Aditya Puri's trusted lieutenant will lead the bank once the veteran hangs his boots this mid-autumn (October 2020).
For over two years, the bank's internal search team and Egon Zehnder, the recruitment agency, were tight-lipped on probable candidates to replace Puri, the warhorse. Once Paresh Sukhtankar, a probable successor, quit as Deputy Managing Director in Aug'18 only two options were left -- insiders - CFO Sashidhar Jagdishan or Executive Director Kaizad Bharucha. Puri dropped several cues that it was an insider but there were theories of Citi Commercial bank's Sunil Garg fitting the role.
Come August 4, the bank confirmed Puri's successor - the trusted lieutenant who worked as Puri's ears and eyes for over a decade. Puri in a July'20 AGM said "the successor was always in mind".
The new MD & CEO is expected to take over from 27th October 2020 and this signals the end of the Puri-era at HDFC. A hands-on leader who juggled work-life to the 't' ... An astute banker who drove the enterprise through upheavals and disruptions of the banking industry... An executive who saw the bank sail atop brand leagues... The architect who along with Deepak Parekh built value for investors...
It may've been Deepak Parekh's sheer wizardry to lure Puri from CitiBank Malaysia to HDFC at one-third salary. And, Puri went about building a web of trust and achieving major milestones for the bank - commencing operations at Sandoz House, Worli (Mumbai)... a listing in May'95 at a market-capitalization of roughly Rs 450 crores... By 2018 the bank crossed a branch size of over 5,000... And by 2020, HDFC Bank achieved an m-cap of Rs 5.73 lakh crores and deposits of Rs 15.3 lakh crores.
For Sashidhar Jagdishan, the successor, the road ahead looks intricate. The tasks include continuing the Puri-legacy and adding a bit of his own leadership flavour. What challenges lay ahead for Sashi? What are his likes and how confident is HDFC of its new CEO?
More in slides...
Published: August 5, 2020
Text: Sairaj Iyer, Sify
Images: HDFC Bank via Genesis BCW.