Tamal Bandopadhyay, a veteran financial journalist, captures the two decades that HDFC Bank has been in existence with a meticulous eye for the detail. The story is told through anecdote, right from the moment Deepak Parekh, chairman of the country's then lone mortgage company Housing Development Finance Corporation, put a call through to Kuala Lumpur to ask Puri to chuck his cushy Citibank job and set up a bank in India. It goes on to narrate the trials and tribulations Puri and his hand-picked team went through to create the country's most valued bank.
In the process, HDFC Bank upended the country's ossified approach to banking. Puri was at the scene when Indian households and companies were rediscovering their appetite for credit and his fresh approach to managing risk has now become part of industry standards.
Along with KV Kamath of ICICI Bank, a much bigger rival, Puri has proved Singh right by building institutions that will be around for a long time. The cult of the celebrity banker is here to stay.