15 May, 2021

R.C. Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki

Under Bhargava, Maruti became India’s No. 1 ­automobile ­firm and a ­precious ­profit-making ­engine for its parent Suzuki.

Photograph by Vishal Koul
R.C. Bhargava, Maruti Suzuki
outlookindia.com
2017-03-25T11:17:54+05:30
  • Sales grew from 47,694 units to 3 lakh-plus under Bhargava

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A classic case of a bureaucrat becoming a corporate success, R.C. Bharagava was one of the first IAS officers to become the CEO of a major company. Educated at the Doon School (Dehradun), Allahabad University and Williams College, Massachusetts, he topped the 1956 batch of the IAS and served in Jammu and Kashmir before moving on to the central government, first as a joint secretary in the Ministry of Energy and then in the cabinet secretariat. In 1979, he joined public-sector giant BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) as commercial director.

In 1981, he joined the then newly founded Maruti Udyog as its third employee, on a one-year deputation. When his deputation ended, he quit the IAS, much against the advice of his fellow bureaucrats, and continued with Maruti as its director (marketing and sales)—one of the first bureaucrats to make the shift to the private sector. He was made the MD (managing director) in 1985 and, in 1990, became its CMD...

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