After a 25-year illustrious career in HDFC Bank, Aditya Puri, 69, is set to retire from the largest Indian private bank in October. Puri, who joined as the first employee, has been instrumental in building the bank from scratch and turning it into the most valued lender in India. He is now readying his retirement plans.
Puri says he has "enjoyable plans" for his retirement life. "I will play my favourite game, golf. Trekking is my other passion. I prefer to walk in the woods," he says. Music will become the filler, he adds. But what would be his contribution to his biggest passion - banking? Puri is ready to take up board position in any international or Indian firm. He will also consider top jobs in private equity firms.
Puri is known for skillfully optimising time. He prefers to be the first person to reach office. While going out for a meeting, he ensures that he meets as many people as possible, ranging from executives in client companies to people on the street. He does not use a mobile phone or wear a watch. When his colleagues and juniors are still working in the office at 5.30pm, Puri wraps up for the day.
In a meeting a year back, Puri spoke about the "five balls" analogy of Coca-Cola's former CEO Bryan Dyson to explain the importance of living a balanced life. He concluded that professional life is like a rubber ball and will always bounce back, while family, health and personal life are like crystal balls. For Puri, who gives so much importance to family, retirement will be a pleasure, but he says he will continue with hobbies like farming and agriculture and grow fruits and vegetables at his farm in Lonavala.