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Lot has been done, but best of HDFC Bank yet to come: Aditya Puri

01:07 AM Aug 14, 2020 | PTI

A lot has been achieved in the 26-year old journey of HDFC Bank but the "best is yet to come", the lender's outgoing Managing Director Aditya Puri said.

Puri expressed satisfaction that he was passing on the baton to Sashidhar Jagdishan, who is the "worthiest person" to lead the bank.

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Earlier this month, HDFC Bank appointed Jagdishan as the managing director with effect from October 27, when Puri turns 70.

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"I haven't been happier than I'm now as I write this. I've always maintained our best is yet to come, and with Sashi now at the helm I have no doubt that our best will come.

"I wouldn't go into the qualities he possesses because most of us would know that. Suffice to say that in him you have the best person to lead and I have the worthiest person to hand over the baton to," Puri said in an e-mail to the lender's employees.

Puri, who joined as the first employee of HDFC Bank, said, "If I look back, 26 years seems like yesterday. From my first office with broken chairs to now, what we've achieved in this time is incredible and doesn't have too many parallels globally." The veteran banker has been instrumental in building the bank from scratch and turning it into the largest private sector lender of the country.

"Sample some of our achievements that I am very proud of-- We truly are a world-class Indian Bank today and one of the largest in independent India in terms of outreach, balance sheet, number of customers, and market capitalisation. We have brought 1.11 crore families out of poverty through our Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (SLI)," he said.

Besides, he said, the bank has made a difference to the lives of over 7.8 crore Indians through its corporate social responsibility initiative Parivartan.

"We've come to be recognized as one of the country's best wealth creators and we have emerged as one of the largest employers in independent India," he added.

The bank over the 26 years has built an employee strength of about 1.16 lakh. It has a branch network of 5,326 and 14,996 ATMs across 2,825 cities and towns of the country.

Giving credit to employees for the success, he said, "Like I've always said I'm just the face of the success called HDFC Bank. It's you that the real credit goes to. We wouldn't be what we are today without you. So take a bow and keep showering on Sashi the same love and affection that you've showered on me all these years for which I'm going to remain eternally grateful to you." Jagdishan has been with the bank since 1996 and joined as a manager in the finance function.

He was appointed as a 'change agent' recently and heads the finance, human resources, legal and secretarial, administration, infrastructure, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility functions.

Under Puri, the bank's net profit has grown from Rs 80 lakh in 1994-95 to Rs 26,257 crore in 2019-20.

Puri, an ex-Citibanker, emerged as the highest-paid Indian banker in FY 2019-20 with a 20 per cent growth in gross earnings at Rs 18.92 crore.

He also earned an additional Rs 161.56 crore in FY20 and Rs 42.20 crore in FY19 by exercising his stock options.

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