Born in Bombay to Rati and Ardeshir Daruwalla, as the eldest of three siblings, Homai Daruwalla schooled at JB Vachha Wadia School, pursuing the Commerce stream from Poddar College and completed her Articleship from the prestigious Kalyaniwala and Mistry Associates. Being extremely career oriented, she has dedicated the larger part of her life to her work and has made a tremendous difference in the turnaround of organisations she graced with her business acumen and professional sincerity.
She rides the pinnacle of her vast, laudable Banking career with the enriching experience of sharing her expertise across three large Public Sector Banks – Union Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Central Bank of India. She is the second woman professional banker and the first woman from our Zoroastrian community who has summited the topmost positions in PSU Banks in the country, based purely on the strength of her work ethics. A qualified Chartered Accountant, she was at the helm of affairs at Central Bank of India as its Chairperson and Managing Director, overseeing entire operations of the Bank
She took over Zoroastrian Bank from April, 2016 as Chairperson of the Board of Directors with the hope of consolidating and rejuvenating “this important Parsi Legacy of ours” as she says. Making Zoroastrian Bank a Bank to reckon with, tops her to-do list. “This is as much my responsibility as it is that of our community members’. Everywhere we look around, all community members come together to support their own institutions and so is the case with their respective Banks. Unfortunately, I haven’t witnessed the same kind of enthused patronage from our community. We must come together and support this institution, which is a legacy of our great Parsi forefathers and we must ensure its growth to restore this grand Bank to its erstwhile glory. Greatness is our legacy – don’t let it die!” insists Homai Daruwalla, whose vibrant demeanour and dynamic outlook is known to fetch positive changes in her organisation as well as her employees.
She commenced her banking career with Union Bank of India in 1975, handling a wide-range of assignments with great dexterity, earning successive promotions culminating as the General Manager. Prior to taking over the reins of Central Bank of India, she was the Executive Director at Oriental Bank of Commerce, where she was instrumental in expediting the integration of the erstwhile Global Trust Bank Ltd. Her comprehensive proficiencies include portfolios handling Corporate Governance, Banking Technology Solutions, Audit, Risk Management, Asset Liability Management, Customer Service, Premises and Property, Computerization including Core Banking, etc.
Even technological upgradation in Central Bank Of India has received greater thrust under her leadership, making the techno-initiatives offered at par with other peer group banks. In fact, she brought about a total turnaround in the Bank’s fortune with an overwhelming response to its Initial Public Offer which created Banking history by being over-subscribed 62 times over!
Making a strong Community Call for Zoroastrian Bank, which has eleven branches across Mumbai, she laments the lack of Community interest in the various products and services offered by the bank, which is always willing to go the extra mile to provide complete customer satisfaction. “We have a high level of exposure limit and are in a position to provide our patrons some of the best banking facilities available today in terms of deposit accounts, personal loans, education loans, home loans, etc. Importantly, we understand and respect our customers’ time and hence get things executed within a 2-weeks timeframe, assuming the requisites have been complied with.”
Other products/services offered by Zoroastrian Bank include NRE Deposits at attractive rates. Simple KYC procedures, loans or overdraft up to 90% of Deposit Value; Quick and easy Current, Savings and FD accounts management; excellent rates offered for Home Loans, Car Loans and Education Loans with quick processing and easy documentation – in fact in keeping with the current academic season, Education Loans are being offered upto Rs. 20 lakhs for pursuing international studies and Rs. 10 lakhs for domestic studies. The Bank will also be launching Net Banking with transaction facilities soon.
Sharing her personal and professional philosophy, she shares, “I believe there’s no substitute for hard work. You must have courage of conviction in all that you do and must never take things or people for granted. As an employee, you must imbibe a sense of belonging with your organisation – do not bifurcate and treat it as different entities. Take professional ownership and ask yourself, what would you do if you were the owner. For success in all areas of life, do away with ‘I, me and myself’ agenda and replace it with the ‘we, us and ourselves’ attitude. Never let power go to your head. Learn to distinguish right from wrong, and light from dark.”
Having won innumerable awards and accolades through her industrious career, Homai Daruwalla continues sharing her expertise as an Executive Advisor / Consultant in the Financial sector and is presently on the Board of many prestigious companies as an Independent Director.
As one of the inspirational forerunners of successful Parsi women at the top of their careers today, Homai Daruwalla says to our bawis, “Be financially independent and carve your own individuality to be a productivity-driven, proud Parsi woman. Adopt a holistic attitude in life – be open-minded and always learn to respect, discuss and debate to solve issues instead of pointing fingers. As women, we are blessed with greater inner strength than our male counterparts, and we should tap in to that blessing to constantly endeavour to transform into even better versions of ourselves.”