New Delhi: Discover the remarkable tale of an entrepreneur who, rising from humble origins in a Mumbai chawl, established a company with a valuation of Rs 4.14 lakh crore, surpassing even the achievements of Dhirubhai Ambani.
While Dhirubhai Ambani’s ascent from a chawl dweller to one of India’s most successful businessmen is widely recognized, other compelling narratives are emerging from the vibrant streets of Mumbai. One such story belongs to HT Parekh, the visionary founder of HDFC.
Born into a banking family in Surat, Parekh faced the challenges of a modest upbringing in a Mumbai chawl. Throughout his college years, he navigated part-time work alongside studies, showcasing early resilience. After earning a degree in economics from Mumbai, Parekh seized an opportunity to further his education in the UK, obtaining a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the prestigious London School of Economics.
Upon returning to India, Parekh began his professional journey as a lecturer at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai. His corporate career took off at the stockbroking firm Harkisandass Lakhmidass, but it was at ICICI that Parekh left a lasting impact. Starting as Deputy General Manager, he eventually ascended to the positions of Chairman and Managing Director, retiring after 16 years of dedicated service.
For many, retirement signifies the end of a professional journey, but not for Parekh. At the age of 66 in 1977, he founded HDFC to fulfill the homeownership dreams of the Indian middle class. The company issued its first loan in 1978, marking the inception of a transformative journey.
Under Parekh’s leadership, HDFC approved annual loans exceeding Rs 100 crore by 1984. Recognizing his outstanding contributions, Parekh received the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 1992. The subsequent merger of HDFC and HDFC Bank, after 30 years, gave rise to a colossal entity valued at Rs 4.14 lakh crore. HT Parekh’s story stands as a testament to resilience, vision, and determination, illustrating how a journey that begins in a Mumbai chawl can lead to the creation of a monumental business empire.