Old soldiers don’t die, old bankers don’t retire.

In October 2020, after a record 26 years at its helm, Aditya Puri finally hung up his boots as the top boss of HDFC Bank. He got a hero’s send-off. The bank’s headquarters in Mumbai was adorned with a huge wall hanging wall hanging Business Today Time to say goodbye! Huge wall hanging of Aditya Puri at HDFC Bank HQ in Mumbai Read more of Puri, emblazoned with the word ‘Advitiya’ (unique), thanking him for his service.

That gratitude was hard earned. Under Puri’s leadership, HDFC Bank rose from its humble beginnings in 1994 to become India’s largest private sector bank. Its shareholders saw massive wealth creation, with the stock rising about 300X since its listing in 1995. With a market capitalisation of about Rs 7,00,000 crore ($94 billion) when Puri stepped away, it remains one of India’s most valued companies.

Puri’s legend was only embellished as contemporaries like ICICI Bank’s Chanda Kochhar and Yes Bank’s Rana Kapoor were disgraced by scams and bit the dust, leaving Puri standing tall.

Puri’s sway over HDFC Bank was so strong that when he sold most of his holding in the bank in July 2020, the stock suffered a mild panic attack and fell fell News18.com HDFC Bank declines over 3 percent as Aditya Puri sells shares Read more over 3%. Puri later explained that the sale was part of his asset allocation asset allocation The Economic Times Aditya Puri reveals why he sold HDFC Bank shares before retirement Read more strategy. While some might consider 26 years at the top of the banking world a race well run, Puri was preparing to build on his already illustrious legacy. “There’s tremendous opportunity in India. I am not going to fully retire for the next 10 years,” he told Reuters in an interview interview www.pscp.tv Reuters discussion with Aditya Puri Read more after leaving HDFC Bank.

Capital will not be a constraint for Puri’s second innings. He received Rs 843 crore Rs 843 crore Bloomberg Quint Aditya Puri Sells HDFC Bank Shares Worth Rs 843 Crore Read more ($113 million) pre-tax from the sale of most of his 0.14% stake in HDFC Bank, months before he left the bank.

AUTHOR

Anand Kalyanaraman

A certified Chartered Accountant, Anand chose to pack the power of numbers with words when he left a career of seven years in accounting, putting together MIS reports, and investment research to enter journalism. Before joining The Ken, Anand was Deputy Editor at The Hindu BusinessLine, a newspaper he worked at for 11 years.

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