Shekhar Bajaj drives for 20 minutes each morning to his office in Mumbai’s Flora Fountain from his sprawling sea-facing apartment in Cuffe Parade. This is the only real estate investment that Bajaj has made and one that was from the convenience point of view. “The fact is that I do not understand real estate as a sector,” says the 67-year-old, pointing out that there are serious questions today about the sector’s performance. Bajaj’s investment strategy, on the other hand, is not just simple but has remained unchanged for many years now. “I am completely invested in the equities of Bajaj Group companies, which are spread across different sectors,” he says. This list includes names such as Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Electricals, Mukand, Bajaj Finserv and the group’s joint ventures with Germany’s Allianz and Hercules Hoists.
According to Bajaj, from a long-term perspective, there really is no better bet than investing in group companies. “It helps when you understand these businesses,” Bajaj avers. There is a clear rationale behind this. “We are compelled to work hard since we enjoy the benefits as well. It’s a strategy that has worked well so far,” he explains. And it has also paid off, given that each of these companies have shown healthy growth. There is more bounty waiting as measures such as increasing the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49% becomes a reality. “So far, the group companies are doing well and we have had no reason to look for opportunities outside. Of course, if they perform badly, it will be quite a different story,” he says, half-smiling.