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7% drop in sales not a crisis, we shouldn't play with lives of employees by talking about job cut: Rajiv Bajaj

Before asking for help, Bajaj said the industry needs to ask itself if it's done enough to compete globally.

ET Online|
Updated: Aug 22, 2019, 07.21 PM IST
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Salary of employees is just 4 percent of sales, so is it justified to throw your employees for such small saving," he asked.

In a strong statement to Indian auto industry, managing director of Bajaj Auto Rajiv Bajaj today said industries should look at their own shortcomings before asking for any stimulus from the government. Industry leaders Maruti and Mahindra and Mahindra have made a case for a fiscal stimulus package from the government for the automobile sector to tide over a slump in sales and arrest job losses.

Before asking for fiscal help, Bajaj said industry needs to ask itself if it has done enough to become globally competitive. Talking to a business channel, he said some of Indian industry products are 'mediocre'.

He said most of the auto industry slowdown is of their own making. “Lot of companies are not able to export because frankly, by world-class standards, their products are mediocre. Obviously, I don’t want to name them but when you make everything… when you will make scooters, and bikes and cars and jeeps and SUVs and trucks and buses and everything under the Sun, you are obviously not going to be world-class at anything,” he said.

Commenting over the recent reports of job cuts in auto industry, Bajaj said this fear mongering is not required. "I agree that it is a difficult time, but a drop of 5 per cent to 7 per cent sales can't be called as a crisis," he said.

"If I tell my employees that when the going is though, I am going to throw you out, than how would my employees trust me," he said.

"It's a double speak. Salary of employees is just 4 percent of sales, so is it justified to throw your employees for such small saving," he asked.

"I wouldn't like to play with the lives and families of the employees," Bajaj said.

Asking industry to go beyond India, Bajaj said the industry should focus on fostering falling domestic sales with exports to global markets.

He also said that he expects the sales to improve during festive season.

The auto sector is already facing a slowdown in sales in the past few months. Around two lakh jobs have been lost across automobile dealerships in the country in the last three months as vehicle retailers attempt to tide over the impact of the unprecedented sales slump, industry body FADA had earlier said.
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