Uday Kotak: In Pursuit of Success
It is a pride to proclaim oneself as a self-made man. Uday Kotak, executive vice chairman & Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank is one such leader who is eminent as a self-made billionaire banker. He was born on 15th March 1959 in Mumbai, in a middle class Gujarati family, which was into cotton trading. Uday completed his schooling in Hindi Vidya Bhavan. Since his childhood, he was passionate about two things- cricket and mathematics. He has held the cricket teams’ captainship in school and college (Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics). His contentment towards cricket made him determined to even pursue a career in cricket. But Uday’s head injury at the Kanga League held in Mumbai in 1979 at Azad Maidan, and an immediate operation to stop the brain hemorrhage, which saved his life, left him bedridden for few months. The incident not only cost him a year while pursuing his post graduation at Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, but also marked the end of his cricket dreams.
Entrepreneur Journey begins…
To utilize the wasted year, Uday joined his family business. But after completing his MBA, he was no longer interested to continue with it. On his father’s insistence, he opted to set up his own business, which started from a 300 sq. ft office space at Navsari building premise that his father offered him. Thus, Uday initiated his financial consultancy- Kotak Capital Management Finance Ltd at the young age of 23. He provided finance support to Nelco, a Tata subsidiary at minimal interest rates in comparison with the banks. Uday’s idea was to offer lower interest rates to savers and impose high rates on borrowers; this actually helped his business leverage.
Later, the collaboration with the Mahindra Group and Uday’s firm belief that trust is the key for any financial service brought in the new name ‘Kotak Mahindra’ and set its values based on trust. Over the period of time, the finance agency initiated to offer car loans and brokering. Eventually in 2003, the Kotak Mahindra obtained a banking license from the RBI. It also holds the honor of being the first one to transform into a bank from a non- banking finance company. Now, the bank has evolved to offer several financial assistances such as commercial banking, mutual funds, asset reconstruction, investment banking, insurance, and more. In 2014, the bank’s wealth almost doubled with the increase in its shares after Uday closed the deal for $2.4 billion to acquire its rival ING Vysya Bank, which was also partly owned by Dutch Financial services group ING. In 2015, the bank ventured into general insurance and partnerered with the telco-gaint Airtel to start a small payments bank.
Uday with his hardwork and determination has emerged as a successful banker. He has been honored with several awards for his achievements throughout his entrepreneurial journey It is been reported that Uday is one of the most highly paid CEO among the Indian banks, with a net worth approximating to $ 13.4 billion. Talking about his roles Uday says, “I do believe that banks are special. They are much leveraged institutions by nature; therefore, it's even more critical to ensure that the governance and the process of running a banking company is well-organized, managed and regulated”.
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