Rajiv Bajaj’s ‘Breakfast of Champions’ dig keeps industry chuckling
Bajaj, Enfield, and TVS (BET), the champions, have OATS for breakfast, Ola, Ather, Tork and SmartE, according to Rajiv Bajaj. Industry reaction to the joke was interesting.
There’s a new wave of mobility coming, and electric vehicle makers are leading the charge. Thus, the battle between legacy players and new startups has never been hotter. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, addressed this very question during the launch of the new-generation Pulsar 250. In his BETS vs. OATS comparison, Bajaj bossman mocked the EV startups. Media and enthusiasts found the dig amusing, but the entire industry laughed at the comparison, which has since gone viral.
As Rajiv Bajaj talked about the future of electric vehicles, he decided to rely on three legacy manufacturers – Bajaj, Enfield, and TVS. Their proven track records made them champions, and what do champions eat for breakfast? According to the top boss, OATS. OATS stands for Ola, Ather, Tork and SmartE.
It is very clear that champions eat OATS for breakfast: Ola, Ather, Tork, and SmartE. “Picture it,” he said while interacting with the media.
Must say, the OATS and BET acronyms by Rajiv Bajaj made my day today 😄
Never a dull moment in this industry.
— Tarun Mehta (@tarunsmehta) October 28, 2021
Ather Energy co-founder and CEO Tarun Mehta responded to Rajiv Bajaj’s remarks by writing, “Must say, the OATS and BET acronyms made my day today. The OATS players handled this very sportily. Never a dull moment in this industry.”
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) October 28, 2021
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder, and CEO of Ola Electric, retweeted a user seemingly agreeing with it. The user shared a breakdown of booking numbers for Ola’s scooters and sales data for the Ather 450 and Bajaj Chetak from the past year.
As the auto industry seems to be on the cusp of an electric revolution, EV players have shown their energy and how. Ather has been selling its products to customers for over a year now, whereas Ola has not yet delivered its scooters to customers. From its S1 and S1 Pro offerings, the company promises segment-leading features, range, and more.
— Ather Energy (@atherenergy) October 29, 2021
At the launch of the new EV players, Rajiv Bajaj said, “Now there are startups that we respect. Of course, the biggest one is Ola. We look forward to seeing how they perform. I was not being sarcastic, I was just stating a fact. They have not produced anything yet, they have not sold anything yet. There is Ather, which we greatly respect because they have shown that they are able to do this.”
Additionally, Bajaj pointed out what sets legacy players apart from today’s EV startups. According to him, their business model is a cash burn model. Companies like Bajaj follow a cash flow model.
“We have to make sure we make money when we make motorcycles, so we operate very differently,” he said.
Additionally, the government has been pushing for electric mobility. Bajaj already offers the Chetak scooter in this segment, and the platform is likely to expand in the future for both the domestic and global markets.