In the past, Deepak Parekh encouraged, “Life will be a roller-coaster journey. “You might be successful one day and not the next. Ultimate success is a myth, but happiness and sincerity of purpose are real.

Parekh has maintained his position as the top dog at HDFC for about 30 years now. In light of the impending completion of the merger with HDFC Bank, he is now resigning as chairman.

Bloomberg estimates that the merged company will have a market value of $172 billion. With a market capitalization of $228 billion, Bank of America ranks third in the globe, while JPMorgan Chase has a $417 billion market capitalization.

When Parekh quit his position at Chase Manhattan Bank in 1978, he made twice as much money as he would have at HDFC. It marks the culmination of a journey for Parekh, who joined HDFC at the age of 33 and grew it into India’s largest private sector housing financing organisation. Parekh is now 78 years old.

In 2022, after announcing the historic merger with HDFC Bank, an emotional Parekh stated, “In a sense, it is like the son taking over his father’s business when he grows older.”

Parekh, not all business

In an ET interview from 2010, Parekh discussed his own interests. Putting business aside, Parekh might have attended the Asian Games thanks to some of his extracurricular activities.

Hema Deora, the wife of seasoned Congress politician Murli Deora, once said in an interview with Mumbai Mirror that Deepak Parekh “could have been on the team for the Asian Games, but he only plays it (Bridge) socially.”

Sunday afternoon bridge games between Parekh, Adi Godrej, Hemendra Kothari, and Madhavrao Scindia were common in the 1990s.

Sudoku is an alternative to Bridge.

He completes the logic puzzle every night before bed to keep his mind fresh. I’ll practise on the toughest, most difficult Sudokus I can find. In an interview, he had stated, “That interests me and keeps the mind active.

Parekh claimed that he would put up with lengthy flights and airport wait times simply to see the Indian cricket team compete in venues all around the world before to the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

The Origins of HDFC

His uncle, HT Parekh, a former executive chairman of ICICI, founded it in 1977. Up until the late 1980s, when insurance firms, public-sector banks, and a few private entities established home financing organisations, HDFC essentially had no rivals.

However, the young Parekh felt it was hazardous to leave his investment banking position for a smaller pay. “There were disputes to resolve. I was leaving a stable position with a foreign bank to work for a brand-new business that was still met with a lot of mistrust. In the book “India Transformed,” Parekh stated that no one has so far tried to finance people’s housing requirements in India.

“One thing was clear to me right from the inception of the company: the need for housing finance was dire and the demand for home loans was immense.”

Focus on customers

Over the years, Parekh has repeatedly emphasised that consumers and their trust set the HDFC group of firms apart from their competitors.

In the early years of HDFC, Parekh came to the realisation that the most crucial element in the financial industry is trust. Secondly, excellent client service.

As he admits, there was an immediate sense of satisfaction in the work being done for Parekh, who joined HDFC a year after it was founded.

As much money as HDFC and its group companies have accrued, he remarked, “what has been equally satisfying is that HDFC has enabled millions of Indians to become proud homeowners.”

For the majority of Indians, buying a home may be the biggest investment they ever make, Parekh acknowledged. And confidence is crucial for such an investment. Consider this: HDFC altogether funded 5.5 million housing units in 2016 compared to 0.12 million in 1991.

Even though Parekh is associated with HDFC, he has had a significantly larger impact on the financial industry, serving as the government’s go-to crisis expert on several times by leading committees. Parekh addressed a variety of issues, including the Satyam scandal and the 2001 collapse of Unit Trust of India US-64.

Speaking to a large crowd in 2020 that included startup founders and aspiring business owners, Parekh remarked, “I am frequently asked what it is that produces strong institutions. Nobody, in my opinion, truly has a solution. According to my experience, the time-tested virtues of honesty, integrity, and responsibility cannot be replaced. It doesn’t turn on and turn off.

Categorized in: