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End of an era: Brijmohan Lall Munjal passes away after brief illness

Brijmohan Lall Munjal, 92 years, the grand old patriarch of the Hero MotoCorp group passed away on Sunday after a brief illness.

Nov 02, 2015, 02.39 AM IST
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Brijmohan Lall Munjal, 92 years, the grand old patriarch of the Hero MotoCorp group passed away on Sunday after a brief illness.
Brijmohan Lall Munjal, 92 years, the grand old patriarch of the Hero MotoCorp group passed away on Sunday after a brief illness.
MUMBAI: Brijmohan Lall Munjal, 92 years, the grand old patriarch of the Hero MotoCorp group passed away on Sunday after a brief illness. The four Munjal brothers, with Brijmohan Lall , the third brother, started literally from a small shop in Amritsar, in 1945, selling bicycle parts to what has now become India’s biggest producer of two-wheelers.

The cremation is to be held on Monday afternoon. Encomiums from his peers in the industry poured when ETreached out to them. “The Indian automotive industry will miss him. He was a mentor not only to his family, but for the industry,” said Venu Srinivasan, chairman of the TVS group, which also makes two-wheelers. Srinivasan quoted Rudyard Kipling’s verse, to describe Munjal, as a man who had the common touch: “Walk with the kings without losing the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you if all men count with you...”

“He stood for values, and had goodness and humility in abundant measure and achieved greatness during his lifetime. He was the exemplar that hard work and good values could still get you to the top,” Srinivasan said.

Brijmohan Lall, eventually ventured into 4-stroke 100cc motorcycles, in collaboration with Honda Motor Company. Brij Mohanlall, made the group focus on personal transportation and that too, only in two-wheelers. He had a penchant to remember the names of dealers, who were in the thousands and made it a point to attend weddings in their families that enabled him to keep the dealers stay loyal to him. “India has today lost one of the finest business leaders of our times. His penchant for quality, development of aspiring entrepreneurs as vendors, exceptionally warm relationships and care for his family made him a very special person,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel said.

“He was almost a godfather to us. He was the person who guided and supported us always. I would remember him as the true creator of ancillary in India. We would always seek help on various things and he would never say no. When he started exporting cycles, he also insisted us to export in the foreign market…. I was a supplier in Delhi, he is the one who introduced technology and introduced us to the Japanese automobile industry,” said Arvind Kapur, chairman, Rico Auto, one of India’s auto component firms.

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