A leading and much respected connoisseur of the Banking and Finance Industry for nearly five decades now, the trailblazing Homai Daruwalla, heads the community’s only Community Bank – The Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd., (ZCBL) as its trailblazing and dynamic Chairperson. The illustrious career of this Banking Visionary is replete with innumerable honours, recognitions and awards, as also unmatched expertise and leadership which have contributed greatly to the rise and growth of ZCBL, under her astute stewardship.
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. In fact, Homai Daruwala is known as 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 has been at the helm of affairs at Central Bank of India as its Chairperson and Managing Director, overseeing entire operations of the Bank. She had facilitated an impressive turnaround in Central Bank’s fortunes with an overwhelming response to its Initial Public Offer which created Banking history by being over-subscribed 62 times over!
She took over the reigns of Zoroastrian Bank in April 2016 as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, with the hope of consolidating and rejuvenating this significant Parsi Legacy that she considers the bank to be. Making ZCBL a bank to reckon with has been her top priority and she has brought the bank a long way since she took charge. ZCBL’s technological upgradation now has the Bank offering various digital banking services, which are at par with other peer group banks.
While the bank had been progressing quite well, the sudden advent of the novel coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on the bank. “The pandemic has hit every industry badly, bringing down global economies and the banking sector has also had it very rough since the last year. Because of this, ZCBL was unable to provide dividends, in keeping with the directives of the RBI, but we have been slowly but surely getting back on our feet and I know that with the support of our community members, the Bank will be back to providing all the benefits once again to all our customers,” says Homai Daruwala.
When asked as regards the support received from community members patronizing the bank, she expressed, “I have seen that every community greatly prioritizes and patronizes its own community bank. Our community should show their sense of pride and support for ZCBL, as this is our one and only Community Bank and I request our community members to come in full support and help reach our bank to its deserving and greater heights of prosperity and service. Especially now, when the banking sector has just got into recovery mode, with the COVID vaccine in sight and industries slowly coming back on their feet, it would be greatly appreciated if our community members reached out in support of our community bank. This is as much my responsibility as it is that of our community members’. 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! Bank with us and you will know that you can Bank on us!”
Having won innumerable awards and accolades through her industrious career, including the ‘Parsi Ratna’, Homai Daruwala continues to render her expertise as an Executive Advisor / Consultant in the Financial sector and is presently on the Board of the many prestigious companies as an Independent Director. Sharing wisdom on life post the pandemic and the mantra which will see us all through in the New Year, she shares, “In any situation in life, I believe that there’s no substitute for hard work. It gives you the courage of conviction in all that you do. Let’s never take people we love or our privileges for granted. To be a successful professional, you must imbibe a sense of belonging with your organisation – there should be a sense of one-ness with your work place – do not look at it as a different entity. Learn to take professional ownership and personal responsibility in life and for God’s sake, as a community, let’s do away with the ‘I, me and myself’ agenda in 2021 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. I wish you all a Happy, Successful and Prosperous New Year 2021!”
Indeed, it is now incumbent on us, as a community, to answer the clarion call and do our bit to support our one and only Community Bank – The Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd. With the Bank offering all the members all the latest digital banking facilities and numerous loans, let us start 2021 by banking with and banking on ‘our’ Bank!