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Not One To Fear Obstacles

When demonetisation was wreaking havoc on the banking industry, Kotak was getting new clients

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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Starting out in the financial sector as a young B-school graduate, Uday Kotak created a startup, long before it was considered cool. With a token  loan from family and friends, he first set up a bill discounting startup that he later turned into a sprawling conglomerate with businesses across banking, asset management, insurance, merchant banking, stock-broking, private equity, a real estate fund, a payments bank and commodities trading.

Last year when the banking sector was struggling with challenges of GST implementation and havocs of demonetisation, Kotak Mahindra Bank was focussing on new customers and building up its books, which contributed a large part to its growth. The bank reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 4,940 crore last fiscal, up 42.83 per cent, against Rs 3,458 crore the previous fiscal. This was among the highest in Indian banks. 

The country’s richest banker’s personal wealth surged by 29 per cent, standing at Rs 57,499 crore in 2017. The ‘Black Money’ crackdown benefitted the group including its banking, insurance, brokerage services and asset management businesses. Kotak cashed on the opportunity by drawing clients and grabbing the digital space with a new banking app called 811, named after the demonetisation date, which surged to millions last year.

The non-performing loans, the biggest headache of the banking system, remained below the industry average for Kotak. Striding forward, Kotak sees big growth opportunity in the Rs 14-trillion stressed assets, building his profile stronger and smarter.


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