Brij Mohan Munjal, 92, chairman emeritus of Hero MotoCorp, passed away in New Delhi on Sunday evening.
He had been admitted to a private hospital for the past one month after his health deteriorated.
Munjal is survived by three sons and a daughter. As the word spread the industry went into grief and recalled his contribution in promoting the cycle industry of Ludhiana.
It was second setback to the Hero group in as many months as his younger brother, OP Munjal, chairman of Hero Cycles, had passed away on August 13.
Born in 1923 at Kamalia in Pakistani Punjab, Munjal, along with brothers Dayanand, Satyanand and Om Prakash, shifted base to Amritsar in 1943 and later to Ludhiana, where they groomed a bicycle component business. In 1956, they started Hero Cycles Limited that went on to become the largest cycle producer in the country.
His nephew Umesh Munjal said he breathed his last at 7pm at Max Hospital, New Delhi. “Due to advanced age, uncle was not doing well and was admitted to hospital a month ago,” he said.
Gurmeet Singh Kular, chairman of United Cycles and Parts Manufacturers Association, said Brij Mohan and brothers floated the company that produced the maximum number of cycles in the country. In 1984, the Hero group partnered Japanese automobile giant Honda and started producing motorcycles at a time when scooters ruled the Indian market, but the Hero-Honda alliance changed the rules of the game, Kular said.
In 2011, Hero parted ways with Honda to create Hero MotoCorp with Brij Mohan Munjal as chairman.