaj Automobiles, two-wheelers, multinational company, Rajiv Bajaj, Bhavish Aggarwal, rideshare, OLA, legacy two-wheeler manufacturing companies, Ather, Tork, SmartE, cash burn businesses, Pulsar motorcycles, Bajaj Pulsar, Bajaj, Royal Enfield, TVS, startups, Charles Darwin, marketplace, automotive, electric vehicle subsidy, cash flow model, Bajaj Chetak, Tarun Mehta, Ather Energy, netizens, fossil fuels, electric two-wheelers, legacy companies, Pawan Munjal, Hero MotoCorp

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