Paresh Sukthankar resigns as HDFC Bank's deputy managing director

Paresh Sukthankar, deputy managing director, HDFC Bank
HDFC Bank’s Paresh Sukthankar has resigned from the board of the country’s largest private sector bank. He will vacate the post of deputy managing director. 

Sukthankar has been with HDFC Bank since its inception in 1994. Currently, he is overseeing the banks’ credit and risk management departments as well as finance and human resources.  

He was appointed to the post of deputy managing director in March 2017. He will be serving the 90-day notice period, effective from August 10. 

Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC, said: “He has done a remarkable job. He felt he should step down for personal reasons after working for 24 years. We are sorry to see him leave."

Sukthankar met Parekh before putting in his papers.

When asked if he would move to a rival lender, Parekh said, “I do not think so. But, he is free to do what he wants.”

A management graduate from Harvard Business School, Sukthankar has been a member of various Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  Committees, in addition to those set up by the Indian Banks' Association. 

He was recently appointed to an RBI Committee tasked with working out a medium-term action plan for improving financial inclusion. Further, he was a member of the High Level Steering Committee for Review of Supervisory Processes for Commercial Banks.

He is on the IT Strategy, Risk Policy, Digital Transactions and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees of the Board of HDFC Bank. 

While most private sector banks gave out loans with ease to finance large public infrastructure projects, HDFC Bank stayed away from the lending spree. 

The reason, industry sources say, is Sukthankars’ staunch pragmatism, cautious approach and aversion to lend just because an opportunity might look good.

His name has been doing the rounds in the world of Indian finance as the successor to Aditya Puri, the banks’ current managing director and chief executive officer, whose term concludes in October 2020. 

Prior to joining HDFC Bank, he was at Citibank for nine years. 

HDFC Banks’ stock closed at ~2,115 on the National Stock Exchange, down by 0.17 per cent from its closing price on the previous day. The announcement came after the close of market hours.

Churn at C-suite in banks 

Paresh Sukthankar’s (pictured) exit from HDFC Bank is not an isolated incident of senior banking officials hanging up their boots. Other banks too have seen or will soon see their top executives leaving. Shikha Sharma, MD and CEO, Axis Bank, will call it a day in December after heading the private lender for nine years. Her successor is yet to be firmed up. Around the same time Rajeev Lall, founder MD and CEO, IDFC Bank, will hand over the reins to V Vaidyanathan, who is currently executive chairman Capital First, on merger of the finance company with the bank. Lall will don the mantle of non-executive chairman at the merged entity.

Ravi Parthasarathy also stepped down as chairman of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services after three decades of association. 

ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar has gone on leave pending investigation in the conflict of interest issue in extending loans with Sandeep Bakhshi stepping in as COO.