Aditya Puri of HDFC Bank answers 15 rapid-fire questions on life, leadership, success, startups, and more
Aditya Puri, the longest-serving head of a private bank in the country, is an icon for many. Under his leadership, HDFC Bank rose to become the country’s most valuable private lender and successfully navigated the bad loan crisis that negatively impacted many Indian banks.
In an exclusive interaction with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Puri answers 15 rapid-fire questions on topics ranging from money to customers, to friendships and dreams. Read his thoughts on work-life balance, about his love for India, and why employees are central to the success of any brand.
Watch Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank, as he answers 15 rapid-fire questions in an exclusive interaction with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma
Shradha Sharma: Money
Aditya Puri: Good to have done.
Shradha Sharma: Work-life balance
Aditya Puri: A must.
Shradha Sharma: Friendships in the business world?
Aditya Puri: It's more like relationships in the business world. Very important.
Shradha Sharma: Leadership
Aditya Puri: Very important. First among equals.
Shradha Sharma: Dreams
Aditya Puri: A must. If you don't dream, what are you going to do?
Shradha Sharma: India.
Aditya Puri: India is a great place. I love it. I don't know how many countries I’ve gone to – I went to Saudi Arabia, Greece, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Malaysia… And I came home because I loved the place.
Shradha Sharma: Startups in India?
Aditya Puri: I think everybody must support startups in India. When Nandan Nilekani talks about pole-vaulting technology, the pole-vault will only happen there. No point in saying who's going to be the next Amazon. We have all got to work together and put our strengths together.
Shradha Sharma: Purpose
Aditya Puri: Is a must. There's got to be multiple purposes. Of course, you have your selfish interest and you must succeed, but you must also give back. You have a duty to give back and you must earn respect. Money is not the only thing. Money has to be a byproduct.
Shradha Sharma: Success
Aditya Puri: Important. It's a fuel. Success breeds more success and more confidence.
Shradha Sharma: Failure
Aditya Puri: It’s a must for you to learn and maintain your balance.
Shradha Sharma: Technology
Aditya Puri: Going forward, very important, but overrated. It has its uses, but it's not the beginning and end of the world like some of you think.
Shradha Sharma: Customer
Aditya Puri: If you're in a business, customer is the king. The day you forget that, you'll be out of business, technology or no.
Shradha Sharma: Employees
Aditya Puri: Very important. Because you know, ultimately in the new world, you must understand that a brand is built touch by touch, i.e., every time you touch the customer and you give him the service that he thinks he should get. Every time you give him the politeness, you deal with him with integrity and transparency – that’s what will build a brand. I can't execute. We have 200,000 people between our three group companies. So, I hope I have achieved this: that they look up to me with respect and want to fulfill my vision. But they have to do it. I don't do it.
Shradha Sharma: HDFC Bank
Aditya Puri: Very good bank. You must bank with it.
Shradha Sharma: Is it (HDFC Bank) the most important thing in your life?
Aditya Puri: Absolutely not. That would be my wife, my daughter, my son, and, most importantly, my grandson.
(Edited by Tenzin Pema)