The man who built HDFC

Though HDFC was founded in 1977, it was Parekh's vision and entrepreneurial acumen that enabled the company to create a niche in housing finance and emerge as the market leader. In a wide-ranging interview, Parekh talks to Deepal Trevedie on how the HDFC group offers a buffet of every possible financial product, besides sharing his vision for the country and HDFC. Excerpts:

How did HDFC happen?
Deepak ParekhHDFC happened in 1978. I had worked in various parts of the world when HT (Parekh's maternal uncle, H T Parekh, who founded HDFC in 1977) asked me, "How long will you continue to go round the world? Come and settle down, this is an Indian organisation."
I had been to the US, the UK, Hong Kong and the Middle East, which was then every body's dream. I chucked up my multinational job and came to HDFC. And I have been here ever since.

What were you involved with before you became a part of HDFC?
I had qualified as a chartered accountant in England and had worked with Ernst & Young, Precision Fasteners, ANZ Grindlay's and Chase Manhattan in New York and Mumbai before I came to HDFC.

If HDFC had not happened, where would you be?
I would have been with a bank. Actually, I had wanted to join the Central Bank of India, but I couldn't make it.

Is there any specific reason for wanting to join the Central Bank?
I have very fond memories of the Central Bank of India. My grandfather, Thakordas Parekh, was the first employee of the bank. Even my father was a Central Bank of India employee for 40 years. He was also posted in Burma during his tenure there. I have a special affection for the Central Bank of India. Even today, I share a special bond with them. They are one of our main bankers.