India flattened wrong curve: Rajiv Bajaj tells Rahul Gandhi on Covid-19 battle

Rajiv Bajaj, MD at Bajaj Auto, said in a social media interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that the national lockdown has managed to flatten the GDP curve and not the Covid-19 curve. Highlighting that the poor and the migrants have had to pay the maximum price over the past several weeks, he said India looked at western countries for solutions rather than Asian nations.

File photo of Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto.
File photo of Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto.

In the Thursday morning live interaction, Bajaj stated that lockdown has not achieved its objectives. "There were four choices before us. There was a choice of hard lockdown on the one side but to the best of my knowledge, this has not happened anywhere. At the other extreme is business as usual. Everyone is trying to find the middle path but India not just went west, it went wild west. You have flattened the wrong curve, not the Covid-19 curve but the GDP curve," he said. "We sought not to look at the east despite being an Asian country. We looked at the west which was not right. We should have never been looking there, even in terms of how to approach this in medical terms."

Bajaj then went on to say, "No one was willing to explain the math to us. We have fallen very short of disclosing facts, logic and the truth."

'A large country like India cannot save itself out of trouble. It has to sail itself out of trouble. I cannot understand why there is no strong measure to lift the mood of people and give a strong stimulus to demand,' he said.

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Asked by the Wayanad MP about how India can possibly ramp up manufacturing once again, Bajaj said, "I was interviewing someone from Brazil recently because Bajaj Auto is moving to Brazil too. I asked him why he thinks Bajaj Auto can succeed in Brazil. He said 'Bajaj Auto has Japanese technology, European styling and Indian pricing.' Demand generation starts by wanting to be at a global platform. You have to narrow down what you want to do. You can't be Mahendra Singh Dhoni if you play six different sports."

Bajaj then went on to explain why he does not see a smooth reopening of supply chains at Bajaj Auto. "Everybody in an aligned way must go forward. This is not happening. It is a herculean task to open up. Fear has to be taken out of minds of people. There has to be a message from Prime Minister, say 'this is how we have to move forward'."

First Published Date: 04 Jun 2020, 10:32 AM IST
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