HDFC Bank hopes to grow market share and is charging into India's hinterland, where millions still have no bank accounts.
Still, the lender's old-school approach will stand it in good stead when good times return, say analysts and investors.
It has largely stayed away from project finance, in contrast with several other banks that lent heavily to India's power and infrastructure projects during the pre-2008 boom period.
The bank's infrastructure funding is largely limited to working capital loans to contractors of project developers, keeping exposures smaller, shorter and relatively safer.
"HDFC Bank has been solid, other banks may have more risks coming," said Taina Erajuuri, a Helsinki-based portfolio manager at FIM India, which owns shares in HDFC Bank. "If you want peace of mind, this is the bank for you."