Category Archives: Automobile India

The Chinese Dragon by Rajiv Bajaj, The King of Indian Motorcycle Industry.

*The Chinese dragon*

by *Rajiv Bajaj*

A couple of WhatsApp groups I am a member of should be renamed China problem group. 90% of discussions is on how China hijacked the world economy, how they do not deserve to do so, how all politicians have let us down, how they are stealing all intellectual property and how we are doomed if we do not stop downloading tiktok.

All true. And no, this article is not about disagreeing with this narrative. This article is not about the fact that an average Chinese student in US beats the shit out of all other students (including Indians) in terms of hours they works and their only disadvantage is that their English is not as good, but they’re getting there. No this article is not about the fact that the people of China worked their butts off while Italians holidayed and French wanted a 4 day week. No this article is not about the fact that you cannot hire a decent machinist or a metal forger in India because all of them are sitting in call centers answering questions from technically challenged Americans.
Of course, I agree and support the view that China and it’s people do not deserve the place they have reached (I don’t want to be trolled). They are thieves, they do not take 4-week holidays. They should be punished.

So what is this article about? This is about an industry where China has been beaten by India. It has been shown it’s not the government, neither the people, it’s really the companies that compete. And as far as India is concerned the people responsible for the demise of manufacturing are these companies.

Year 1983, I pass out of Engineering college in Mumbai considered to be one of the best. Irrespective of the branch—Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Production, Textile, 80% become coders for the software industry.
Year 2000, I am at Bajaj Auto as HR head (after working for 15 years as a technical person), and am off to conduct campus interviews, to hire 100 Engineers who will build the 100-cc engine of a motorcycle. I am day 5 in VJTI and all other RECs. I end up hiring 10 people from 15 colleges. In every college I am told by the Training and Placement officer (TPO) that tech companies get preference. I say I don’t understand, is building an Engine not technology? No that’s manufacturing.

Writing Cobol code for a bank in New York by a TCS employee is technology. May be the Chinese forced us to do this.

Next year I write to all colleges. I want to be day 0 in your campus. I will offer three times the salary of the best “so called technology company”, but only if I am day 0.
Hiring 100 Engineers at three times salary was no problem for me as compared to TCS, which had to hire 2000 “Bodies”. They could never match that salary.
And that’s how Bajaj Auto built its R&D. Batch by Batch. Making designing and manufacturing of motorcycles sexy and paying for it. The selection ratio was 1:15.

Most of the IITS, RECS, and VJTIS had toppers who were absolutely useless. They could not draw a Carnot cycle, could not tell the difference between a diesel and petrol engine. Give them an elevation and plan they could not draw the side view. Most of them were focusing on writing code. But we found gems, we found guys who were passionate and knowledgeable but could not express in English. I started conducting interviews in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and so on.

There was another company doing the same TVS. South based, they also built a great R&D.

Year 2005, Chinese motorcycles attacked India with products which were 30% cheaper. Many dealers started selling them. Press predicted demise of Indian manufacturers. Within 6 months they went broke. Their quality was no match to Indian motorcycles. They never came back again.

Bajaj then stared attacking them in Africa. Africans had two choices; buy expensive Japanese motorcycles or cheap Chinese. Chinese motorcycles used to come in a box. You buy the box and take it to a mechanic and he will assemble it. In Nigeria motorcycles are used as taxis. So no one is going to pay you a dime more. In such a market Bajaj launched it’s fully assembled motorcycle. Priced more than Chinese less than Japanese. And worked hard. Today Bajaj is a market leader. TVS is number two. Chinese have been driven out. You can see videos of the love that the Okada (taxi drivers) have for Bajaj Bikes. Country by Country in Africa.

In South America Indians captured the market driving the Chinese out.

In 2018 India became the largest manufacturer of two wheelers in the world (twice the size of China). Indian companies have started buying out European Brands. The market leader of motorcycles in Europe is not BMW, its KTM owned by Bajaj. China is slipping fast not only in the manufacturing of Bikes also in the manufacturing of components. Indian suppliers are beating them hands down. Between three Indian Companies Hero, Bajaj and TVS India today dominates the world market. Honda a Japanese company has shifted most of it’s R&D to India.

Why was this not done in TVs, in Computers, in Mobile phones, in Pharmaceuticals and other industries? The same country, the same labor laws, the same infrastructure but not the same entrepreneurs. Indian businessmen are characterized by a myopic vison—it’s both short term as well as geographically limited. Of course, the government also does not help.

