On Saturday, the Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj made a statement on continuing trade with China. He said purchasing of goods should be done from wherever they are most competitive. He was speaking at a session on the ‘Building Reliable Supply Chain’ on the second day of the three-day Virtual Asia Economic Dialogue 2021, which was jointly convened by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Pune International Centre.

Bajaj also said that in terms of ease of doing business, it is definitely easier to operate something in one of the ASEAN countries than “what we encounter here in India”.

“We like to believe that we are a global company, and therefore, this to my mind from a cultural point of view, and an operational point of view, demands completeness or inclusiveness not just of employee gender, but also of having dealers, distributors and equally suppliers from all over the world.”

“And that is why I believe that we must continue to trade with China. Because if we conduct our business at the exclusion of such a large country, such a large market, we will find ourselves incomplete over time, and we will be poorer for the loss of that experience,”

Bajaj said.

While stating that in the supply chain, commitment is important. He said that building a sense of mutual and reciprocity is unavoidable for at least such a very complex supply chain that the auto industry needs to deliver the final product to the customer.

Pointing out the importance of continuity in the supply chain, Bajaj said,

“I say this in the context of what happened in around June or July, when our government for whatever reasons, suddenly came down hard on imports, especially from China.”

“Now, to my mind, doing something like that is to cut your nose to spite your face. Because overnight, how can one source components that are simply not made in the domestic market, that you need to deliver the product to domestic or export customers?”

he quoted.

As per Bajaj, maintaining continuity is another important aspect of the overall approach to the supply chain.

Noting that if it is cheaper to make something from China or to buy something from Thailand, Bajaj said,

“We should always buy goods from wherever it is competitively available.”

He said that as the company hopes to venture into Asia in a significant way in the future, it made a detailed comparison of some of the metrics.

Based on five metrics – land, labour, electricity, logistics, and the legal system,

“we compared India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as a whole.”

“And to be honest, we were not very happy with the conclusion we drew for India based on this conclusion, and I think we can put it together and call it ease of doing business. So, this has been our experience so far. However, it is certainly easier to operate in some of the limited, ASEAN countries that we encounter here in India.”

Said by Bajaj.

Now, the question arises that what will happen in near future when we talk about Atmanirbhar Bharat, if one of our major segments, e.g., Automobile segment depends so much on these countries which are somehow creating disturbance in political and border areas?