Business Standard

Giving maximum value for money was key to Maruti's success: RC Bhargava

From employees to suppliers and dealers, Maruti Suzuki champions a culture of collaboration, RC Bhargava said at BS Manthan

RC Bhargava

Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava (right) at Business Standard Manthan

Nandini Singh New Delhi

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Giving average Indians the maximum value for their money was one of the keys behind Maruti India’s success, its 89-year-old chairman RC Bhargava said on Thursday.

Bhargava said this during a conversation with AK Bhattacharya, editorial director at Business Standard at an event to mark the 50 years of the newspaper.

“What has kept Maruti on top are two factors. The first is that we have always tried to understand the Indian customer, and the Indian customer is not just the customer who has multiple houses or multiple kinds of assets all over the world, but we are looking at the Indian customer right from the bottom, and we try to cater to all segments of the market. We have tried to do that throughout.

“And to cater to this segment, we have tried to see that we give them maximum value for the money they have spent because we at least understand that the bulk of Indian customers do not have surplus money to waste; that the bulk of Indian customers value their assets and want to use them reliably, and that has been part of our ethos,” Bhargava said at the Business Standard ‘Manthan’ summit.

The other key behind the Maruti’s success was collaboration.

“The second part that has kept us ahead of others is that we, from the beginning, have believed that the best results not only in industry but in many other walks of life come if you work in a true spirit of partnership with everybody who is associated with your business.”
“And we, from the beginning, decided that we would work as partners with everybody. So, within the company, we took steps, policies, and actions so that all employees, including the workers in the company, thought they were partners with us. We didn't have any differences, so we worked as partners with our supply chain, and the entire supply chain was developed from scratch,” the IAS turned automobile manufacturer said.

He also offered a glimpse into how the Indian industry looked like when Maruti started. And developing partnership played a key role then too.

“There was nothing in India in 1982, and all the vendors who came up, we from the beginning educated them that if they worked with us as if they were partners in the business, both of us would grow, and you have seen the results not only in Maruti but also in the auto component industry and how much it has grown. It is the only sector of manufacturing in India that is truly world-class and that exports manufactured products on a large scale.”
Reflecting on historical challenges and policy frameworks, Bhargava acknowledged the nuanced dynamics of operating within a regulated environment.

Despite critiques, Bhargava credited initiatives like the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) for expediting the localisation of component manufacturing, underscoring the interplay between regulatory pressure and industry evolution.

Furthermore, Bhargava candidly shared insights on navigating governmental partnerships, highlighting the inherent challenges posed by frequent personnel changes and policy discontinuity.

Looking ahead, Bhargava reaffirmed Maruti’s commitment to advancing the government’s zero-carbon agenda. Grounded in a pragmatic understanding of Indian realities, Maruti advocates for a diversified approach encompassing EVs and complementary technologies to accelerate carbon reduction initiatives, Bhargava added.

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First Published: Mar 28 2024 | 7:05 PM IST

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