So, who is responsible for the Chinese dominance—the government, the people or the Corporates?
I think its all the three. When even ITI trained turners and fitters refuse to work in a shop floor, when a Stock Broker is paid more than an Engineer, when typing code is mistaken for technology, when governments refuse to amend antique labor and land laws when corporates think local and not global and finally when you, yes you, will not send your son to work on the shop floor, each one of these factors is as responsible for the Chinese dominance as much as their “Ethical Corruption”. We have been looted because we left our doors and windows open.

No this article is not supporting the Chinese. How dare they work so hard? And how dare they obey a communist government? We should stop buying all their goods and we will make every thing in our country. But we will work nine to five with a three-day weekend. We will overcome. One Day!!

-Rajiv Bajaj(MD, Bajaj Auto)

The future of Every thing.

The future of everything

Electric cars have halted several years of automotive research, the traditional engines are now called ic engines (internal combustion) engines. 

Battery manufactures will be the next Infosys and Wipros of the world. 

R&D in battery and related business will have great job potential. 

The most famous job interview question, where would like to see your self 5 years from now? will have no relevance, as many of the jobs that exist today won’t exist 5 yrs from now. Ai (artificial intelligence) will take over.

The goolgle assist will make the job of call centre executives looks like a joke.

The medical transcription  job will lose its relevance in no time, because the voice recognition software are so superior with the event of technology.

Travellers will find it easy to go to remotest places and with the help of google translate you can communicate in Russian without knowing a word in Russian. Your google lens can read Chinese and guide you to your exact location. 

You can cycle in entire city of Berlin without asking anyone for location just use google maps and it all so easy. 

Using Ai google can realise what the customer wants and recommend him greatest products or services. Google assist with help of what’s app integration will send messages about the customer of exactly as what he wants.  

Many of the jobs that exist today may not be there 5 yrs from now.  

Google maps is tracking your behaviour each time you enter a restaurant they ask for a review if you review and write the mutton biryani was excellent the ai in google maps have identified that you love mutton and whenever there is a option where you are searching for milk shakes in Chennai just besides the milk shakes it will offer you a review of the best mutton biryani in Chennai, how google help business.  

Google knows you and your behaviour more than you know your self.

Google will also know where you travel what time you travel where you stop to eat, what, do you smoke(if you smoke) how much time you will take to eat a masala dosa vada and tea or normal pattern which route you take to reach where and why you stop at a particular place. 

You reach the exact location, but you may also miss a competitive price in this deal. So understand there is no free lunch. 

If you stop at a particular tea shop google will identify why you stop there based on study of patterns of others who follow the same route.

How can google identify if you smoke  

They track your movements and they will collaborate with people who does the same movements and identify the behaviour patterns the age group etc and the answer will be 90% correct.  

As per google they say, they can 99% certify if your husband or wife is cheating on you.

Indian Insurance firms will love this feature.Google can even identify if you are a rash driver or not, and send this data to insurance firms to over charge you next time you make your premium payment or in event of a accident the insurance companies now has a better reason why they should not pay you.   

Tesla can raise your cars suspension sitting at their office using central computer.

Sound engineering for automobiles is the next big thing.

Imagine Ferrari without the roaring engine noise, imagine Harley Davison without the potato potato sound.  

Sound engineers have a great future in automotive industry, how? Well, with the increasing focus on electric vehicles and its speed and its range, what’s missing is the sound, all electric cars have absolutely no sound, this is in a way is dangerous as most of pedestrians move when they hear the sound, so the next is creation of Ferrari sound, and creation of outdoor speakers system for cars and bikes.  

So among the new features that one will check when they purchase new car will be, how powerful is the speakers and who designed it.  

For example a r rahman designed bose external speakers 2000 watts.  

Each car manufacturers will be designing their own version of engine sound, from now by hearing the artificially created sound of the engine we will say some one has come in a Lamborghini or Tesla.

Next time you walk into a cafe the Ai (artificial intelligence) camera will identify your face, and pass the message to the cashier at the counter and the billing kiosk would say, your name and last time you visited here, what dish you ordered and that’s not all, it will integrate with your bank and says what products you have ordered and which location and from where, also your taste preference and also know if you are diabetic and then send you message of diabetic clinic nearby.

Apple Watch already have a feature where it can measure you ECG and in case of a drop in ECG count it can alert the nearest ambulance service. 

