Born in 1944 and a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), Mr. Deepak Parekh is at the financial helm of India Inc. In 1978 Mr. Parekh joined India’s premier housing finance company HDFC Ltd. as Deputy General Manager and then went on to become its Chairman in 1993.
HDFC’s growth in stature and strength since its inception (1977), has been achieved by a steadfast focus on sound values such as integrity, transparency and professionalism, and underpinned by a basic belief of trust by the Indian middleclass.
Mr. Deepak Parekh, has not only preserved the ethos of the company, but has also strengthened it with time. His astute business acumen and farsightedness has not only made HDFC the leader in Mortgages, but also transformed it into a financial conglomerate with presence in Banking, Asset Management, Life Insurance, General Insurance, Real Estate Venture Fund and Education finance.
In 1970, Mr. Parekh began his career with Ernst & Ernst Management Consultancy Services in New York. Thereafter he worked with Grindlays Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank for about three years each prior to joining HDFC in 1978.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT
Besides HDFC Group Companies, Mr. Parekh is on the board of several leading corporations across diverse sectors. He is the Nonexecutive Chairman in India of BAE Systems India (Services) Pvt Ltd, Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals and Siemens. He is also on the boards of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Network18 Media and Investments ltd and international boards of DP World – UAE and Vedanta Resources Plc.. He is also on the Advisory Board of several Indian corporate and MNC’s. In addition to being known for his vociferous views seeking standardization and transparency in the real estate sector, Mr. Parekh is dubbed as the unofficial crisis consultant of the Government.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
Taking care of such important positions in life, he never forgets to ensure that neither he nor the people he meets ever forget the importance of clean business. And values or culture are not developed overnight. It’s a painstaking process and Parekh ensures that neither he nor the people he is associated with ever forget the importance of correctness. It is one of the prime reasons that he has the habit of gifting miniature yellow signboards to colleagues and business associates. The little yellow signboard has compliance written on it, with a sketch of a slippery slope below it. Parekh has made clean business not only a cornerstone of how the HDFC group is run, but also embodies that spirit in his dealings with others in the world of business and politics.
It’s perhaps for this that young professionals often turn to him for advice when they have a doubt. Every week, he devotes time for young guns that often pick his brains on a variety of subjects. His ability to rise above narrow interests and passion for doing the right thing has drawn even the government and policy makers to his doorstep. Over the years, he has emerged as the crisis manager for the government, even on subjects that have nothing to do with finance.