Brijmohan Lall Munjal, group patriarch who spearheaded growth of Hero MotoCorp (earlier Hero Honda Motor) as the world’s-largest bike maker by volume, has decided to hang up his boots and hand over the baton to son Pawan Munjal, who will now act as chairman, chief executive officer and managing director of the company.
Brijmohan Lall, 92, has been chairman of the two-wheeler maker since its inception in 1984.
The appointment of Pawan Munjal as chairman has been approved by the company’s board in a meeting held on Monday. Brijmohan Lall has accepted the offer made by the board to continue as mentor in the form of chairman emeritus. He will also continue to be part of the board as non-executive director.
Pawan Munjal had assumed the role of MD and CEO in 2001 at Hero, then a JV with Honda. Last year he was elevated as vice chairman.
Pawan Munjal is the third son of Brijmohan Lall. Eldest sibling Raman Kant passed away several years ago while Suman Kant and Sunil Kant are involved with other businesses.
As on March 31, 2015, the Munjal family owned 34.64 per cent stake in the company, which was founded in collaboration with Japan’s Honda Motor Corporation. Honda exited the venture in December 2010 by selling entire 26 per cent stake in Hero Honda for Rs 3,841.83 crore to the Munjal family.
The Munjal family had also split around the same time with other family members who were already running the cycle and electric scooter units among other businesses, getting an independent play in those areas.
Brijmohan Lall and his immediate family retained the crown jewel of the group, a firm they were directly involved with.
Munjals had roped in Bain Capital and GIC to finance the stake purchase from Honda. The two investors have sold some of their holding but still own a small stake.
At present, Hero MotoCorp has over 50 per cent share in the domestic motorcycle market in India. In the financial year 2014-15, it sold record 6.63 million two-wheelers–its highest-ever annual sales.
On Tuesday, shares of Hero Moto were trading at Rs 2610.70 each, down 3.65 per cent on BSE at 2:35 PM in a weak Mumbai market.