Hasmukhbhai Parekh

Hasmukhbhai Parekh

Hasmukhbhai Parekh (died 1994) was an Indian industrialist, writer, and philanthropist. He played a role in the development of ICICI Bank, founded the Housing Development Finance Corporation, and in 1992 was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the finance industry in India. The London School of Economics also conferred on him an honorary fellowship.

Biography

Hasmukhbhai Parekh belonged to a Gujarati Jain family from Surat, Gujarat. During his early life he lived in a chawl with his father, Thakurdas, and had to juggle a part-time job and studies with the London School of Economics. He subsequently worked as a lecturer at St. Xavier's College, Bombay, for three years, and later began his financial career with the stock broking firm Harkisandass Lukhmidass. He subsequently joined ICICI and was its Chairman until his retirement in 1972.

At 68, when he had already received many honours and was stepping down from ICICI, he started a new institution, the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), the first of its kind for housing finance in India. On meeting the then Secretary of Finance, Dr Manmohan Singh, the latter told him that HDFC was an unknown venture and that no one knew if it would "click" with the Indian people, but Hasmukhbhai Parekh had by then already obtained promises of funding from overseas investors, and he was enthusiastic about the project.

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