Paresh Sukhtankar, Deputy MD at HDFC Bank. (Image: BloombergQuint)

HDFC Bank Veteran Paresh Sukthankar Quits

Paresh Sukthankar, deputy managing director and a member of the founding team at HDFC Bank Ltd, has resigned.

In a notification to stock exchanges, the bank said that Sukthankar has tendered his resignation as Deputy Managing Director, to be effective 90 days from the close of business hours on Friday.

The Board of the Bank places on record its sincere appreciation for the contribution made by Mr. Sukthankar in his long association with the Bank and wishes him the very best in his future endeavors.  
HDFC Bank Statement

Sukthankar’s resignation comes as a surprise to many who saw him as a natural successor to Managing Director Aditya Puri, who is set to retire in October 2020.

At an analyst meeting in May, Puri laid down a roadmap for the upcoming management transition at the bank. The depth of leadership at the bank will ensure that the handover is smooth, Puri had said, leading many to believe that Sukthankar would be a candidate for the top post.

To be sure, Puri had said that the bank will look at talent which could be internal or external and an announcement will be made in next 18 months.

“We will certainly miss Paresh. He is one of our oldest employees and has done an excellent job. He has worked with the the bank for 24 years and we are very sorry to see him go,” Deepak Parekh, chairman of parent company HDFC Ltd. told BloombergQuint.

“He has cited personal reasons for stepping down. As far as I know he is not going to any competition,” Parekh added in response to a question on whether Sukthankar is headed to another private sector bank.

HDFC Bank Veteran Paresh Sukthankar Quits

The Wing Man

Sukthankar has been with HDFC Bank since 1994 and was part of the founding team. From human resources to investor relations and risk management, Sukthankar has had a role to play in all aspects of the bank. Just like managing director Puri, Sukthankar was at Citibank before he joined HDFC Bank.

Over the years, if Puri became the face of HDFC Bank, then Sukthankar was always the wingman. Calm and collected, in contrast to Puri’s boisterous and self-confident persona, Sukthankar was the doer at the bank.

“He is a sober, down-to-earth, non-political professional, who was always straight-forward and got things done,” Keki Mistry, vice chairman and chief executive officer of HDFC told BloombergQuint.

When asked whether Sukthankar’s exit would leave uncertainty over succession at the bank, Mistry, who is also on the board of HDFC Bank, said that there is still time before Puri steps down. “There is still some time...Paresh was always one candidate because of his seniority and contribution but the bank always intended to look both internally and externally for candidates for the post of MD,” Mistry said.