Travel and Tourism Industry 

It will also identify, if you have a close relative living abroad and then if they have booked a flight they will show the ad that you were looking and send messages to you about the same laptop you were looking for and the price in dubai or USA. 

Now if you book your ticket online, The moment a confirmed flight ticket reaches your inbox, all the related marketing activities will start to operate. 

Banks with forex card, money exchange ads, logistics companies, Uber service  

OTT and home entertainment with subscription channels 

Earlier bigger your TV screen the more luxurious it will be, Samsung OLED 65 inch which was 3,50,000 is now 135000 with even better features and you will get a similar LED from TCL with 3 yr  full warranty for Rs 65000 despite all this, the need for watching tv has reduced drastically.

The earlier ads where husband and wife fight for tv remote looks so stale. Now everyone can watch their favourite tv shows on their mobile. Why do you need a tv. 

Another reason which I personally believe is that, the success of OTT is the ability to fast forward a movie, this is not possible when you are watching a tv subscription. 

Most newspaper will go out of business in next 5 yrs, and for most us the news from news papers is what we have already read in their web portal. 

The bombay times, page 3, was a key reason for many youngsters to read the times of india, well now we have much more from Instagram, why would one want to read it in print. Plus you need to open the paper to read. 

In URBAN warfare.

Drones, Ai (artificial intelligence), laser light guided bullet with 99.9% accuracy is the next scale weaponry of mass destruction. 

Drone traffic control room for managing food delivery, courier delivery and medicine delivery there will be prescribed routes for using drones else it can create drone crash like mid air collision or similar.  

Photography

Remember the time when we use to look up to those who hold a canon 6d etc, now you can get almost the same result as Phone cameras with Ai (artificial intelligence) can make any one a professional photographer with now additional filters, and what ever you can imagine. 

Instagram 

You spend some time on Instagram you get to feel everyone is so happy, yet the depression cases in women have increase 10 folds, it’s  contrary to the happiness quotient. 

The Negative Impact.

New age psychological disorders among children and adults is next big social issues, The next de addiction centres will not be for alcohol and drugs but for mobile phone addiction, porn addiction, game addiction, concentration lapse disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder and what not. Now that

Deepika padukone, has openly declared that she had suffered depression many young ladies have started consulting psychiatrist for being depressed, unknowingly depression and being depressed is totally different subject.

Many are already having such disorders, but not yet identified.  

My wife feels I am one, of them, unidentified psycho cases walking freely.  


Next generation ideas will be. “Get lost” Tourism.

Take a small piece of land in Ooty or similar place,With cows goats rabbits dogs horses and all domestic animals to spend quality times with them. Read only books, no tv, totally no internet. One psychiatric counsellor.  personalised yoga teacher.Eat raw cooked food. This will be the tourism of the future.

Hisham, on the future of every thing.

Are we ready for electric cars in India.

There is a huge demand and excitement around the upcoming electric cars in India. However here is a reality check.

Globally automobile manufacturers have not yet pulled the project as compete road ready.

Range per charge needs to be improved.

Where do we have charging points.

Yes you don’t have to fill fuel anymore so it’s a total saving however every two years you will have to shell out half price of the car to replace battery.

It will take a full 5 yrs for battery run cars to make practical with affordability.

Buying a battery car now will be like buying a 3 megapixel digital camera when its getting launched for $3000 USD only to realize you got another better features rich camera next year for half the price.

So do not buy a battery run car atleast until 2023

organised used car business in India- illogical.

I recently visited the maruti true value store as well as the hyundai authorised used car showroom.

what i have understood is that buying a used car from these people are no big bargain as the prices difference between a new car and 4 yr old used car is just Rs20,000.

so i cannot understand what logic to apply here,

instead of paying twenty thousand less for a used car might as well buy a new car.

how illogical can this organised used business be in India.

Need a Safe Small Car Reserch Report.

I visited the Hyundai Dealer workshop today, and i happen to see the cars that got damaged and that saved lives of many, my self being a crash survivor, I guess I have a huge loyalty to the brand Hyundai in India. Though I believe that crash survivor is a survivor because god wanted him to live more, having said that, I wanted to do research on the total number of accidents that happen in India and of the total number of survivors how far has the car saved them.

Auto magazines like autocar, autobild, and whatcar or similar should give its customers a report on the same.

Lets hope some auto journalist take this up and we get to see and detailed report on the same.

Hisham

Auto enthusiast.