Deepak Parekh attended St. Xavier’s High School in Mumbai for his schooling and completed his B.Com from Sydenham College.
Deepak Parekh, a highly regarded business leader, played a pivotal role in transforming a small lending firm into the biggest private sector bank in India – the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). He worked in the company as an employee, later becoming an entrepreneur, and retired only after turning the firm into a Rs 5 lakh crore behemoth. Parekh was initially invited to join the company by his uncle, HT Parekh, who considered him his own son.
Deepak Parekh completed his schooling at St. Xavier’s High School in Mumbai, followed by a B.Com degree from Sydenham College at the University of Mumbai. He left for England in 1965 and obtained his chartered accountant qualification there while working at Whinney, Smith, and Whinney, which later became Ernst & Young. Additionally, he also cleared the Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB).
Deepak Parekh’s successful corporate career includes stints at EY, Grindlays Bank, and Chase Manhattan Bank. He joined HDFC in 1978 and has since been a member of various industry bodies, boards, and government panels.
Parekh’s ownership of only a 0.04 percent stake in the family-founded company is a noteworthy aspect. In a 2022 interview with BQ Prime, he revealed that despite working like an entrepreneur, he always maintained a salaried mindset. He also shared that even his uncle, who founded the company, worked on a salary basis and rented a house.
In 2022, his total shareholdings were valued at Rs 155 crore. When asked if he regrets not increasing his stake in the company, he replied negatively to the interviewer.
He expressed that he had joined the business to support his uncle in Mumbai, who did not have children of his own and considered him as his own. Parekh felt a sense of family obligation and responded to his uncle’s call.
At the time Parekh joined HDFC, it was a startup founded by his 65-year-old uncle. Parekh himself was 33 years old and could have pursued a lucrative career as a banker abroad like many of his peers. However, his uncle’s persuasion and sense of family obligation led him to join HDFC.
He joined the HDFC because he wanted to provide Indians with the opportunity to purchase a house early in their lives, rather than saving for their entire lives and building a home after retirement, as was the norm.
He accepted his uncle’s offer with a starting salary that was 50 percent lower than his current job at the time.
With Parekh’s leadership, HDFC’s lending business expanded significantly. He also took on the challenge of obtaining a banking license, even though the HDFC board initially didn’t support the idea. Aditya Puri, who served as the company’s Managing Director until 2020, played a crucial role in this endeavor and praised Parekh for giving him the autonomy to manage the business.
By December 2021, HDFC Bank had assets worth Rs 19 lakh crore and a customer base of 6.8 crore across 3,000 cities and towns with over 6,300 branches.
In 2021, a property worth Rs 50 crore located in Mumbai’s Worli with a sea view and an area of 7,450 sq ft was purchased by Parekh’s family. The property was booked in his wife’s name, and he paid Rs 1.50 crore for it.