Brijmohan Lall Munjal, Chairman emeritus of the Hero MotoCorp, died at the age of 92. He died of a massive heart attack.
Along with his three brothers, he is credited building Hero Cycles into the world’s largest maker of bicycles; the Hero MotoCorp is also into making motorcycles and scooters. In 1975, Hero Cycles became the largest maker of bicycles in India and later during the 80’s, it was also recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest maker of the bicycles.
Munjal is credited with creating a web of strong relationships among suppliers and dealers. He was reputed to know every supplier, dealer and their children by their first name. Many say it was this trait that helped him in strengthening his conglomerate. For these very reasons, he was fondly known as ‘Lalaji’, ‘hamaara hero’ and BM with his associates, partners and friends.
“Everything that I know I have learned from him… he walked the talk. The life that he has seen we cannot even contemplate,” said Rahul Munjal, Munjal’s eldest grandson.
His close to 35% present stake in Hero, which he shared with his children, earned him a spot among India’s richest. Recently, he featured at Number 27 on Forbes Asia’s India Rich list with a family fortune of $3 billion. In August 2013, his company announced plans to enter as many as 50 markets by 2020, also with a target of setting 20 manufacturing facilities across the globe and achieving overall annual sales of around Rs.60,000 crore, including achieving over 10% of its annual sales from the overseas markets.