Mortgage Melodist: Lifetime Achievement Award – Keki Mistry, Vice President and CEO, HDFC


About seven years ago, a business news television channel hosted an evening for Indian industry CEOs, which culminated in a live performance of Bollywood tunes from the golden age. No one could have enjoyed the evening more than Keki Mistry, Vice President and CEO of the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), who couldn’t help but nod enthusiastically as the performers sang Zara haule haule chalo and Aage bhi jaane na tu. Nayyar and Ravi are all doing great, but it’s really Hemant Kumar all the way for Mistry.

At work, he’s known for never missing a beat when it comes to handling the numbers. A chartered accountant by training, Mistry has always been a man of numbers. His colleagues talk about how he could remember numbers to the sixth or seventh decimal place until a few years ago. This penchant for perfection shows in his habit of repeatedly revamping and revising drafts before he could let them go.

Mistry has a reputation for being open and accessible. Many at HDFC credit him with imbuing the organization with a culture of open communication and accessibility. Of course, a relatively flat organizational structure enabled this as much as it helped propel Mistry through the ranks.

He joined HDFC in 1981 as Assistant Account Manager and rose through the ranks to join its Board of Directors in 1993. He was appointed to his current role in 2010. Under Mistry, HDFC’s market capitalization is from $23 billion to $54.5 billion. . The lender is now the second largest finance provider for Indian buyers.

Mistry has helped mark many firsts for her organization – itself a pioneer in mortgage finance – beginning with the introduction of variable rate loans in 1999. HDFC was one of the first to raise funds through Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB) and Rupee-denominated masala. obligations. As HDFC prepares to merge with its offspring, Mistry’s legacy will live on in the subsidiaries whose creation and growth he oversaw. Beginning in 1994, when HDFC partnered with GE to create Countrywide Consumer Financial Services, he played a crucial role in every new business the group incubated.

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Despite all this, Mistry, the person remained skeptical about borrowing money. His own house was built with his savings, not with a loan. For all her love for Mumbai, which throbs with life and thrives on cosmopolitanism, Mistry has never quite been able to understand vegetarianism. Like any good Parsis, he swears by a well-cooked fish dish.

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Mistry will continue to serve on the boards of leading companies once HDFC merges with HDFC Bank. But he will have more time to devote to his family. The former boxer and bowler may not have to record cricket matches as often.

He does, however, intend to keep busy. He always wanted to do more for seniors. Relieved of the responsibilities of running a full-time business, Mistry could help them walk down the road to their twilight years, with Tum pukaar lo playing in the background.

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