LUXURY ON WHEELS
The sole dealer of Audi, Porsche, Benelli and Ducati in the eastern region, Mohan Motor Group’s CMD, Sandip Kumar Bajaj’s diligence, foresight and threedecade experience have turned his group into one of the city’s biggest and multiple award-winning auto dealership firms.
As the sole dealer of premium automobile brands such as Audi, Porsche, Benelli and Ducati, Mohan Motor Group and its chairman cum managing director, Sandip Kumar Bajaj, are well-known in Kolkata’s auto circles. While business and enterprise are part of Bajaj's DNA, it is his diligence, foresight and three-decade experience that have driven the group’s success, turning it into one of the city’s biggest and multiple award-winning auto dealership firms. And that makes his story nothing less than inspiring.
As you walk along the streets of Kolkata, passing by Victorian structures and its iconic yellow cabs, if the sight of a snazzy red Porsche makes your jaw drop, there’s just one place it could have come from: Mohan Motor Group, the only official dealership in West Bengal—actually, the entire eastern India—for the highend German sports car brand. Besides Porsche, the company is also the sole dealer in the region for four other top international brands: Audi, Benelli, Ducati and Isuzu. In addition, Mohan Motor Group services the mass segment with Nissan and Hyundai. If the City of Joy is getting a taste of wheeled luxury offered by these giants, it is all thanks to the ambitious vision and service-oriented approach of Sandip Kumar Bajaj, the chairman cum managing director of Mohan Motor Group, for whom commitment to customer satisfaction is his life’s mission.
Business in his blood
With roots in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, Sandip Bajaj’s family moved to Kolkata (then Calcutta) 100 years ago, when the city was British India’s alpha city and the biggest hub for trade and commerce. When Sandip was born (in 1965), his father, Mohan Lal Bajaj, ran a jute business. As is the usual Marwari practice, Sandip, on turning 17, joined his father in his office, deftly balancing academics—he was studying to be a commerce graduate—with on-the-job training to someday take over the reins of the family business.
Four years later, in 1986, right after Sandip’s graduation from the University of Calcutta, the father-son duo’s enterprising streak and thirst for growth made them acquire a petrol-pump dealership for Indian Oil. The duo worked hard to consistently achieve growth and expansion and gradually extended their footprint to several other cities.
In 1991, armed with a BCom degree, growing entrepreneurial acumen and business connections acquired from his days of apprenticeship, Sandip Bajaj took to his wings to independently set up an auto-financing business, operating from a modest outlet in Burrabazar, a wellknown commercial hub in Kolkata. “Those were times when banks weren’t very strong,” Bajaj says, explaining his foray into auto financing. Thanks to the existing demandsupply gap, his hard work and tenacity, his fledgling business took off and kept growing, taking Mohan Finance Ltd, Sandip’s non-banking finance company, to its peak over the following decade.
However, providing easy auto loans wasn’t the only thing he wanted to do. “I always had a passion for cars, as well as a passion for creating customers,” he adds. Realising that the auto-financing business had endowed him with sufficient experience and ample contacts, he ventured into the second-hand-cars business in 2000. “In a year’s time, we became the highest selling usedcar dealer in West Bengal,” says Bajaj, crediting the huge achievement to his insistence on directly handling operations and meeting customers, which actually helped him get a sense of the market.
From used cars, the next stop was dealership for new vehicles. The first brand to be roped in by the untiring entrepreneur was Fiat, in 2002. This was followed by a dealership for Mahindra & Mahindra the same year, which soon “ranked top for customer service”. Two years later, Mohan Motor Group bagged a Maruti dealership, and, kudos to Sandip Bajaj’s efforts, went on to become the “highest selling Maruti dealer”. It sent the group’s turnover “trebling in the next five years”.
The Audi connection
Mohan Motor Group’s landmark moment, however, came in 2009, when German luxury car manufacturer Audi appointed it as part of its India dealership network. Just like an Audi, the group’s showroom for the luxury motor brand, too was a lavish affair, where no stone was
With our different brands, we ensure that we donate every quarter on behalf of our business. "
left unturned to bowl over customers and visitors. A swank fleet of Audis brought in the rest of the drama. The showroom, incidentally, also has a workshop for servicing Audi models.
In 2012, Mohan Motor Group inked a deal with Porsche, ushering the automaker’s sleek sports cars into Eastern India through one of the most expensive showrooms in the region. In 2014, mass brands Hyundai and Nissan also came on board. The group simultaneously opened a 3S (sales, service, spares) Audi showroom in Ranchi. Using the experience and expertise acquired from his used-car venture, Sandip Bajaj then proceeded to launch an ‘Audi Approved Plus’ facility in Kolkata’s Alipore neighbourhood in 2015 to retail second-hand cars.
Soon, more brands joined hands with Mohan Motor Group. Among them were Italian superbike maker DSK Benelli, Japanese commercial-vehicle specialist Isuzu and Italian motorcycle powerhouse Ducati. The group also opened a 3S Benelli facility in Siliguri in 2016.
As the number of brands increased so did Mohan Motor’s turnover, which touched the R648 crore mark for the financial year 2016–17. Spurred by this unflagging growth trajectory, the group now aims to sell one lakh vehicles by the year 2020—up from the nearly 62,000 units sold in 2017. The group has also been conferred with many honours along the journey, including the “highest selling dealer” title for Benelli within the very first year of the brand joining hands with Mohan Motor Group .
“Currently, we have 55 customer-facing locations and 1,000 employees, and we are looking at multiplying the same by 2021,” says Bajaj. Upbeat about the group’s
success, he assures of many more international brands making their way to Mohan Motor Group, without revealing the names.
Beyond the showroom
Besides enterprise, the Bajaj family is also known for philanthropy. While Mohan Lal had been actively involved in charitable works aimed at uplifting underprivileged children and marginalised sections of society, Sandip Bajaj even oversees the dispatch of company aid to blindschool students, as well as poor pupils in Rajasthan. “With our different brands, we ensure that we donate every quarter on behalf of our business,” Bajaj adds. The group makes contributions to Kolkata Gives, a platform that connects donors to credible NGOs and Rotary Club and plans ‘Donate & Drive’ events with customers on a quarterly basis. Plus, Mohan Motor Group works towards construction of gaushalas through a special initiative. Sandip Bajaj is also associated with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry and organises several events in collaboration with the government to promote skilled labour.
On the family front, apart from his father, Sandip Bajaj also draws support from his wife, who, he says, has been an integral part of his professional growth.
Following in his father’s footsteps, in 2014, Sandip Bajaj’s son, Gaurav, who is 27 now, stepped in to augment the family business, as a director of Mohan Motor Group. Given the synergy this has created and the speed with which things are moving for the group, the day isn’t far when a new series of premium, flashy, jaw-dropping brands will amaze onlookers on the streets of Kolkata. Perhaps it’d be a Bentley, or maybe a Lexus. Whatever be it, we’ll let Bajaj unveil the goods in style.
Top: Sandip Kumar Bajaj
From top: The Porsche showroom in Kolkata; The Ducati showroom in Kolkata
From top: (L-R) Srishti Bajaj (wife of Gaurav Bajaj), Preeti Bajaj (wife of Sandip Bajaj), Sandip Bajaj, Gaurav Bajaj; Mohan Motor's DSK Benelli showroom in Siliguri