Brijmohan Lall Munjal was an Indian business tycoon and the founder and chairman of Hero group of companies (Hero Motocorp). He was listed among the top 30 richest people in India.
Munjal was born into a simple middle-class Arora/Khatri family on 1st July 1923 at Kamalia in unpartitioned Punjab (British India). After he completed his formal education he took up a job at the Army Ordnance Factory, before shifting his base to India after independence. Brijmohan was married to Santosh and the couple had five children Mr. Suman Kant, Mr. Sunil Kant, Mr. Pawan Kant, Geeta Anand and Late Mr. Raman Kant.
Munjals were the first generation entrepreneur who established one of world’s largest manufacturers of two-wheelers Hero Group. Brijmohan Lall Munjal began to spread their bicycle component distribution network in different parts of India. By the early 1950s they were supplying bicycle components throughout the country.
In the year 1952, they shifted from supplying to manufacturing front forks, chains and handlebars. The Punjab Government in 1956 issued tender notices for twelve new industrial licenses to make bicycles in Ludhiana. Munjal and his brothers won the contract and Hero Cycles was recorded as a large-scale industrial unit. Hero Cycles under the leadership of B.M. Munjal became the first company to export bicycles in large scale. The Hero Cycles Limited entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1986 as the largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world. The Hero Group also started a joint venture with the Japanese motor industry Honda Motors in 1984. The joint venture with Hondo Motors ended in Aug 2011 and then the company came to be known as Hero MotoCorp Ltd. The Hero Group expanded so exponentially that it had sold 8.6 million motorbikes by 2002 which simplifies to 16,000 bikes a day.
Even after the settlements and separation of the Japanese motors industry from Hero Honda Motors Ltd, The newly formed Hero MotoCorp Ltd. still used the Japanese 'Honda' title in its bikes till 2013, for which they had to pay some loyalty to the company. On the bright side, this name was so much popular in the South Asia Pacific Region that it became the biggest bike consumers in 3 decades which made it a task to maintain the same flow and demand of the product in India and its neighbours.
In 2015, the baton of chairmanship was passed on to his son Pawan Munjal.
Achievements and Recognition:
Munjal held leadership positions in some of the renowned national associations such as PHD, AICMA, CII and SIAM. He had also served in the Reserve Bank of India as a member of the Regional Board.
Brijmohan Lall Munjal was awarded the Businessman of the Year award in 1994 by business magazine "Business India.” He also received the Lifetime Achievement award for "Management" from All India Management Association in 2003. He holds a Padma Bhushan Award in his list of achievements for his contribution in the field of industry and trade. Business Barons Magazine listed him as the 'Most Admired CEO' in the year 1999. In the year 2000, XLRI conferred him with Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial Peace. He was also honored with a Doctorate degree (Doctor of Letters) by the Banaras Hindu University and Doctor of Science by IIT Kharagpur in 2004 and 2011 respectively. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship in 2011.
Not only did he bring revolutionary changes in the field of motor-industry with his bikes but he also helped many educational and medical institutions to come into being. His notable contributions to the Dayal Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana Aviation Club and Ludhiana Management Association as a chairman will be remembered forever.
B.M. Munjal passed away in a private hospital in South Delhi after a short illness. He is survived by wife Santosh and children Geeta Anand, Sunil Kant, Pawan Kant and Suman Kant.
Words and Wishes:
Many prominent people in the business industry shared their condolences as follows:
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of the TVS Group:
"The Indian automotive industry will miss him. He was a mentor not only to his family, but for the industry,"
Arvind Kapur, Chairman Rico Auto:
"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 were fortunate that it was done in a very friendly manner and it was done very proactively,”
Children: Sunil Kant Munjal, Pawan Munjal, Raman Kant Munjal, Suman Kant Munjal, Geeta
Siblings: Om Prakash Munjal, Satyanand Munjal, Dayanand Munjal
(FAN OF Mr. BRIJMOHAN LALL MUNJAL)
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