Deepak Parekh: How The Parekhs Helped Construct HDFC Financial institution Into India’s Second-largest Firm

How the Parekhs helped build HDFC Bank into India's second-largest companyHeadquarters of India’s HDFC financial institution is pictured in Mumbai, India 
Picture: Shailesh Andrade/ Reuters

Quite typically, turning 65 means hanging up one’s boots. However right here have been some notable exceptions, too. Captain CP Krishnan Nair arrange the primary Leela Resort in 1987 when he was 65 and constructed it into one in every of India’s best-known luxurious lodge chains. Ashok Soota, the expertise veteran, began Happiest minds in 2011 when he was 68, and is as we speak amongst India’s richest individuals with a internet price of $1.2 billion. Though not fairly 65, Falguni Nayar based Nykaa at 49 and turned it right into a magnificence and style behemoth by the point she is sort of 60.  
However lengthy earlier than all of them did that, and impressed many others, it was maybe Hasmukh Thakordas Parekh, who disregarded typical norms of his time to start out a enterprise that has now gone on to rewrite company India’s annals. HT Parekh based Housing Improvement Finance Company Restricted (HDFC), India’s first retail housing finance firm, quickly after he had retired because the chairman of Industrial Credit score and Funding Company of India (ICICI) on the age of 65.

“At the moment, it was akin to a startup,” Deepak Parekh, his nephew and chairman of HDFC wrote within the guide, India Remodeled, revealed by Penguin Books. “The one distinction was that, in contrast to most startups, that are largely arrange by younger entrepreneurs, this one was a post-retirement enterprise by the founder, HT Parekh.”
On April 4, 45 years since that formidable leap of religion, HDFC introduced that it’ll merge with the nation’s largest non-public lender, HDFC Financial institution, to create a banking behemoth that may even develop into the nation’s second-largest firm. In sheer measurement, will probably be twice as huge as ICICI Financial institution, India’s third-largest financial institution. Quickly after the announcement, the market capitalisation of each the businesses zoomed to over Rs 14 lakh crore, about Rs 4 lakh crore lower than that of India’s largest firm, Reliance Industries Restricted.
HDFC, arrange in 1977, points mortgages to greater than half of the house consumers in India. HDFC Financial institution, which started operations in 1994 as a subsidiary of HDFC, is at present India’s second-largest financial institution. Put up the merger, HDFC will maintain 41 p.c of HDFC Financial institution Ltd. Its shareholders will get 42 shares of HDFC Financial institution for each 25 shares of the non-banking monetary firm (NBFC) held by them. The deal, which has pending regulatory approvals, is more likely to be accomplished over the subsequent 12 to 18 months till which each establishments will proceed to operate as unbiased entities.
“Because the son grows older, he acquires the daddy’s enterprise,” Deepak Parekh, the chairman of HDFC mentioned on the time of the announcement. “This can be a pleasant merger. We cannot be thrown out. After 45 years in housing finance, we have now to discover a residence for ourselves, which we present in our family firm HDFC Financial institution.”
For Parekh too, the announcement is one thing of a homecoming. He had joined his uncle, Hasmukh Parekh, at HDFC as a 33-year-old, after a stint with funding banking. If not for his uncle, who had satisfied him to affix HDFC, Parekh would maybe have been misplaced to some international financial institution, like lots of his friends. At HDFC, Parekh was instrumental in bringing the corporate nearer to individuals, notably these with housing wants. Since then, HDFC has offered over 9 million residence loans.
“Nobody in India had to this point tried to finance people for his or her housing wants,” Parekh wrote within the guide. “Entry to long-term finance was tough and no foreclosures norms existed. At the moment, most Indians have been extraordinarily debt-averse. HDFC remained the one housing finance participant in India until the late Eighties when insurance coverage firms, public-sector banks, and some non-public gamers arrange housing finance firms. HDFC additionally promoted 4 different housing finance firms. In impact, HDFC created competitors for itself.”

