"Exclusively set up to foster home ownership in semi-urban and rural areas of thecountry* This was the vision and mandate given by our founder late Shri H.T. Parekh whileIncorporating 'Gujarat Rural Housing Finance Corporation' In July 1986. We commencedoperations in January 1988 and since then have single mindedly pursued our mission ofhelping famiies own a heme of their own. It has been a wonderfj Journey of learnings andchallenges; of finding a different path to deliver credit for housing ii rural areas andgoing where no other housing finance companies had ventured. Starting at mie zero meant iunderstanding what a house means to families in lural areas and finding ways to assessincomes of families in the informal \ sector. The learnings led us to the development of aunique Risk Based Pricing methodology which proved to be the first amongst housing financecompanies and is believed to be the only one of its kind even today. It is worth notingthat the concept of risk based pricing was Introduced when credit bureaus did not exist Inthe country. The model has proved to be a vety useful tool in measutig credit riskuniformly across all our offices.
We had a trying time over a period of 5 years effecting recoveries of loans todevelopers following the real estate crash in the mid-nineties. Besides generally acceptedpractices in effecting recoveries we ventured into unusual methods; one of these wasdeveloping a plotted scheme ourselves under the banner of GRUH GARDENS. This helpedrecover lull dues and remains to this day a testvnony to innovation bom out of extremeexigency.
While we were copfcg with these challenges (he earthquake of 2001 delivered adevastating blow to our customers In the state of Gujarat GRUH took an active lead inoffering a moratorium to its existing customers and also went on to take the risk ofextendtog fresh credit not only to GRUH's existing customers whose properties wereaffected but also to other families who wanted to rebuild their lives.
The experience of working amidst devastated hopes of these families - with wholehearted support of National Housing Bank - NHB and the Government of Gujarat -was mostsatisfying. Contrary to the general belief that credits extended post natural disaster gobad we have had an excellent experience of not a single bad loan!
In 2008 came the Lehman crisis. Its impact on liquidity in the financial system was thefirst of its kind that the GRUH team experienced. While banters turned risk averse Incontinuing with existing lines of credit mutual funds who had Invested In the commercialpaper of GRUH wanted premature buy backs at significant discounts. During this crisisretail depositors relerated their unshakeaMe faith in GRUH by pumping in the highest everinflow of deposits. Except for a slow-down in demand for housing GRUH sailed through thestorm without a scratch.
Challenges became a part of our life and GRUH continued steadily with Its mission ofassisting home ownership from one stats b eleven states with a determination to carve itsown niche as a shring star of the industry. The consistent growth in profitability whilesustaining the pristine quality of its loan assets over the past 10 years has truly earnedGRUH a place at the top of India's corporate echelons.
Looking back I feel that a strong will and a desire to excel - while not gettingdistracted with competitive players chasing growth for the sake of growth and insteadimbibing the learnings from each of the challenges and maintaining patience to achieveexcellence- has proven to be very rewarding for all the stakeholders of GRJH.
I am confident GRUHites will continue their mission with the same zeal and commitmentto foster home ownership on a much larger canvas under the banner of The Bandhan Bank. Isee the merger of GRUH being similar to the confluence of the Bhagirathi river into theAlaknanda river at Devprayag to form a huge Ganga thereafter!
At this moment I wish to express my gratitude to all the stakeholders of GRUH for theirwhole hearted support and cooperation. I also wish to convey my gratitude to Mr. DeepakParekh and Mr. Narottam Sakhserta who reposed confidence in me by asking me to take on themantle of leadership at the most critical juncture for GRUH in November 1998.1 will alsoremain grateful to Mr Kekl Mistry the Chairman of GRUH who gave complete autonomy Incarrying on the mission of GRUH and I wfll cherish forever the professional workingrelationship which we evolved with trust and confidence. I would credit most erf mypersonal success to this 'partnership1!
While I remain thankful to the Board of Directors of GRUH I would want especially toremember the guidance and support extended by Mr. S. M. Palis and Mr. PrafullAnubhal atthe board level.
Lastly I will always cherish all my oolleagues at GRUH for their unstinted supportcommitment and dedication without which GRUH could not have become a shining star of theIndustry.
Expansion into grass root rural areas helped bring out long neglected socialcapital and economic contributions. Obviously it necessitated in depth interactions andunderstanding of livelihoods: of farm workers agri -input suppliers pastoral peoplepeasants and rural entrepreneurs. GRUH has helped to progressively integrate them into themainstream of the country's economic and social development.'
Mr. Sudhin Choksey