Paresh Sukthankar, the deputy managing director at HDFC Bank, who has been with India’s largest private sector bank by market value since its inception in 1994, has resigned from his position. HDFC Bank made the disclosure to the bourses on Friday evening.

Sukthankar, a commerce graduate from Mumbai’s Sydenham College and alumni of the Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School, will leave the organisation after serving a three-month notice period, HDFC Bank’s statement added. The second most senior executive at HDFC Bank after managing director Aditya Puri, Sukthankar was widely touted to succeed Puri after the latter’s retirement, scheduled in 2020.

Even as the Indian banking industry gears up for major churn in the top echelons of management across organisations, Sukthankar’s future move has become a subject of intense speculation.

With Axis Bank’s current managing director Shikha Sharma’s tenure coming to an abrupt end in December 2018, executive search firm Egon Zehnder is already on the job of finding her successor. While this has led many to naturally ask if Sukthankar is heading to Axis Bank, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) chairman Deepak Parekh was quick to dispel the notion by telling a business news website that Sukthankar wasn’t joining any competitor as far as he knew.

A business news channel reported earlier this month that Amitabh Chaudhry, managing director of HDFC Life, B Sriram, managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank, and a senior unnamed executive from Kotak Mahindra Bank, were in contention for the top job at Axis Bank.

Over more than two decades with HDFC Bank, Sukthankar has looked at pivotal functions including risk management, finance, human resources, and investor relations. He was also a member on various board committees, including those for IT strategy, digital transactions monitoring, risk policy and monitoring, and relationships with stakeholders.

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