How the Parekhs helped build HDFC Bank into India's second-largest companyDeepak Parekh left his job with chase Manhattan to affix HDFC in 1978
Picture: Ashesh Shah/The The India At this time Group through Getty Photographs


No relaxation, No retirement

In some ways, the story of HDFC is all concerning the grit of the Parekhs. The corporate started operations in 1977 as a mortgage lender because the brainchild of HT Parekh. HT, or Hasmukhbhai, as he was generally identified, had graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in banking and finance from London College of Economics. In 1936, he returned to India and started his profession with the stockbroking agency Harkisandass Lukhmidass whereas additionally educating on the St Xavier’s School in Mumbai for about three years.
Over the subsequent twenty years, Parekh would go on to work with the brokerage earlier than leaving in 1956 to affix the newly arrange improvement finance establishment, ICICI, as its deputy common supervisor. ICICI was one of many earliest establishments sponsored by the World Financial institution in co-operation with the Authorities of India and the US authorities. In 1972, Parekh grew to develop into the corporate’s chairman, a put up he held till 1978.
In 1977, Parekh, uninterested in seeing thousands and thousands of Indians turning to purchase a home solely in direction of their retirement, after saving up for years, started engaged on an establishment that may lend in direction of residence mortgage financing. “Why can’t Indians have a house of their very own with housing finance within the earlier years of their lives? Why ought to they’ve to attend until the tip of their working careers?” Parekh is reported to have requested.
That led to the organising of HDFC with none help from the federal government. “The problem of rising the housing finance enterprise predominantly involved elevating enough long-term assets. Throughout the Eighties, HDFC had efficiently tapped long-term worldwide funding from the World Financial institution (assured by the Authorities of India), Worldwide Finance Company, and the US Company for Worldwide Improvement (USAID) beneath the housing assure programme,” Parekh writes in India Remodeled.
In 1978, Parekh’s nephew, Deepak who was working at Chase Manhattan, joined his uncle on a 50 p.c wage minimize as a deputy common supervisor. “The enterprise of HDFC was a easy one,” Parekh additional writes. “Borrowing wholesale funds and lending them to retail prospects at a set fee of curiosity, sometimes incomes a modest unfold of two p.c.” Forbes India had sought an interplay with Deepak Parekh however was turned down.
Within the early Nineties, as India’s financial system appeared on the verge of a collapse, and the worldwide financial disaster brought on by the Kuwait conflict pushed oil costs greater, resulting in a depletion in India’s international foreign money reserves, the central financial institution took a call to lift rates of interest, and within the course of combat double-digit inflation charges. “Dwelling mortgage rates of interest had already reached a peak of 18.5 p.c each year,” Parekh wrote concerning the early days. “HDFC knew that it couldn’t afford to renege on its residence mortgage commitments. It simply needed to discover new avenues of elevating assets.”

