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Housing finance pioneer, B.K. Madhur’s autobiography released

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At Home In The Universe’,
a rare blend of corporate achievement, personal grit and spiritual discovery.

Mumbai: At Home In The Universe, a book that chronicles a poor boy’s journey from a village in South India to the pinnacle of corporate success and personal spiritual growth spanning over six decades, has been released in Mumbai on December 6.

R.C. Sinha IAS (Rtd), advisor to Union Ministry of Road Development, released the book at a function in Mumbai.

In this unusual autobiography, B.K. Madhur, former Chief Executive Officer at DHFL Property Services Ltd, shares the tremendous obstacles he faced early in life as the son of a landless farmer and daily wage labourer in a remote village in South India (in Kasaragod district of present-day Kerala) shortly after Independence.

Blessed with an indomitable spirit and an extraordinarily supportive mother, the young boy went on to obtain an education against all odds. The 344-page book charts all the chronological shifts in his life, dwelling upon the heady early years as a young man newly arrived in Mumbai, the City of Dreams. Throwing himself headlong into every opportunity and job that came his way, Madhur soon began to find his place under the sun.

The book has engaging accounts of his rise from an ordinary salesman to a successful marketing maverick before finding his metier in 1984 when he helped establish Dewan Housing, one of India’s pioneering housing finance companies at a time when even the concept of housing finance was alien to the financial system.

Working closely with friend and mentor, the visionary entrepreneur, late Rajesh Kumar Wadhawan, he was central to the growth and scaling up of  Dewan Housing through the 1980s and 1990s. Corporate success and acclaim was now part of his astonishing achievements in the housing finance sector where he is considered an expert to this day.

The book was released by R.C. Sinha, IAS (Rtd), advisor to the Ministry of Road Development, Government of India. Sinha was vice-chairman and MD of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and built the world-class Mumbai Express Highway and 50 flyovers.

As a pioneer in the housing finance sector in the 1980s, Madhur and his mentor at Dewan Housing were instrumental in creating opportunities for access to affordable housing for innumerable ordinary Indians who had nowhere else to go if they dared to dream of owning a home.

“At Home In The Universe is truly special for B. K. Madhur’s remarkable attempt to capture his life in his own words – his journey from an underprivileged background to the peak of corporate success based on determination, integrity and sheer hard work. His profound knowledge of spiritual philosophies is truly admirable and his life journey exemplifies how one can adopt them in personal and professional life. One of his biggest achievements is how he has helped people especially from the unbaked sections realise the dream of owning a home,” said R.C. Sinha.

The book offers an inside view into the financial sector and policy environment of the 1980s and 1990s. The struggles to raise funds for onward lending were closely linked to the attempts to disseminate new ideas in the nascent Indian financial sector and capital market at the time.

The book also presents an intimate portrait of an unusual bond that B. K. Madhur shared with his mentor and good friend, the late Rajesh Wadhawan. As the company stabilized, especially after the inception of National Housing Bank (NHB) in 1988, Madhur and his team were able to offer innovative products including insurance-linked home loans, home finance schemes for economically weaker sections across the country, policemen, women and the self-employed.

“The book traces the start of my journey in the idyllic village of Bollar where I dreamt of a great future. The book also captures the various stages of my life. I hope to inspire my readers to keep the faith and overcome their challenges just the way I did. After the untimely demise of my mentor Rajesh Wadhawan, my passion for reading the sacred texts of diverse religions and cultures and exploring my inner self, developed further. After the pain of losing my mentor abated, I was able to emerge with greater self knowledge and resilience.  I have been able to exist with a renewed sense of purpose in the larger scheme of the Universe. I would be delighted if readers could benefit from my experiences and set higher goals for themselves in every aspect of life and service,” said B.K. Madhur.

D.A. Chaudhary, IPS(retired), Udaya Bhasker Jakke, Income Tax Commissioner were among the special invitees at the book launch.

Other key dignitaries who were present at the event were S. Balakrishnan, former Bureau Chief at Times of India, Sitaram Sankhe, Company Secretary and lawyer, Mohandas Hiriyadka, President of Devadiga Sangha Mumbai, Satish Shah, MD of Book World Enterprises and B.M. Chaturvedi, Chartered Accountant.

The book will be distributed worldwide by Bookworld Enterprises of Mumbai and will be available at all leading book stores across India.

Report by : Ishwar M. Ail
Pics By: Dinesh Kulal
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