MARUTI Suzuki India Limited has a long and interesting history. At first, there was a private company-Maruti Motors Limited-started by Sanjay Gandhi, as his dream project. Then it was taken over by the government in 1981, and was renamed as Maruti Udyog. Ltd R C Bhargava, an experienced administrator, joined it along with another successful manager, and remained with it for long years, to tell us its story in full. Since most of the public sector undertakings in India had a dismal track record, many people felt that it was doomed to fail, but it proved everybody wrong. Bhargava clearly suggests that the initial success of the company was largely due to the personal interest taken in it by Smt Indira Gandhi; by choosing the best people from the government and industry to run its affairs, she helped it to grow in the right direction.
Bhargava shows how in spite of the government control over its finances and working environment, Maruti steadily moved forward and became an equal partnership company with Suzuki Motors in 1981. The whole process of this transformation, including the choice of the partner company, has been documented meticulously. Because of its efficient management, the company succeeded in producing its first car within the stipulated time. Details about the kind of car that was envisaged and its marketing make a fascinating reading.
Because of the new policy of liberalisation, the stake of the government in the company diminished gradually. It became totally free from its control in 2007. Its change to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd prompted other changes, too. Its work culture was largely shaped by the Japanese, who also helped in streamlining its organisational structure. With steady increase in the percentage of Indian components in its cars, it moved steadily from strength to strength, made new and successful models, and slowly expanded its export base.
Written with the help of a trained journalist, Bhargava’s book is a compact chronicle of the company’s growth from its earliest base to its present incarnation.