Constructing India’s greatest financial institution

That meant, in 1993, as India opened up its banking sector to the non-public sector, Parekh and his crew have been prepared to leap into the fray. “There was an commercial in newspapers calling for potential candidates,” Parekh wrote. “This aroused my curiosity and I believed it might be a good suggestion to use for a financial institution licence.”
The principles then stipulated a capital requirement of Rs 100 crore, and it additionally took him some severe efforts at convincing the board, earlier than they agreed to maneuver away from a single product firm into newer frontiers, with the concept that the brand new enterprise is run by an unbiased {and professional} administration. The financial institution was included in August 1994 as HDFC Financial institution Restricted, and a yr later, opened its first department in south Mumbai’s Churchgate neighbourhood.
“Briefly, HDFC Financial institution virtually didn’t occur—however that’s historical past now,” Parekh writes. “In 1993, there have been over 40 aspiring candidates for a banking licence—some have been even fictitious, having despatched of their software on a postcard. The chairman of the committee appointed by the RBI to grant the licences was SS Marathe, who was additionally a member on RBI’s board. One of many circumstances stipulated for getting a licence was that the pinnacle workplace of the financial institution must be in a metropolis aside from Mumbai. HDFC took its probabilities and requested for the pinnacle workplace to be in Mumbai. To our shock, it was the primary to obtain a financial institution licence. Marathe talked about to me that HDFC’s software was one of the best and therefore we have been allowed our choice of getting the pinnacle workplace in Mumbai.”
In its early days, HDFC Financial institution had largely focussed on company lending, earlier than making a shift in direction of retail prospects, and is broadly regarded for rising its internet revenue by virtually 30 p.c each quarter for a decade, at a time when India’s financial system was rising at a breakneck interval within the 2000s. In 2000, HDFC Financial institution merged with Instances Financial institution, and by 2008, the corporate acquired Mumbai-based Centurion Financial institution. For lengthy, it additionally had a fabled rivalry with ICICI Financial institution, at a time when each the banks have been vying for comparable prospects, a lot in order that about twenty years in the past, chaos erupted when one in every of them arrange tents to solicit purchasers close to an exhibition venue of the opposite.
Since its inception, HDFC Financial institution has been led by managing director Aditya Puri, a former CEO of Citibank Malaysia. At this time, the financial institution has a base of 6.8 crore prospects, throughout 3,000 cities and cities with over 6,300 branches. The financial institution has additionally grown to have whole property of over Rs 19 lakh crore as of December 31, 2021. In 2020, Puri, who had served because the longest-serving CEO of an Indian financial institution at HDFC Financial institution, lastly retired, handing over the reins to Sashidhar Jagdishan.
“I instructed Deepak I desire a free hand, I wish to construct an establishment, so I’ll solely come if I’ve a free hand in working it as a result of then you may have enjoyable; in the event you imagine within the imaginative and prescient, you go on with the imaginative and prescient then it’s nice,” Puri, who’s credited with constructing the banking enterprise, instructed CNBC-TV 18 in 2020. “To his credit score, he (Deepak Parekh) mentioned sure, and I have to say if I requested for his assist or used him as a sounding board, he got here on board however aside from that he by no means as soon as interfered.”
In 2017, India’s central banker, the Reserve Financial institution of India (RBI) added HDFC Financial institution to an elite listing of Indian lenders, who have been deemed “too huge to fail”. At this time, it is among the three banks that fall within the class aside from State Financial institution of India, and ICICI Financial institution, which signifies that their failure might be catastrophic for the nation’s monetary system and financial system.
A lot of the financial institution’s success got here largely on account of its give attention to retail loans, which used to represent some 55 p.c of its mortgage guide. Over the previous few years, that had declined to some 47 p.c, even because the financial institution continues to have the bottom bad-debt ratio. The lender’s retail portfolio contains private loans, housing, automobile, schooling loans, and bank cards amongst others.
HDFC Financial institution’s mortgage guide stood at a staggering Rs 12.6 trillion as of December 31, 2021, in comparison with over Rs 10.82 trillion a yr in the past whereas its advances rose by 5.1 p.c from Rs 11.98 billion in September 2020 (Q2FY22).

Diversified empire

At this time, the HDFC Group, of which the financial institution stays the mainstay, has additionally constructed quite a few subsidiaries, together with life insurance coverage enterprise HDFC Life, common insurance coverage enterprise HDFC Ergo, and an schooling mortgage enterprise, amongst others. The merger, in the meantime, additionally gives a large alternative to unlock potential for its subsidiary companies.
“The merger would additional mitigate single product threat for HDFC Ltd and opens up avenues for cross-selling to a bigger buyer base in addition to improve product variety whereas the financial institution’s publicity to unsecured loans would additionally scale back,” Gaurav Jani and Palak Shah, analysts at Prabhudas Liladher, mentioned in a report. “HDFC would profit from the decrease funding price of the banks and its massive distribution franchise whereas HDFC financial institution would achieve from the previous’s experience in actual property and environment friendly mortgage processing. As of now, 70 p.c of HDFC Ltd and its subsidiaries prospects don’t financial institution with HDFC Financial institution which would offer super cross-sell alternatives to the merged entity.”
As well as, the merger may even enable HDFC Financial institution’s prospects to be provided mortgages as a core product, because the financial institution appears to construct on its housing mortgage portfolio. Dwelling loans type solely about 6.2 p.c of HDFC Financial institution’s lending guide. “HDFC Financial institution will allow seamless supply of residence loans and leverage on the big base of over 68 million prospects of HDFC Financial institution,” Keki Mistry, vice chairman and CEO, HDFC, instructed the media.
Now, over the subsequent few months, because the regulators scrutinise the deal for approvals, Parekh and his crew at HDFC shall be engaged on the ultimate nuances and plotting the subsequent part of progress for the corporate he had constructed brick by brick. With the merger full, HDFC Ltd will personal 41 p.c of the HDFC Financial institution. However, within the course of, with him stepping away from administration, as guidelines stipulate, the group shall be and not using a Parekh on the helm for the primary time.
With that, life would have come full circle for the household after practically 5 many years.

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