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Slightly over two years to find a suitable partner, finalize all legal documentation, get governmental approval to these agreements as well as to the investment proposals, build a factory, develop a supplier base to meet localization regulations, create a sales and service network, and develop and launch a people's car that would sell 100,000 a year, in a sector where Indian expertise was limited. And to do this as a public sector company, having to follow all governmental systems and procedures, and having to please both its masters in the government and Suzuki Motor Corporation. However, the Maruti project succeeded, and in ways that were unimaginable in 1983. The car revolutionized the industry and put a country on wheels. Suddenly, ordinary middle-class men and women could aspire to own a reliable, economical and modern car, and the steep sales targets were easily met. Twenty-six years later, the company, now free of government controls and facing competition from the world's major manufacturers who have entered the Indian market, still leads the way. Not only that, cars made by Maruti can be seen in all continents. By any yardstick, it is an incredible story, involving grit, management skill and entrepreneurship of a high order. R.C. Bhargava, who was at the helm of thecompany, and is currently its chairman, co-writing with senior journalist and author Seetha, shows how it was done in this riveting account of a landmark achievement.
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About the Author

R.C. BHARGAVA joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1956. After an eventful tenure, during which he had postings in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and in the Central government, he was deputed to BHEL as its commercial director in 1979. In 1981, he moved to Maruti Udyog Limited, retiring from the IAS shortly thereafter. He was appointed managing director of MUL in 1985. In 1990, he also assumed the responsibility of chairman of the board. Except for a few years following his retirement in 1997, he has continued to be closely associated with the company, from 2007 as chairman once again. Mr Bhargava is on the boards of a number of leading Indian companies across a diverse range of sectors. He has also been providing advisory and consultancy services to several Indian and foreign companies, and is actively involved with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Reviews

An extraordinary and rare insight into how a few determined entrepreneurs created an icon...' - C. K. Prahalad "The well documented study of the birth and success of Maruti will be of great value for policy makers, entrepreneurs and auto enthusiast" The Stateman

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