Saturday, November 18, 2006

Men of substance

Tributes to two men influencing the lives of millions. Hasmukhbhai T. Parekh and Milton Friedman.

Hasmukhbhai T. Parekh made ICICI and HDFC "the springboard for the country's development in new areas of social progress." On the 12th anniversary of his passing, R. M. LALA, pays tribute to the person who helped lakhs of Indians realise their dreams of owning a home. Hasmukhbhai T. Parekh was instrumental in shaping two of India's largest and most respected financial institutions — ICICI and HDFC. Twelve years ago, on November 18, he passed away. This is a tribute to a man who, when studying in the UK, dared to dream of common people owning their own homes. Forty years later, when he stepped down from ICICI, a million Indians owned homes.

Sixty years earlier, Hasmukhbhai lived in a chawl with his father, Thakurdas. He managed to take up a part-time job, study and pass out from the London School of Economics. He also worked as a lecturer at St. Xavier's College, Bombay, for three years and that made him a fluent public speaker.

The soul of a man who made homes available to so many would, find shelter in a far more beautiful place.

Milton Friedman,(1912-2006), Noble laureate,(1976) was a profound Economist who was a votary of the virtues of free markets. In a speech he said,

"My life as an economist has been the source of much pleasure and
satisfaction. It is a fascinating discipline. What makes it most fascinating is
that its fundamental principles are so simple that they can be written in one
page that anybody can understand them, and yet that very few do."

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