Uday Kotak: India’s Mr finance
Uday Kotak is India’s most successful self-made banker. In just over 20 years, he has transformed his company from humble beginnings into a financial conglomerate. As financial liberalization gathers pace, he tells Sudip Roy why he is confident of further success.
"We understand the lie of the land better than any global player. We are India"
UDAY KOTAK IS a rich man. His fortune is $2.2 billion, according to Forbes, making him one of the world’s wealthiest Indians. Kotak has accumulated this wealth not in the sexy and fast-growing areas of technology and telecoms but in the staid and tightly controlled field of Indian banking. His firm, Kotak Mahindra, in which he and other promoters hold a 55% stake, is one of the country’s leading private-sector financial institutions.
Founded in 1985 and originally called Kotak Capital Management Finance, the firm started life as a trade finance boutique. It had just two employees.
More than 20 years later, Kotak Mahindra is involved in every aspect of Indian financial services from commercial banking, to stockbroking, to mutual funds, to life insurance, to investment banking, to private equity, to real estate.