rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » The crown prince of HDFC Bank

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

December 27, 2013 10:50 IST

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

     Next

Next
Somasroy Chakraborty


Paresh Sukthankar, the heir apparent to Aditya Puri at HDFC Bank, prefers an approach that is in sharp contrast to the leadership style of the man he is likely to replace. He is in office always before the scheduled hour, stays late and is hands-on in running the business.

In contrast, Puri has perfected the art of optimising leisure. He is known for his work-life balance; he does not use a mobile phone, does not wear a watch, leaves office at 5:30 pm and prefers to grow vegetables at his Lonavala farmhouse. But his ability to ensure consistent growth in the bank’s profit has made him a role model for chief executives of other banks. Puri is aggressive, while Sukthankar is known for his humble nature.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A teller waits for customers at a counter in a HDFC Bank branch in Mumbai. Inset, Paresh Sukthankar.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Puri is revered, but he is equally feared. There is an aura about him. Sukthankar is down to earth and is more approachable. He is popular and highly respected. There have been instances when Sukthankar has written appreciation mails to employees, irrespective of their position in the bank, in recognition of their work,” a former employee of HDFC Bank says requesting anonymity.

For nearly two decades now, Sukthankar has been working in the shadow of Puri, the longest serving bank chief in the country. Earlier this week, HDFC Bank named Sukthankar as its deputy managing director, a position that did not exist in the bank prior to this appointment.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A customer walks outside an HDFC Bank branch in Mumbai.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Prev     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The 51-year-old career banker will be in this role for three years till December 2016, subject to approval of the Reserve Bank of India. The move gives further credence to the theory that one day Sukthankar will get the top job in the country’s second-largest private bank.

Many have already started drawing parallels with the events at ICICI Bank. India’s largest private lender had initially appointed its current chief executive, Chanda Kochhar, as joint managing director & CFO for two years in 2007 before she became the chief executive in 2009.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A customer walks out of a HDFC Bank branch as another deposits a cheque at a counter in Mumbai.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
Tags:

Prev     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Yet, uncertainty remains on when Sukthankar will finally take charge of HDFC Bank. Puri has been the bank's managing director since its inception in 1994 and his current term ends on October 31, 2015. But insiders do not rule out the possibility of Puri's term getting extended.

Just like Puri, Sukthankar was working with Citibank before he joined HDFC Bank in 1994. An MBA from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai (Kochhar did her MBA from the same institute), Sukthankar worked with Citibank for a decade. He was involved in various functions including corporate banking and risk management.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Personal bankers wait for customers at the reception of a HDFC Bank branch in Mumbai.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

Prev     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

He reportedly took a pay cut of 20-30 per cent to join HDFC Bank as he felt that there was an opportunity to change the way banking was done in India. Prior to this new appointment, Sukthankar was the executive director of HDFC Bank. He had overall approval, supervision and control responsibilities for the bank's credit and risk management functions - covering the corporate and retail credit portfolios as well as the treasury activities.

He also had supervisory responsibility for the finance and human resources functions. Sukthankar has been and is a member of various committees formed by RBI and the Indian Banks' Association. In banking circles, he is known for his cautious and conservative way of doing business.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: People walk in and out of a HDFC bank branch in Srinagar.
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

Prev     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

He apparently believes that what HDFC Bank has achieved is not only because what it has done, but also because what it has not done. “Sukthankar is extremely approachable. If he has a point, he will put it across in a calm and composed manner. I have never seen him lose his cool,” says a banker who does not wish to be named.

While he may have his own leadership style, Sukthankar is also a believer in Puri's “common-sense banking” model that benefited HDFC Bank and ensured its growth quarter after quarter.

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: A customer walks outside an HDFC Bank branch in Mumbai.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

Prev     Next

The crown prince of HDFC Bank

Prev     More
Prev

More

The bank has reported 30 per cent or more year-on-year growth in quarterly net profit for over a decade, kept a superior asset quality even when the financial sector was under stress and expanded its advances at a pace faster than the industry average.

There may be a change of guard but it is unlikely to alter the way HDFC Bank functions.


Image: A personal banker speaks to customers inside an HDFC Bank branch in Mumbai.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Tags: HDFC Bank

Prev     More
Source: