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Mahatma Gandhi’s great great ‘grandsons’ are now billionaires

Twins Anurang and Tarang Jain, the great grandsons of Jamnalala Bajaj, whom Mahatma Gandhi considered a son, are now billionaires, with $1.1 billion to each of their names. Anurang is the founder of automobile parts maker Endurance Technologies Ltd., and his brother Tarang is the founder of the Varroc Group, which is also into automobile parts.

Both brothers have had their uncle Rajiv Bajaj’s company, Bajaj Auto Ltd., as their primary customer for a significant amount of time over the years. Recalling his time spent with the father of the nation, the 78-year-old Rahul Bajaj, the twins’ grandfather, in a recent interview with Bloomberg Quint said,

As a teenager, I slowly realised that what propelled his (Gandhi’s) family most wasn’t the spirit of non-violent political protest, but a quest for success.  People say that while you are a child, you think of being a policeman or a pilot. I never thought of anything else: business, business, business.

Talking about his grandsons, Bajaj said,

I will be the first one to shout at them if I find any problem. Bajaj Auto has always insisted on better quality and lower cost. Indeed, both had worked on cost and quality, otherwise they would not have grown.

Bajaj Auto, the family’s flagship business, among the largest exporters of motorcycles and three-wheelers, was started by Rahul’s father, and Rahul’s son has run it since 2005. Bajaj Group, the parent company, is controlled by the billionaire and the three cousins Madhur Bajaj, Niraj Bajaj, and Shekhar Bajaj, with Bajaj Holdings and Investments.

Jamnalal Bajaj, whom Mahatma Gandhi considered his fifth son, started the Bajaj Group in 1926. Jamnalal convinced the Mahatma to open up an ashram in Maharashtra in 1932, and the family stayed in the ashram till 1948, the year Gandhi was assassinated. Gradually, the company was expanded to venture into cement, electronic appliances, and scooters.

It wasn’t until the ’70s and ’80s, when the group started focusing on the mainstream scooter business, that the family truly achieved some heady fortunes. The group quickly expanded internationally to countries like Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria. Endurance and Varroc, each valued at $1.1 billion, were once under the blanket of the Bajaj Group, until they worked hard to acquire fresh customers and products through various acquisitions.

According to NDTV, Varroc’s revenue almost doubled with the 2012 purchase of lighting business Visteon for $92 million, while Endurance now has seven factories in Europe and 18 in India.

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