HDFC Bank and CEO Aditya Puri has said Indian GDP will recover “very fast” and pointed out that it is essential to get the growth rate back to the pre-COVID levels. The largest lender in the private sector will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic “way way stronger” than it ever was, Puri said in an e-mail to the bank’s employees earlier this month.
It can be noted that the economy is widely expected to contract in FY21, with some analysts pegging the GDP to decline by 5 per cent. The entire first quarter has been a washout due to the continuing lockdowns with only essential services being allowed to operate.
Earlier on Thursday, worries over growth led global agency Fitch to revise down its outlook on the sovereign to “negative” while affirming the rating.
“The COVID crisis is a health crisis which killed supply and over a period of time demand as well. However, I am confident in the future of India and even brighter future of HDFC Bank. The GDP and the country will recover very fast,” Puri, the founder chief executive of the lender who has been at the helm for 25 years, said.
The key factor, Puri said, is for the economic growth rate to come back to the pre-COVID levels very quickly.
He said companies with a good strategy, technology, capital, liquidity and a motivated team will emerge as winners after the crisis.
“I am confident that we will emerge from COVID way way stronger in the market than we ever were,” he said.
The CEO also said the bank is one of the few companies which has maintained bonuses, increments and salary in these difficult times.
Puri, who is scheduled to retire in October, said the bank has an excess liquidity of USD 2 billion, a high capital adequacy of 17.5 per cent and trained manpower.
He further said the bank will complete a technology transformation by September which will make dealings with customers frictionless.