HDFC MD Aditya Puri may join Jio Payments Bank

By Jit Kumar
Aditya Puri

Aditya Puri, the man credited with propelling HDFC Bank to become the country’s largest private sector bank in his 26 years at its helm, could join Indian billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio Payments Bank post-retirement, The Indian Sun has learned.

Puri’s term as managing director of HDFC Bank ends on 30 September. Sources say Ambani plans to overhaul the Jio Payments Bank, launched in 2018 in collaboration with State Bank of India, and the task would be easier with the Bachchan of Banking on board.

“The top management of Ambani-owned oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries has been in talks with Puri for some time now,” sources say.

Though there has been no official confirmation from Puri yet on this, the ace banker has already expressed his willingness to take up board positions in domestic or global firms. He has even said in a recent interview that he could consider top jobs in top equity firms, apart from pursuing his passion, golf.

Industry analysts say that Puri’s recent decision to sell more than 74 lakh shares or 0.13% stake at HDFC Bank gives credence to the second innings theory of the top banker in the same sector. Post this transaction, Puri holds 3.76 lakh shares of the bank or 0.01%.

“It could well be that he wants to start his second innings with no links with HDFC Bank and that could be a possible reason for him offloading such a big stake in the bank that he singlehandedly built. He may want to start his second innings without carrying any baggage,” says Delhi-based Ajai Misra.

The Indian Sun has already reported about Ambani’s mega plans for its telecom unit, from listing Jio as a separate digital company on the country’s bourses next year to starting to deliver daily use domestic essentials at the doorsteps of consumers through his e-commerce venture JioMart in a big way.

Despite being a late entrant to India’s telecom sector, Jio has till date attracted over 370 million subscribers to its network since its mega launch in 2016. By offering free voice calls and very low data prices, it has in fact changed the country’s digital landscape.

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