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    HDFC Bank Limited

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India labeled HDFC Bank, India’s largest private bank by market capitalization, a “domestic systematically important bank”—in other words, “too big to fail.” Remarkably, HDFC has gotten that big (amassing more than 40 million customers) in just 23 years of existence. CEO Aditya Puri, now 66, has been in charge for all of those years, and it’s he who gets credit for turning HDFC into India’s most reliably profitable retail banking powerhouse. While many of the bank’s competitors have struggled, profits at HDFC have grown at a 20% annualized rate over the past three years. —Erika Fry